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ClearCase: what have I done to deserve this

I've recently been forced against my will to move to ClearCase as a source code control system.  How has it ruined my (developer) life?  Let me count the ways:

1)  Number one is definitely the days/weeks spent trying to get it set up correctly.  We're using it on a Windows network, even though it's really for Unix.  It has no concept of domains, so there is only one domain it works for (not my usual one).  All sorts of wacky permission antics ensue.

2) Error prone.  Because of this cross-domain problem, there is a step where I have to actually physically drag and drop files to check them out and in.  This is, in a non-PC word, completely retarded.

3) Onerous 1.  Every check-out requires an open bug in the associated bug tracking system, ClearDDTS.  This sounds like a nifty idea, but the web-based bug tracking system is also a pain in the neck, with required fields such as "detection method".

4) Onerous 2.  This I just discovered this morning: when you check out multiple files you have to give the bug-tracking info individually for each one.  If the goal was to keep things from happening too quickly, it's working.

Please don't ask me why we're using this: I don't know.  It is completely out of my hands.  I only ask for your pity.


Charles Lewis
Friday, June 13, 2003

It's a Rational product, right?
I have yet to hear one nice thing about Rational...

Joel Spolsky
Saturday, June 14, 2003

Yep, it's from Rational.

When I was first discovering the wonders of OO development, I put a lot of effort into working with their modeling tool, Rational Rose, but it was also very cumbersome. 

Their OO training is OK though, at least the classes that I taught for them ;-)

Charles Lewis
Saturday, June 14, 2003

ah, you answered your own question :)

Joel Spolsky
Saturday, June 14, 2003


You're right: this must be my OO karma coming back to haunt me.  Samsara, samsara, samsara...

Charles Lewis
Monday, June 16, 2003

We're stuck using ClearCase at work, too, and I feel your pain. It's a miserable disaster of a version control system.

The best I've ever used it StarTeam. Man, that was nice.

Samuel Ford
Tuesday, July 8, 2003

Look on the bright side, it probably cost your company millions more to licence than that cvs server/sourcesafe server that was doing the job perfectly for years.

As for it being overcomplicated, worst example I ever used was TogetherJ. An IDE written in java that was licenced in at huge cost to a company I used to work for, the licence per developer cost more than the machines we were develping on (which were unable to run it since it was such a resource hog). Not to mention that it is the only IDE I have ever seen where if you want to make a new source file it is a lot quicker to open up Notepad, save a new file as then import it into your TogetherJ project than it is to create the same file in the IDE.

Not to mention an utter paranoia about constants. Any number other than 0 or 1 hardwired into a source file would cause together to spit out errors at you that you had to make a magic number constant for it.

It has to have been the worst IDE I ever had the misfortune to be forced to use. Thank heavens you can just download JDeveloper for free and make use of an IDE that is a very high standard instead.

Maybe that is cause for another thread, most expensive software you never used, and the cheap alternative you used instead

Wakka Wakka Wakka
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

I have to agree about Rational Rose and TogetherJ.

Problem with Rational is that they are selling you some software AND a process to go with it.

The process, like all other patented use-this-or-your-project-is-doomed processes is that they are asking you to go against your better judegment and NOT do what you should do - pick the right process or tools for the job at hand.

RUP is a great way to buy into "death by use case".

I use Enterprise Architect - a fraction of the price (I mean about 2%) and much, much easier to use.

Rational is now owned by IBM - so it allows them to further enhance their sparkling ease-of-use reputation when it comes to software tools.

Patrick FitzGerald
Monday, July 28, 2003

ClearCase is a good tool when you have complex versioning, branching, a LOT of code (several million lines) and a hundred or more designers.  For a smaller project, using ClearCase is just insane overhead. Use CVS or SourceSafe instead.

Sunday, August 3, 2003

emacs + etags + Perforce = nirvana.

Craig Thrall
Tuesday, August 5, 2003

I have to concur on this.  The trouble is its been imposed on me and my team as well.  There are admittedly some things I actually like about it, but when I look at the overall cost involved in keeping it running (we have someone full time dedicated to it, and its not nearly enough) I wonder why big companies choose to impose it?

Some of the observations I've had:

(1) It has terrible multiple site support.  So bad we had developers at sites reduced to emailing files back and forth to check them in on the "right site specific branch".

(2) It has huge overhead costs, more than I've ever seen before with any tool.

(3) The argument that it works better for larger teams is complete bunk in my experience.  I worked in a team of 75+ developers at HP/Agilent for several years and we used CVS with no incident I can recall.  Contrast that with using it for a S/W team of 7 with my current employer and averaging a major problem each month.

Does anyone have insight into why big companies choose it?  If it was bad, but cheap I'd understand.  What is Rational/IBM's selling point that wins people over?

Brad Marsh
Saturday, February 21, 2004

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