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Perforce for FREE!!

Perforce is offering a 2 user, 2 workspace, NO TIME LIMIT version for free download on their website http://www.perforce.com/perforce/devx.html

I've read in a few threads here that this is *THE* definitive source control program, so this seems like a great deal.  My question though is what is the learning curve like?

* SourceSafe - I used it many moons ago and it was a breeze to learn, although limited.
* PVCS - I used this next, and it was a pain to learn, even with the help of knowledgeable peers.  No better than SourceSafe in my estimation.
* CVS - I used this last, and it was a PAIN AND A HALF to learn, even with the help of knowledgeable peers and useful tools like WinCVS.  But after I learnt it, I admit it was the best so far.

So here's my question, how painful is it to learn Perforce, especially without any knowledgeable peers around to show me stuff, or look over my shoulder and tell me when I'm being a dumbass.  I don't like having to wade through mountainous documentation of every feature and nuance when all I want is the basics -- I've got better things to do with my Friday nights -- well, um actually I don't, at least not this Friday.

I would happily stick to CVS if it had a feature that let you check in multiple file atomically, but alas it doesn't.

Ken Klose
Friday, March 05, 2004

I assume this is an ad?  theyve always offered that.

surely your marketing people have better things to do with their time?

open sourcerer
Friday, March 05, 2004

Yes open sourcerer, its CLEARLY an ad.  I mean most ad copy from software companies:

1. Contains the word DUMBASS.
2. Asks everyone if the product in question is PAINFUL to learn.

Good job reading!  I think I can get you hired as an editor.  Maybe at the Weekly World News.


BTW: The proper knee-jerk "open source" response when someone calls into question an open source technology (CVS in this case) is to respond with 'have you checked out the XXX project yet?' (in this case that would be Subversion).

I don't have a problem with open source zealots, just LAZY open source zealots.

Ken Klose
Friday, March 05, 2004

Why would the OP be an advertisement?  I am new to using source control, and in checking out Perforce last week, I too discovered only then that they offer the unlimited trial described above.  If I was ready to start testing it, I would probably look to opinions from JoS posters, as this is my most trusted resource for what intelligent peers in software creation are thinking.

FWIW, if I am naive, and something about the poster posing a Ken Klose makes it obviously an ad, well I share the same question, so would it be ok to answer it on my behalf?

MacSqueeb
Friday, March 05, 2004

" The proper knee-jerk "open source" response when someone calls into question an open source technology"


:) interesting assumption....based on the idea that attack is the best form of defense I assume?

This is _clearly_ an add..Id stake money on it.

and sarcasm is not a denial.  (although I have no doubt that you are capable of an outright denial, people who advetise like this have already proven themselves to be free of normal human integrity)

oh..and I actually use perforce myself..the free version...never really used cvs so I have no idea whether it does in fact have the feature you are claiming it does not or not, but personally Id be astonished if it did not.
(anyone using cvs care to coment here?)


The point is that anyone with experience in the other things you have listed would have had no problem trying out perforce themselves without wasting time on a question like this, which means that you are not posting a genuine question, which means that you are a deliberate advertisement.

interesting your response has confirmed this to me, you sound very much the software sellers we get here from time to time :)  Ive often wondered why the software industry has such good people in the programming area, and such genuine slimeballs in the marketing side of things.

(philo excepted in this of course)

open sourcerer
Friday, March 05, 2004

clearly if any of you had googled for Ken Klose, you'd realize he'd asked a similar question about the MS Action pack...apparently he's either just too lazy to find out for himself, doesn't trust his ability to make a decision on his own, doesn't trust what he sees, or some other psychological issue.  I highly doubt this is an ad for Perforce.  Get over folks.  The average joe on JoS knows that perforce kicks ass. 

Nothing to see here folks...move along.

GiorgioG
Friday, March 05, 2004

heh, looking closely at the action pack one that looks suspiciously like a slimeball marketing attempt  as well..I wonder what his connection to the ebay seller was.

this guy is a dodgy marketer, Ill guarantee it.

hey Ken, tell us about your programming experience to prove me wrong :)

open sourcerer
Friday, March 05, 2004

Well, while I've got my salesman's hat on, I'd like to tell you about the new Chevy Malibu, now available with third row seating. 

Chevy is a name you can trust!  And since its an American car, you can be sure its been designed BY Americans, FOR Americans.  No narrow seats for narrow asses.  Big soft seats for big soft asses.  Plus a mega-super-duper size cup holder. 

Now with the OnStar system... if you're ever in an accident, it will dial for help, and dial you attorney so you can immediately SUE THEIR ASS!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Would someone please just answer the question:
What's Perforce got that CVS don't got, and is it worth the learning curve to get there?

