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Version Control

I installed Subversion yesterday to help me manage my projects. It can seem a bit overkill since I'm the only developer, but I think it will be useful to help me do better revert points and to organize the projects in one central, easy to backup repository.

Subversion, or SVN, improves on the original Unix CVS software. It handles revisions in different more efficient ways (but I didn't read too much about this, I just took it for a ride).

I started to use SVN with a project I'm working on right now. Up until now I have made zip archives whenever I felt a revert point was necessary. This is not very efficient because I tend to forget what the differences are between the files. It is also a mess to name them and not to mention the redundant disk space they occupy. With SVN I just need to remember to commit my changes now and then to create the revert points.

The ability to branch and tag releases is also a great benefit with version control. When my current web project is launched as an internal beta, I can simply tag that revision as the first beta so that I can keep track of the differences between the main branch of development and the beta release.

One of the downsides of using SVN is that it can be a little hard to find a good GUI. The ones I have tried didn't please my eyes and only seemed to wrap the output of the command-line client in a dialog box. I would like a client where I can browse the repository and check out files, that is basically all I need (at the moment).

Conflict management and merging of files can sometimes be troublesome with version control. However, since I am the only user, I don't see how conflicts could occur. Otherwise, a good graphical merging/diff/resolver tool would be nice to find. bbEdit has some support this which can help me out until I find something better.

SVN is a cross-platform program so try it out if you are in search of a version control manager. I will let you now when I find a GUI that suits me.

Reader comments

  1. Hi Samuel!

    If you want a GUI that integrates into MS Explorer you should try TortoiseSVN. I think it works fine!


    10th January 2006, 14:34 CET. 

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Created 5th January 2006 21:56 CET. Filed under Blogging.

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