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Re: why subversion?

From: Jeremy Pereira <jeremyp_at_jeremyp.net>
Date: 2006-10-05 12:13:24 CEST

On 5 Oct 2006, at 02:13, Steve Martin wrote:

> I'm just curious.. not meant to be a flame/troll etc.
> The last contract I was on, we needed an SCM system. I chose CVS,
> but the developers decided they wanted to try Subversion.
> So.. we went with subversion. We went with it, *I* dealt with the
> head aches, the fact that you can't make a simple commit without
> changing the version # of the entire repo,
> and so many of the other complaints / issues I've seen on this list.
> My new job also required an SCM system, and I set CVS up in half
> the time, without having to explain why the rev # of the entire
> repo and every file checked out changes during a commit, no
> "malformed this or that" errors,
> no issues with apache authentication, no issues with svn -d, nothing.

Interestingly, after many years of using Subversion, I'm working with
a customer who has set up a source code repository with CVS
(unfortunately, it was a fait accompli before I got here).

There's another developer on the project who has used Subversion in
the past but not CVS. Explaining to him how all the files have
different revision numbers when they represent a logical single state
of the source code has proved problematic. He nearly resigned when
he found out that moves, copies and directories are not versioned and
neither is the creation or moving of a tag.

And I can't repeat what he said when he added and committed a graphic
without specifying -kb (i.e. treat as binary, not text) and found out
that that checking it out to a Windows box corrupted it.

A lot of software usability is what you are used to. In the old Win
3.1 days I remember the arguments (wars) between the MS Excel camp
and the Lotus 123 camp. I was firmly on the side of Excel until I
was forced by a project to use Lotus 123 for a while.

Many of the problems you list are really symptoms of "what you are
used to". On the other hand, some (not all) of the problems that my
colleague has really are indicative of missing functionality in CVS.

> It worked perfectly like CVS always has, which subversion never has
> for me or a lot of the others on this list.
> So... all I'm asking is, what is so great about subversion that
> would make people want to give up the tried and tested SCM system,
> for something that seemingly has so many problems?
> And the previous SVN setup was on RHEL 4, and the current CVS setup
> is on RHEL 4. I'm certainly not a noob to this kind of thing, and
> did RTFM before setting subversion up, but it never worked for us
> like advertised, while CVS worked exactly like CVS always does...
> import a file, only IT'S rev changes, not everything in that dir or
> the entire repo...
> love,
> me

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Received on Thu Oct 5 12:14:16 2006

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