Is Perforce intuitive, or are you lost to learn it without a lot of reading the manual or getting help from a friend.

Ken Klose
Friday, March 05, 2004

To put another way, can someone whose lazy and has psychological issues learn it, or is it only for people with cool Italian names like Giorgio?

Ken Klose
Friday, March 05, 2004

+++Would someone please just answer the question:+++

You're not allowed to ask questions of your peers anymore, Ken; it's a sure sign of laziness and distrust of your own judgement.  This is particularly true if you're swamped, and would like some opinions before you invest time testing the thing for which you seek advice.  Furthermore, if you are considering implementing said thing at work, where your employer is likely to have to stake some money on the fitness of a product, you *must* rely soley on your own opinion derived from hard-earned personal experience--the opinions of other users of the product cannot be trusted, and are probably just fake marketing testimonials anyway.

MacSqueeb
Friday, March 05, 2004

nice sarcasm ken, really puts you in a positive light.


"Is Perforce intuitive, or are you lost to learn it without a lot of reading the manual or getting help from a friend. "

?? perforce is a cli program, you could describe it in many, many different ways but 'intuitive' is clearly not going to be one of them.

come on ken, stop beating around the bush and tell us about your programming experience :)

open sourcerer
Friday, March 05, 2004

Correction: you're only allowed to ask questions after submitting your resume.

MacSqueeb
Friday, March 05, 2004

hey MacSqueeb,

have you considered taking the time you are spending checking out this thread and using it to download and play with perforce?

believe it or not, internet chat forums cannot replace personal experience.
If you dont have time to evaluate a product then you prolly shouldn't be advising your boss to spend money on it based on the random utterances of a bunch of people wasting their time on internet forums.

seriously doodlet, Ken is a dodgy marketer slimeball and you are acting rather nicely as his patsy.

open sourcerer
Friday, March 05, 2004

I've gotten as much as Perforce is a CLI from lazily browsing the docs.  So is CVS.  But there is this nice (nice for open source freeware) UI for it called WinCVS that dumbs it down to my level.  Do you use a UI for Perforce or do you do it from the command line?

As for my programming credentials: I once programmed a webpage in HTTP and a little scripting in Java. :-p

Ken Klose
Friday, March 05, 2004

+++have you considered taking the time you are spending checking out this thread and using it to download and play with perforce?+++

Yes I have.

MacSqueeb AKA embarrassed OSS advocate
Friday, March 05, 2004

MacSqueeb:
<<
This is particularly true if you're swamped, and would like some opinions before you invest time testing the thing for which you seek advice. 
>>

Doing a little research for yourself (a simple google, or searching of the JoS forum) is common sense.  If you can't do that before you post a question to the board, you are lazy or don't have any common sense of courtesy.  This is not a board for newbies.  Not to be elitist, but you should already know how to do this.  And he's not swamped, he's doing a whole lot of nothing on a Friday night, as he admited.

<<
Furthermore, if you are considering implementing said thing at work, where your employer is likely to have to stake some money on the fitness of a product, you *must* rely soley on your own opinion derived from hard-earned personal experience--the opinions of other users of the product cannot be trusted, and are probably just fake marketing testimonials anyway.
>>

Your employer is paying you to make decisions.  Do some research.  Don't waste everyone's time on questions that can be answered with a simple google search.  Look at how much time we've wasted on this bullshit thread as it is.  We are not your little magical knowledge elves who do your work for you. 

GiorgioG
Friday, March 05, 2004

Step 1: Stir hornets nest on JoS forum.
Step 3: Profit.

Ken Klose
Friday, March 05, 2004

"Do you use a UI for Perforce or do you do it from the command line?"

hey, a specific question...well done!  maybe you could build it up to a knowledgable question one day?  keep working on it anyway and dont be put off by sarcastic people who encourage thinking for yourself...

both.  I wrote my own GUI for the standard stuff and use the cli whenever I need to do something more advanced...one day Ill add all the fancy features and sell it for a million bucks.

seriously web man if you can handle the terrible pressure of forming yourown opinion on it, trying actually installing it instead of merely scanning the docs nervously.
oh...the server prefers having its own user space, so Id suggest getting your admin guy to give you his opinion on the best way to create one of those.  If you ask nice he might even hold your hand while you do it...

open sourcerer
Friday, March 05, 2004

++++oh...the server prefers having its own user space, so Id suggest getting your admin guy to give you his opinion on the best way to create one of those++++

Excellent, exactly the kind of useful information I was hoping to get.... um.... like 17 posts ago.

"own user space" -- that smells suspiciously like UNIX crap to me since I'm my own "admin guy" I'll need you to translate that into Windows speak for those of us who can only point at pretty pictures and clap joyously when things happen as a result. 

