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Practical Subversion

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2004

    Appendix B has good comparative analysis

    Version control of source code is one of these indispensible things when running a software project. Anybody who has ever worked in a commercial project with 2 or more programmers should quickly understand the need. Well, recently, a new open source program, called Subversion, has arisen to handle version control. Rooney offers a detailed explanation of its usage. Assuming that you have used any other competing system, like CVS, RCS, Perforce or Visual Source Safe, then the text should be readily intelligible. He gives a comprehensive coverage of all that Subversion offers. But you know what? Aside from what the user has to deal with, you can probably safely disregard certain parts of the book. Because most readers are programmers, and they just want whatever versioning system they use to work. So while Subversion has a better API for third parties to build upon, unless you're one of those third parties, this advantage is moot. Turn to Appendix B. This is a concise comparative analysis of Subversion vis-a-vis the other versioning programs. If you are still undecided whether to adopt Subversion, the Appendix is the most useful part of the book. For example, Rooney compares Subversion to CVS, which is probably the most common versioning system in use. CVS does not version directories. A glaring defect. Especially because in large projects, the directory tree can encode crucial top level information about the project. Subversion handles directory versioning. But its workflow of 'check out, change, update, commit' is basically the same as CVS. So your work patterns don't have to change much. The biggest other difference between Subversion and CVS is described by the Appendix as how Subversion sends diffs of file changes to its silo. Whereas CVS is more likely to send full files. So less bandwidth and storage. Subversion scales better for large projects.

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