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CVS on dev servers

It seems CVS is mainly geared toward keeping everything in order when developers each have their own copy of the source.

Is there an 'official' approach to using it on a single server where multiple developers may be working on the same copy of the code (I'm talking about Web sites here mainly)?

Neil E
Friday, February 21, 2003


I don't think so. The official approach is to have each developer have their own workspace. While there are ways to do reserved checkouts in CVS I would say that if you want to have only one workspace, I'd recommend using something other than CVS. Maybe go back to older technology like RCS or SCCS.

That said, why would you want to do it this way? You mention developing web sites, but I don't understand why you wouldn't just have each developer set up a workspace (webserver and database usually) on their own workstation. That's what we do and there's no technical obstacle.

The only thing that would make me consider a single development workspace is if the product required some sort of very expensive thing to work (say, has to interface with some proprietary hardware costing a quarter million a piece).

Bill Tomlinson
Friday, February 21, 2003

[That said, why would you want to do it this way? You mention developing web sites, but I don't understand why you wouldn't just have each developer set up a workspace (webserver and database usually) on their own workstation. That's what we do and there's no technical obstacle.]

Security springs to mind. We worry enough and spend enough time keeping our network running virus free with only 4 IIS servers (2 production, 2 development). If we installed IIS on every employee's machine who worked on web projects, our IIS count would triple.

That said, we're very near deciding to install IIS on dev machines anyway. There are just too many issues with the shared workspace development model that would instantly disappear with private workspaces.

Ryan LaNeve
Friday, February 21, 2003

Can you split the difference? Give each developer their own virtual directory on a single IIS server? That way you only have the one server, but each dev has their own sandbox.

Although having individual servers on dev boxes is still the best way to go - least hassle for the dev team.

Chris Tavares
Friday, February 21, 2003

I'm not a sysadmin, and I'm sure one of the SA's here can speak to this better, but...

What about segmenting your internal network? Put the production web servers on their own subnet with a firewall between them and your dev subnet. Don't open port 80 on that firewall.
Have a standalone terminal that *can* see the web servers (so devs can see the reported bugs)

Then you can put IIS on each desktop. Keep them patched (once a week or after critical updates the SA does a walkaround).

If you have dev and test in-house there shouldn't be a huge need for the developers to look at the production system, right?

Philo

Philip Janus
Friday, February 21, 2003

Thanks for the replies so far. Bill Tomlinson asked why I want to do it this way - it's mainly because it's useful to be able to edit the site on any platform, and obvioisly and IIS & ASP site won't run on a Linux box or a Mac.

I reckon the 'one copy per developer' is the best approach, with a virtual directory (or virtual server running on a port 8080 onward) for each developer and save port 80 for the release version.

Cheers folks, it's all clear to me now!

Neil E
Sunday, February 23, 2003

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