Ken Klose
Friday, March 05, 2004

I guess all the helpfus research tips never occurred to me; moreover, my employer never asks me or pays me to make decisions because I am an inexperienced newbie lacking sufficient elite qualities.

What did pop into my young mind was that Ken has always seemed like a decent guy from reading his contributions on JoS, and he asked a reasonable question, which apparently disproves my hypothisys that a helpful answer is as easy to give as a (lengthy) trollesque answer (read: "SEARCH GOOGLE" + the usual).  What really surprised me was the implication that one is even easier to give than to just pass on a question one doesn't feel like helping with.

Now granted, I'm not offering anything userful (feeding trolls never is), but if I had anything useful rolling around in that ol' head o' mine, I might consider that a) Ken has already done some googling (now that I've been enlightened as to what google is, anyway), but would like to supplement his findings with the opinions of people he virtually socializes with as peers, or b) that it's Friday night, and after a long week Ken feels more like having a beer than googling or testing software this particular, but while he was settling into his weekend relaxation, he was still toying with his thoughts about perforce and thought he'd drop an off the cuff question for the guys and gals at JoS to throw in their $0.02--everyone likes to share their opinions, right?

Now granted, such inconsiderate and lazy thinking on his part did force the more sagely members of the audience to waste their time (no doubt otherwise dedicated to dark, magely works), to have to stop what they were doing to put him back on the right track.  Furthermore, it wasted the most holy of all intangibles: system resources.  Come on Ken, this is a serious software forum--it's for posting updates on The Apprentice, there's no time for answering questions.

"uh-oh I got electronic courage now" MacSqueeb
Friday, March 05, 2004

What the hell is the matter with posting a question on a piece of software, looking for experienced opinions on it?  There's no shortage of threads here doing the same, some even started by Joel.

I, too, wish someone would answer Ken's questions or at least give a general impression of it, and I say that as an IS manager who's spent the last few months getting CVS to be the norm in my department.

Justin Johnson
Friday, March 05, 2004

""own user space" -- that smells suspiciously like UNIX crap to me since I'm my own "admin guy" I'll need you to translate that into Windows speak for those of us who can only point at pretty pictures and clap joyously when things happen as a result.  "

unix crap?  go away, find a learners forum for mentally disabled users and ask your questions there. Anyone who is unable to understand the concept of multiple users will never understand the idea of committing multiple files.

dear god your existance on this forum offends me to my very bones.  stupidity squared. too lazy to do your own research, too stupid to understand anyone elses and too driven to leave the problem alone.

have you considered running for parliament?

open sourcerer
Friday, March 05, 2004

This thread will be BE-LEETED!

HomeStar Runner
Friday, March 05, 2004

? Perforce has an incredible GUI, for both Windows and Linux. It is by-far the best source code management product I've used. CVS is obsolete, SourceSafe is garbage (slow and unreliable), ClearCase is a monster. There are several new open-source SCMs that purport to be successors to CVS, you could investigate them also.

Bob Abooey
Friday, March 05, 2004

It's perfectly reasonable to ask for OPINIONS on this forum.

I'm more than happy to render opinions. It takes very little time.  I trust a *soliticed* opinion from a fairly well known source (Jos) much more than browsing newsgroups.

I, for one, thank the OP. I wasn't aware of Perforce's free version. 


After reading the reviews comparing Perforce and CVS, it looks good.

OK, the OP might have found the following reviews in 2 minutes on google:

http://www.linuxjournal.com/article.php?sid=2378
http://www.websina.com/bugzero/source-version-control.html

Perforce looks like the clear winner. Only downside is price, which is moot for me. Not more than two developers at my shop. But, if I get hooked and we have more programmers we'd stick with what we know.

The real Entrepreneur
Saturday, March 06, 2004

We use Perforce in-house.  It uses a central datastore
model and, since it has a Java and web client, can support
sourcetrees on practically anything that has a command
line + Java.  We use it for QNX, Linux, Solaris, and
Windows hosted environments, with the server/db running
on a Solaris box.  Its command line is no worse than
anyone else's, and it does have a nice GUI.

Its notion of branches is relatively unsophisticated when
compared to Clearcase, but it is several orders of magnitude
cheaper and needs very little admin once it is set up.  And
it does have an excellent group checkin model, and has
a nice merge utility that can be used both from the cmd
line and from the gui.

All in all, we're happy with it.

x
Saturday, March 06, 2004

open-sourcerer:

I am most thankful for your gracious and generous help in my understanding of user spaces on the windows platform. 

A quick search on google:
http://www.google.com/microsoft?q=user+space
has revealed that google knows as much about user spaces in windows as you and I, which is to say nothing.

