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From Henri Yandell <>
Subject Re: thoughts on subversion (was - Re: xdocs/ missing?)
Date Wed, 24 Mar 2004 02:46:29 GMT

My experiment-environment has just moved to it and I'm finding
that it is largely a seamless adjustment for the user once they've:

a) Gotten a working client
b) Grokked the differences in a checkout

Later I expect to have pain learning the differences in tagging, but no

Client-wise; Windows seems well supported and I've happily built the
source for the client on OS X and am using it. Fink does not work
well/at-all. --with-ssl is worth remembering as a configure option.

I had pain setting up the server, so got an osjava colleague who gets it a
lot more to set the repo up for me. My server pain was due to odd i18n
issues with SuSE, but we're currently running on FreeBSD without issues.

Checking out is done from a url, so something like:

svn co http://....

which is a bit odd. Also you have to get used to 'HEAD' being 'trunk' and
having it in your directory path [I always have HEAD, but some might not].

The view-cvs [or view-svn really] we have installed has a download as
tar.gz option, which seems to remove the need for users to launch
themselves into needing svn clients, though anyone wanting to patch etc
will still need such a thing.

I know people who are expecting that because SVN uses WebDav, that clients
that talk WebDav like Dreamweaver will work, but a quick test showed that
this is not true. It's effectively read only. My SVN admin tells me it's
because SVN uses extensions like revision numbers to the basic webdav
protocol. Or something like that.

svn status is an improvement over cvs -n update, if only semantically.

Anyway, I'm +1 on moving to it.


On Wed, 24 Mar 2004, Simon Kitching wrote:

> On Wed, 2004-03-24 at 12:36, matthew.hawthorne wrote:
> > Mark R. Diggory wrote:
> > > What are our thoughts on migrating to subversion? I've not even had time
> > > to try it out myself. Though I have it on my list.
> >
> > I've been using it at work for about 6 months and I like it a lot.
> > Being able to easily move and rename directories and files is very cool.
> > They seemed to focus on fixing CVS' weaknesses and it looks like they
> > did a good job.  It took about a day to get used to, and from then on it
> > felt natural.
> >
> > I recently switched my home server over to Subversion and had some
> > problems getting the integration with Apache2 working, but it didn't
> > really matter since I prefer the svn+ssh method anyway.
> Some issues to watch out for:
> (a) It seems that there are still some rough edges to the "import cvs
> repository" tool. At least there were about 4 weeks ago, which was when
> I unsubscribed from the subversion user list.
> (b) Subversion's handling of branches is quite different from CVS.
> I didn't manage to get my head around it properly during my brief
> experimentation with subversion, but there may be some gotchas in this
> area to watch out for.
> (c) it may be worth waiting until svn client apps are available
> pre-built for most os versions. Page
> has a list of
> packages for various OSes, but the following aren't listed:
>  gentoo
>  mandrake
>  aix
>  hpux
>  solaris
> I don't know the state of prebuilt client apps for these.
> (d) Support for svn in tools like eclipse is also only partial at the
> moment. I don't know if Ant has an svn task. etc.
> Otherwise I agree it is very smooth, comfortingly similar in feel to
> CVS, and best of all: *maintained* and *secure* (unlike CVS).
> Cheers,
> Simon
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