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Re: Subversion for general office use

From: Saulius Grazulis <grazulis_at_ibt.lt>
Date: 2005-12-04 18:20:39 CET

On Saturday 03 December 2005 22:52, Jason Mills wrote:

> At work, we are considering rolling out Subversion as a version control
> system for general office documents, using TortoiseSVN as a client.

I have set up several repositories in our institute exactly for this purpose.
Subversion works just fine. Having clients on Linux and on Win is a
peace'o'cake ;).

> This
> means non-technical users will be using this setup to manage word
> processing documents, spreadsheets, and images (i.e. mostly binary
> files).

Users need to be educated, to understand at least basic concepts of version
control. You will have to explain wat is the difference between "adding" a
file and "committing" it, why people should keep their working directories
up-to-date, what are conflicts, how to resolve them and how to avoid them.

Since most file in such repositories are binary ones, Subversion can not merge
changes in general, and conflicts are more often. Locks would be useful to
minimise the amount of conflicts, but I have not used the so far so I can not
tell how they feel in practice.

> Additionally, the repositories will likely get big (gigs).

We have currently around 20 repositories sized from 8MB to 2.3GB. ~2GB does
not seem a lot for 1GHz Linux server... Most (but not all) are fsfs.

I guess some problems are more likely with large WCs, not with large
repositories, especially on Windows machines (slow commits/updates/statuses
for large WC). One may wish to work in a subtree in such case.

> I was wondering if anyone on this group has any recommendations or
> comments about using SVN for this purpose. Should I be looking for
> another tool?

Looking for something better should always continue ;), but so far I did not
find any better tool, and I see a big potential for future development in
Subversion. So, I stick with svn* for now :) Thanks, Subversion team!

Regards,
Saulius

-- 
Dr. Saulius Grazulis
Institute of Biotechnology
Graiciuno 8
LT-02241 Vilnius
Lietuva (Lithuania)
fax:          (+370-5)-2602116
tel.: office: (+370-5)-2602556
      mobile: (+370-684)-49802, (+370-614)-36366

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Received on Sun Dec 4 18:18:51 2005

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