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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Dissing Subversion is a bad call

Elliotte Rusty Harold:

The server side of Subversion needs a serious rethink, though. Currently you almost have to have a dedicated Subversion server and a fulltime Subversion administrator. That end needs to get about one thousand times simpler.

Howard Lewis Ship: Huh? I've had exactly one problem with Subversion in over a year of heavy use, that was solved entirely by upgrading to the latest recommended version of the server. You start it up, do a minimal configuration (a passwd file), and let it run. I also use Subclipse with repositories on javaforge.com and on apache.org. I've almost never used the svn command line, either.

Kind of dissapointing that ERH would bash a really great product like Subversion without even bothering to justify his erroneous conclusions. But he's bashed other cool software before.


jesse said...

I've installed / hosted subversion on a lot of different servers, all with very minimal effort.

I think I've hit one problem once. The admin command labeled "fix" or similar did what it said it does, fixes it. Couldn't be simpler.

Aapo Laakkonen said...

Subversion doesn't even need a dedicated subversion server. OpenSSH is all that is needed. I have ran subversion throught webdav/apache2, using svnserve, locally and throught OpenSSH SSH Server by using on demand subversion throught network connection. Also you have choise of file based repositoty and BerkDB based. In my opinion file based repository rocks.

André said...

You're absolutely right Howard. I've been using SVN since 2002 or 2003 (since it's bare existance I guess :-) ). Back then, there were a few issues and you had to recover from time to time - NEVER losing any data. But now I have not had any problems for a long time. Everyone in my environment uses subversion now, from hackers to non-technicals.
The only issue I had was mirroring and off-line repositories (local changes). But since SVK (http://svk.elixus.org) supports win32 now, I would not even have that problem.

Anonymous said...

How objective are you being here? I've recently started playing with SVN (since sf.net offered repositories) having previously used CVS for my repositories, and more recently, darcs for solo projects. I've found SVN so far to be clunky, problematic and slow. It might be sf.net's servers are slow, and that's one out of three of my complaints covered.

Howard said...

Seems like ERH excised those comments from his site. I wonder why he posted them in the first place?

Ben In Durham said...

Re: Anonymous -- "I've found SVN so far to be clunky, problematic and slow."

And CVS isn't? I went from CVS to SVN a year ago and haven't looked back since. Creating branches, tagging, everything seems so much easier than CVS. Never had a problem with it either. Although I suppose if you're used to using CVS you might be reluctant to change since it's "scary" and "different", just like when we made the leap from typewriters to Word. ;)

jeff said...

sf.net is slooow, even with CVS. I'll never return to CVS, SVN just has a newer and better concept.