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Best practices for getting non-tech folks to use subversion?

From: Philip Hallstrom <subversion_at_philip.pjkh.com>
Date: 2006-02-22 21:18:01 CET

Hi all -

I've got a couple of questions regarding best practices when it comes to
getting non-tech folks to use subversion. I'm thinking specificly of our
HTML and graphic design folks.

A brief background. I've used CVS for a long time, but only amongst the
developers (we had no designers). So life was easy. I'm at a new job now
that hasn't been using anything and I'm implementing it before I go nuts.
Another new comer has used subversion, but in a manner similar to mine
with CVS.

We're going to manage our website.

I know exactly what I want to do when it comes to the developers. That's
easy as our working copy is our virtual web server and we are all fine
with CLI.

For our designers it's not as simple. They are both remote for one thing
which complicates things a bit. They are also very used to

I've thought of a couple of scenerios and was hoping to gain from someone
elses hard work :-)

Option 1 -

Make the designers learn to use the CLI tools. This is easiest for me
since I don't need to do anything and they can continue to FTP back and
forth. However, I don't think they'll particularly like the CLI tools.

Option 2 -

Find or write a CLI-GUI that wraps up the CLI tools into something that's
a little easier for someone used to a visual tool to use. I've looked and
haven't found a tool like this (searching for "text gui" doesn't help :-).
Does anyone know of one that exists? This is nice for me because again I
don't need to do anything special, and almost nice for them as at least it
would be simplified a bit.

Option 3 -

Setup a VPN b/n the server and the designer and let them mount their
working-copy/virtual-server via Samba. They could then use TortiouseSVN
to manage commits. This is a lot more work for me and while initially
appealing for them, I wonder about how slow it would be for
updates/commits as it would be going round trip twice so to speak.

Option 4 -

Have them checkout a working copy on their desktop. Have their
virtual-server just be a bunch of files. They would then be responsible
for keeping it up to date using an FTP app that has a syncing feature.
The drawback I see here is the syncing. They aren't going to be in the
habit of updating their copy first thing in the morning and then syncing
to the server. The other drawback I couldn't bring their virutal server
up to date every morning on their behalf.

I'm most inclined towards Option 2 as it seems easiest for me to

Any other ideas?

Thanks all!


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Received on Wed Feb 22 21:19:15 2006

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