I have a concept of what user spaces is as it relates to the UNIX platform, but having never dealt with a "server [that] prefers having its own user space" in Windows before, I was hoping for clarification as to what the ramifications of this statement were to me and my situation.  I only wish you could have provided it.

At your suggestion, I will now "find a learners forum for mentally disabled users".  Which one do you use?

Ken Klose
Saturday, March 06, 2004

The Perforce installation guide (for unix and Windows) is online at http://www.perforce.com/perforce/doc.032/manuals/p4sag/index.html ... reading the manual (I have't used Perforce myself) it says nothing very unusual about the installation: you need to be a Power User (or Administrator) to install; and if the Perforce server service is running from a network drive then it needs to run as a named user instead of as System so that it can access network drives.

http://www.perforce.com/perforce/doc.032/manuals/p4win-gs/p4win-gs.pdf describes the Windows GUI for end-users.

Christopher Wells
Saturday, March 06, 2004

Perforce rocks. I've used in a 4 programmer shop and it was wonderfully fast, has a good plug in for VS .net and does changelists. It's everything CVS should be.

You really should check out subversion though. It should also be everything CVS should be. I played with early versions and they were nifty and if they can keep things on track it should be dandy.

I've never used Bitkeeper or Arch though, which appear to use a different setup which could be better.

Petee something
Saturday, March 06, 2004

2nd in support for Perforce's GUI and merge utility.
It is also fast.
You can get problems if the server's idea of what
files are on your had disk are different to what is
actually on your hard disk. Also I think it identifies
the user with the PC it is installed on too much.
Haven't used it as a server.
Personally prefer it to CVS, - but haven't used
WinCVS much.

I like it
Saturday, March 06, 2004

At last, some sensible comments on this thread. Made all that scrolling worthwhile.

Boy do I hate it when you women all get the painters in at the same time

Gwyn
Saturday, March 06, 2004

I've used Perforce, and thought it was pretty good, but I'd much prefer to use CVS.

If you like working through a GUI, rather than the command line, then I'd advise you to use TortoiseCVS rather than WinCVS. http://www.tortoisecvs.org/

However, it might be a good idea to check out (if you'll excuse the pun) Subversion, which just hit 1.0. It's designed to be the successor to CVS, and to solve many of CVS' problems. http://subversion.tigris.org/

If you go with Subversion, then you might also want to use the equivalent to TortoiseCVS, TortoiseSVN. http://tortoisesvn.tigris.org/

C Rose
Saturday, March 06, 2004

We've just started evaluating/using NG3 for a project where we are separated by a deal of distance and SourceSafe didn't seem to be able to cope with the VPN.

Its not free, its $89 a seat, but it does integrate in SCC clients so we can checkout and do most of the stuff we need to do in the IDE.

It uses .NET and so that makes it the first reasonable application I've used on .NET.  Mind you the UI still has that amateurish sketched in look that .NET apps seem to have.

This is not an advert, I'm not even going to post a link.

Simon Lucy
Saturday, March 06, 2004

Search on perfroce vs CVS and you'll get a lot of hits.

I use the gui most of the time.

It just works is the best compliment. When support
is needed they are very good.  The email list is helpful.

Installation is a snap. Compare that with clearcase.

The things that are bad:
1. Distributed development. We have people in inida and the east coast and accessing the depot is usually less than pleasant. A distributed depot would be nice.
2. Should have a soap/http/xml-rpc api. It has a C++ api but who cares.
3. Can't have formats in the submit comments.
4. Meta data like client specs are not versioned.
5. It has no ideas of directories, just files.
6. It is expensive for smaller shops. At home if we needed to go beyong 2 users i don't know if i could justify the cost of perforce.
7. Administration tasks are not in the gui.
8. Client side triggers are clumbsy.

The things to do:
1. If  you will have a large installation use subdirectories instead of having everything flat at the top. You need to start this way which is why  i mention it.
2. Get the araxis merge tool. Very nice.
3. Use simple client specs. I would do little mapping.

Things that are different:
1. client view specs. They map how the depot is expressed in a file system.  This can get extremely confusing. Repress the urge to be clever.
2. change numbers. This is a really brilliant concept that is different than other systems. It means you no longer need labels once you combine client views and change numbers.
You can recreate any build by knowing only the  change number and client spec. Very convenient and clean. Perforce  still has lables, but they are unecessary.

son of parnas
Saturday, March 06, 2004

How does perforce compare to Vault?  Anyone used both?

nathan
Saturday, March 06, 2004

Unless you have a programming sweat shop, this thing is going to cost a mint to use in most small IT businesses. $750-$650 for any company less than a 100, buys you just one year support.

Li-fan Chen
Saturday, March 06, 2004

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