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Which version control system for windows?

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  • Which version control system for windows?

    I'm familiar with version control systems - but mostly big ones used in large corporate development shops.

    Now, I need a version control system that will run on Windows XP 32Bit.

    I'm looking for something that works well with Beyond Compare. Reliability is a primary consideration - even more than features.

    A single user system is all that is needed, so file checkout and locking are not nearly as important as backing out changes and restoring them.

    It will be used to maintain code bases for individual customer websites which are customized versions of OSCommerce, Drupal, Joomla, Wordpress, etc.

    I was using Beyond Compare and simply storing backup directories each time a change is made, but that's now becoming time consuming and cumbersome due to the number of websites we maintain.

    Cost is a consideration since version control for a single user is merely a convenience rather than a necessity.

    A Linux system would be fine - If it can be installed on a remote webserver and operated easily through a web browser -- but I'm guessing that would add unnecessary complexity for a single user.

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

  • #2
    We currently use TortoiseSVN in the office. It does not directly link into Beyond Compare, but does link into the Explorer shell extension/right-click menu, which is accessible through Beyond Compare.
    http://tortoisesvn.tigris.org/

    You can use BC3 as the Diff tool, or BC3 Pro as the Merge tool, detailed here:
    http://www.scootersoftware.com/support.php?zz=kb_vcs
    Aaron P Scooter Software

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    • #3
      Aaron, why do you use TortoiseSVN?

      We currently use TortoiseSVN in the office. It does not directly link into Beyond Compare, but does link into the Explorer shell extension/right-click menu, which is accessible through Beyond Compare.
      Thank you, Aaron.

      Since TortoiseSVN doesn't directly link into Beyond Compare, can you tell me what functionality is lost by using TortoiseSVN rather than one of the version control systems that does connect directly to Beyond Compare?

      If you were choosing today, would you still use TortoiseSVN, or are you locked into it because you started using it before Beyond Compare implemented a version control api?

      Since we have nothing, we are in a position to do what we want.

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      • #4
        If you use one of the supported VCSs you'll have "Check-in" (aka SVN Commit), "Check-out" (N/A), and "Undo checkout" (aka SVN Revert) commands in the "File" and context menus. BC does show the Explorer menu as a submenu though, and all of the usual TortoiseSVN commands will be available from there instead. So, it's nested deeper, but that's just a minor inconvience.

        Other things: The built-in support prompts to check out files before editing them, which SVN doesn't need. The directory compare also has a "Status" column that will show whether a file is under source control or not.

        The API is really designed around locking systems, which require explicitly checking out files before editing, and don't allow parallel development. It's a poor fit for Subversion or any of the new distributed VCSs like Git or Mercurial.

        If we were starting over we'd probably stick with SVN. It's well supported, stable, and popular. I use Git for some personal projects, and having a local copy of the repository is really nice, but the Windows version isn't as polished as TortoiseSVN is.

        Having native support isn't that important for our specific workflow. We usually have an SVN-controlled directory and a separate working directory, and when we want to check in or update we compare and copy changes using BC, then use Tortoise to actually do commits/updates. It gives us an opportunity to do code review and any necessary cleanup as we're pulling over files. I'm sure it's not the most efficient approach, but it's been a natural progression from when there were just two us manually copying changes from each other's working directories (a long time ago ).
        ZoŽ P Scooter Software

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        • #5
          I quite like Bazaar - again, the GUI tools are not as polished as TortoiseSVN, but I find it a lot friendlier than Git on Windows, the learning curve is not quite as steep, and once you get used to it it feels prett natural to use a hybrid mix of using the command-line + the "qbzr" plugin set that comes in the default Windows distribution (which gives you equivalents of many of the CLI commands, but with pretty Qt UI). Install Powershell as well and you end up doing a lot of things more ... powerfully....

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          • #6
            The OP might want to look at TortoiseHG, as well. Mercurial is better suited to having local repositories ... in fact does very well with multiple repositories ... and claims to be very effective in merging changes from branches and other repositories. This makes it very good for experimental changes as well as formally reviewed changes. As a distributed system, it does do some things a bit differently than a server-centric VCS, but I think I got used to it (in the basics, at least) fairly quickly.

            The TortoiseHG people have published the config files for using BC3 as a diff tool / merge tool; see the group discussions at <http://groups.google.com/group/mercurial_general>, although I'm overlooking which posting has the BC3 setup.


            Also, a good overview in web-book form is at <http://hgbook.red-bean.com/read/index.html>
            thanks to Brian O'Sullivan. It does not address the Tortoise GUI but that should be easy to pick up from the Tortoise help files and web site.

            Some number of open-source projects have converted from SVN to Mercurial; Mercurial extensions also support "cloning" an SVN repository if you have to work with someone else's "repo".

            (I'm currently switching from TortoiseSVN to TortoiseHG, partly because a project was looking at using Kiln, which runs on Mercurial, and partly because I was faced with having to figure out how to move around a TortoiseSVN NTFS repository, which looks like a messy thing to do. I find the Hg approach very interesting, so I'm busy reading the forum and trying to absorb all its advice.)


            /dps

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            • #7
              Originally posted by snidely.too View Post
              The TortoiseHG people have published the config files for using BC3 as a diff tool / merge tool; see the group discussions at <http://groups.google.com/group/mercurial_general>, although I'm overlooking which posting has the BC3 setup.
              See http://groups.google.com/group/mercu...f94b16227005f# for more info.

              /dps

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