SPUG: Subversion

Andrew Sweger andrew at sweger.net
Thu Mar 24 11:58:14 PST 2005

On Thu, 24 Mar 2005, Rizvi, Ali wrote:

> This is the first time I have heard about Subversion but I am excited
> to know more, I have already started reading the book and have
> installed it to experiment with.
> It seems promising but when I asked one of my Perl Guru friends here
> is what he has to say:
> I was under the impression that bitkeeper was better:
> http://www.bitkeeper.com/Comparisons.Subversion.html
> but I think either of three works fine.  Versioning is over-rated and
> should be transparent.

BitKeeper may very well be better than Subversion, for certain criteria.
However, Subversion does not attempt to do all the things that BK
attempts. Subversion makes a fine foundation for building those more
advanced workflow systems, but requires someone else to build those tools
(some of them are in development already). It looks like some of the
information in that comparison page may be out of date too. I didn't look
closely, but I'm pretty sure (for example) Subversion is built around
all-or-nothing (atomic) commit transactions.

Also, BK is no free (libre) like Subversion. So, coming from an extensive
CVS background, Subversion is a good step. For large, organized groups,
using Subversion would involve building substantial policy and procedures
to keep things working smoothly. But for ad hoc groups and open source
development, this is a huge step up from CVS (versioned renames!).

Another interesting comparison could be made between BK and arch. But arch
is a pain in the ass to use if you're just trying to simply move over from
CVS and not learn a whole new way of working with revision control.

Andrew B. Sweger -- The great thing about multitasking is that several
                                things can go wrong at once.

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