Revision control advice

William Brown william.e.brown at
Thu Dec 22 23:05:53 UTC 2011

On 22/12/2011, at 20:06, Matthew Seaman wrote:

> On 22/12/2011 04:53, Rob Byrnes wrote:
>>>> Yeah I would second what Mr Rock says.  Set up a single repo where
>>>>>> folders can be used for projects.  Since svn lets you checkout sub
>>>>>> folders of a repo, each developer can check out the folder that
>>>>>> corresponds to their project.  Also, Tortoise svn is a very nice
>>>>>> graphical utility that will allow your developers to manage there svn
>>>>>> folders without even needing a web interface (most non unix people
>>>>>> that I know like tortoise), so there is less maintenance for you :)
>>>>>> Finally, kudos to moving towards using version control, its an
>>>>>> important step for a software company.
>>>> git or mercurial - best choices
>> For what reasons?
> svn vs git vs mercurial
> svn has the model of a central repository that everything has to
> communicate with.  This can be attractive in a commercial environment as
> it implies a degree of central control over all of the project source code.
> git is much more a peer-to-peer system.  This fits with a disparate
> group of projects all proceeding pretty much independently.  There's
> also a potential advantage if all your developers are not at the same
> location and will not necessarily have access to central office systems.
> mercurial unfortunately I'm not that familiar with, but it uses a
> distributed model like git.

I would advise staying away from mercurial (aka hg). It has a lot of issues with corruption of repositories. Git does the same and is a lot more mature and stable. 

> Other criteria, like windows support, are not anything I have much
> experience of, but by all accounts svn and git are pretty well served.

Again, git wins here. It has good support on windows, as well as with graphical tools on windows. 

You can use git like SVN if you push to the master after every commit though. I also have found git's support for merging to be a lot better. Additionally it stores branches and tags as metadata on commits rather than svn's "dumb" tag / branch system where you just copy the full repo to the side.

Git does take a bit longer to get your head around how some of the tools work, but once you learn it, it really pays off. 


William Brown

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The University of Adelaide, AUSTRALIA 5005

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