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Re: Single Developer, Distributed Development Environment

From: Duncan Murdoch <subversion_at_murdoch-sutherland.com>
Date: 2005-11-17 19:20:10 CET

On 11/17/2005 12:54 PM, Gale, David wrote:
> I was just talking with one of my fellow developers about the project
> she's working on, and how she's not sure subversion is capable of doing
> what she needs it to. I've come up with two answers, which I'll detail
> below; can anyone think of anything better?
> The Problem: She needs to modify the files she's working on through a
> tool that's only available for her Windows desktop, but she can only
> test the modifications once they're on a Unix box. (They're a
> proprietary binary format.)
> Her current workflow is to FTP the file(s) she needs to her box, edit,
> save with an increasing id number, ftp that file/files to the test
> system, test, edit on her machine, ftp, test, etc., until she has a
> working version.
> Possible Solutions:
> Create a branch, switch the testing system, switch her working copy,
> make changes, commit to the branch, update the testing system, test,
> make changes, commit, update, test, etc., and eventually merge back to
> production. Downsides: the repository's revision number would take off,
> she's doing two steps (commit & update) where before she did one (ftp),
> and the repository would be full of non-working versions.

That would work, but has the problems you've identified.
> Or, checkout a working copy to her desktop, make changes, save with an
> increasing id number, ftp to the testing system, test, make changes,
> ftp, test, etc., and commit her working copy once she's got a good
> version. I like this version better, though one thing I like about
> subversion is that you don't need to use ftp anymore, which this process
> wouldn't allow.
> Anyone have any better ideas?

I'd think the simplest solution would be to work with one checked out
version of the file. Find a way (samba?) to mount the Unix directory in
Windows, then edit it in place. Skip the ftp step.

If samba isn't available, then the workflow she's already using seems
workable, except for the "increasing id number" part. Check out the
file on the Unix system. Copy it to the Windows system. Edit, copy
back, test. Edit again, copy again, test again. When it finally works,
go to Unix and commit the last version to the repository.

Why bother with new filenames each time? She's just using the Windows
box as a very inconvenient Unix editor.

By the way, there are nice ssh implementations available on Windows
(Putty, OpenSSH, SSH) which support keypair authentication; those are
probably more convenient to use and certainly more secure than ftp would

Duncan Murdoch

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Received on Thu Nov 17 19:25:47 2005

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