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Speaking of Source Control

Well which one do you use and why?

Rational, CVS, Visual Source Safe.....

Prakash S
Tuesday, February 04, 2003

CVS.  And, since we are a Windows shop, specifially CVSNT.  I'd prefer to run a Unix CVS, but CVSNT has proven itself to be stable so far.

We left Visual SourceSafe due to it's licensing policies (too expensive for us), and the past experience some of our developers have had with it. 

At a past employer, we had VSS randomly destroy binary files (Word docs, etc).  We still don't know why, but I switched them to CVS on Linux, and life got MUCH better.

Take a look at 
if you are interested.

There will be a Tortoise CVS document there as well, in the next few weeks.

happy to be working
Tuesday, February 04, 2003

CVS for UNIX based development, VSS for NT based.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Anything but VSS. I use CVS for my personal projects and have used many different systems at jobs, the only one that has ever lost/corrupted source files is VSS.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

We use StarTeam. It's very expensive, and if we hadn't acquired it during the heady days of the 'bubble', we couldn't afford it now.

It's got a lot of characteristics I'd love to change (for example, the security model, for instance, attempts to be ultimately flexible and powerful, but is far too complicated and it's usability needs a lot of work), but on balance it's definitely a net gain for us.

Being able to easily and accurately integrate our change requests with builds has proven especially useful.

If we ever have to move off of an integrated change tracking and source control platform, I'd really miss the benefits of being able to connect the two classes of artifacts as conveniently as we can now.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

People keep telling me "but VSS is much better now, it won't corrupt your source files."  Ah, but I've already switched to CVS at this point, and it does everything I want, including branching (actually useful unlike VSS, if more complex than I'll probably ever use).

The "new" features that you get out of some of the more costly solutions are neat, but I don't *need* them, and as for cool factor, the 8 basically happy CVS users would probably rather have something else for the same money.  Like a copy of DevPartner for everyone.  Or a bunch of new test hardware.

Subversion though.  That could be neat in a few years.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

arch is the future for "free" version control.  If it doesn't replace CVS in the next few years, it will be a shame.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Arch will never replace CVS.

The reason: arch is primarily written as Unix shell scripts, and such is almost completely non-portable. Unless you drag the entire unix command set along with it.

If cygwin is the answer, you're asking the wrong question.

Chris Tavares
Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Perforce. It just works. Though it has a price tag but if you think about it, VSS costs not so much less...

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

For personal projects, I use BitKeeper, mostly because of its replication capability and its ability to handle file and directory movement and renaming. Otherwise, CVS is good enough.

At work I use both ClearCase and CVS. ClearCase is expensive and doesn't do much out of the box, but it must be appreciated as a powerful toolkit from which a group builds a customized product. In that sense, it's diametrically opposed to an immediately-useful product like CityDesk, but is virtuous nonetheless.

Steven E. Harris
Tuesday, February 04, 2003

I just bought a "Speak & Source Control." It makes learning fun!

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

"Arch will never replace CVS.

The reason: arch is primarily written as Unix shell scripts, and such is almost completely non-portable. Unless you drag the entire unix command set along with it.

If cygwin is the answer, you're asking the wrong question. "

You're assuming that arch is somehow predicated on shell scripts.  It is not.  It happens to be prototyped in shell script at the moment.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

We moved from VSS to QSC's Team Coherence ( It's only been a few months, but it's been fantastic thus far, was priced very, very well, and I can't say enough about the staff. I hesitate to say "support", as we haven't needed any, but I *have* exchanged many inquiry-type emails with the company - both pre- and post-purchase - and they are always incredibly helpful and responsive.

The integrated issue-tracking module works well for us, also, though our primary concern was revision-control.

Ryan LaNeve
Tuesday, February 04, 2003

We went from CVS to Perforce. It is probably
more reliable than the os it runs on, a
straightforward model that's easy for people
to learn, supports lots of platforms (we use
it on solaris, Windows, AIX and HPUX), atomic
submits, Nice branching from any
point now or in the past... I could go on...

David Lewis
Tuesday, February 04, 2003

I'm a huge fan of QSC's Team Coherence. It is the only one I've used that worked out of the box.

I still don't understand how to make CVS work right. Maybe I think not right? :)  And CvsGUI is even worse... The UI just gives me a headache!

StarBase is a solid product, but very expensive. It also works without too much bleeding, but some of the more in-depth functions are hard to get working right.

I've also been trying Vault (from the Source Offsite people). Its a .NET/WebService based product. It is still a bit slow (it is still in beta), but it works quite well.

Personally, I would go to QSC every time.


On a side note, has anyone noticed how bad all of the documentation, for ANY SCC product is? They all assume you know how to do SCC and only need to know where to access the functions ("Click here for access to parallel symmetric branching"). Does anyone know a good book on this stuff?

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

We use PVCS over a network link which has ping times exceeding 3000 ms. Yum.

Effect of this; people check out the code at the start of working, and check it back in six weeks later when they're done on a task. Nice.

It's kind of like having all the annoyances of revision control without any of the actual advantages. Needless to say, this setup was designed by people who don't use it because they're in an ivory tower in another office and then imposed on the developers, because "revision control is a good idea, therefore all revision control systems are a good idea, therefore this revision control system is a good idea."

It's a good job we don't deal with anything serious. Like, say, the mission critical code for a bank, maybe...

Katie Lucas
Wednesday, February 05, 2003

There are a heap of books on SCM (Software Configuration Management). Check out:


Robert Cowham
Wednesday, February 05, 2003

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