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Keeping Your Life in Subversion

Post date: October 2, 2005, 16:10 Category: Views: 3333 Comments
Tutorial quote: I keep my life in a Subversion repository. For the past five years, I've checked every file I've created and worked on, every email I've sent or received, and every config file I've tweaked into revision control. Five years ago, when I started doing this using CVS, people thought I was nuts to use revision control in this way. Today it's still not a common practice, but thanks to my earlier article "CVS homedir" (Linux Journal, issue 101), I know I'm not alone. In this article I will describe how my new home directory setup is working now that I've switched from CVS to Subversion.

Subversion is a revision-control system. Like the earlier and much cruftier CVS, its purpose is to manage chunks of code, such as free software programs with multiple developers, or in-house software projects involving several employees. Unlike CVS, Subversion handles directories and file renaming reasonably, which is more than sufficient reason to switch to it if you're already using CVS. It also fixes most of CVS's other misfeatures. Subversion still has its warts, though, such as an inability to store symbolic links and some file permissions, and its need for twice as much disk space as you'd expect thanks to the copies of everything in those .svn directories. These problems can be quite annoying when you're keeping your whole home directory in svn. Why bother?

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