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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Version Control Software

    I'm looking for recommendations for software that we can use to prevent our development team from accidentally overriding each others files.

    I know we can just use an SVN server, but are there any better options out there?

    Something that can integrate with Dreamweaver's FTP client would also be a big plus.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy
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    Yes, I'd look at either git or mercurial -- they are a bit more modern than SVN.

    Not sure what you mean by integrate with the FTP client, but I think that is a separate problem than SCM. Once you get SCM going right, you probably should ditch dreamweaver FTP and setup something that pulls directly from SCM.

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    SitePoint Wizard
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    Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. I'm just looking for the smoothest transition to this software for all parties (we have a handful of users already doing stuff, though they aren't used to source control software).

    I personally, as well as others, use Dreamweaver's upload-on-save feature which makes testing on a remote server much quicker. It'd be nice if we were still able to use that.

    I was looking at git. Has anyone ever used SourceOffSite? We use this already for a different area of development and the head of our IT department would like to keep it all on one server. Does it work well enough?

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    SitePoint Wizard
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    Also does anyone have any git graphical client recommendations?

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    Whoever is using sourcesafe in 2011 really should have read this a long time ago. I really wouldn't recommend it in any case for technical reasons. And in 2011 there really isn't a reason to pay anything other than hosting costs for source control -- the FOSS solutions are perhaps the bestest and most mature until you are building something on the scale of, say, windows.

    As for the dreamweaver FTP feature, I think any of these solutions would work with it. If it is actually testing on a remote test server (bad mojo, but that is another debate) then you probably want to save/test then commit to the repository once you are done.

    As for tools and such, if you are on windows I would probably shade towards mercurial over git. Main reason is that windows tooling is quite a bit better and more mature and features are on par in general. Hosting-wise, bitbucket private repos are a lot cheaper than github private repos. The $298 for the first license of that source-un-safe product could get you a 25 user private account over there and leave enough left over for a beer or three.

    If you are committed to git, at least on windows the tools are a bit ugly. Git for windows is your only realistic option and it is definitely a bit limited and a bit ugly. But it definitely works in most cases.

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    SitePoint Wizard
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    Thanks... (and you are preaching to the choir about SourceSafe, so thanks for the link).

  7. #7
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Agreed git is a good way to go and I like github, too.

    I wouldn't bother with a graphical interface - there is a good reason that the command line has persisted to this day. It's great for things like source control that requires extremely clear and crispy instructions rather than pretty pictures.

    If you invest a couple of hour in getting comfortable at the command line, it will be worth your while.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  8. #8
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy
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    No problem. And this is the link I was really looking for . . .

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I likely will use command line for most things (I spend half my day in putty, so they're no problem for me). However, we do have a couple of non-developers that will need to be able to change things as well (such as images), so we'll need a simple graphical editor for them to be able to replace files.

    Thanks for the other links as well. =)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by samanime View Post
    Also does anyone have any git graphical client recommendations?
    Why not TortoiseGit? It's not as polished and mature as TortoiseSVN but it gets the job done and can be perfect for non-developers who are scared of command line and need to perform some basic operations.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I've been looking at TortoiseGit, Git Extension, and SmartGit. All three look pretty decent. We're going to give Git Extension a go first, and if it doesn't have everything we want, look at the others.

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    SitePoint Addict dnordstrom's Avatar
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    Christian my fellow Content friend!

    So you've decided for Git and all now? Was considering if I should answer the thread or not, and mayhaps even write a blog post about it.
    Daniel Nordstrom. of. Nintera(ctive)
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  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I think we have. We haven't put it into play just yet, but it's looking like our best bet.

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    SitePoint Wizard
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    I think in most cases SVN is more than enough. Also, I used to hate using IBM's ClearCase until I worked w/ a team who actually used it correctly (Yes, I used ClearCase like SVN but apparently their philosophy is very different). As of now, I must say ClearCase is the most robust SCM but like I said 99% of the time SVN is good enough.

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    SitePoint Wizard
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    ClearCase. I haven't looked into that, I'll have to check it out. Do you mind elaborating on their philosophy a bit?

  16. #16
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    I'm a ClearCase admin and I would agree that it is, by far the most capable and feature rich source control system available. That said, it's usually overkill for all but the most complex, distributed, etc. projects.

    If you need help determining whether you need ClearCase I can probably help you with that. Keep in mind that CC is quite expensive and will require some real training and support to use it effectively.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Wow, just took a look at ClearCase. Yeah, I think that probably will be overkill (at this time). It's only going to have about 5 regular uses working on a handful of mostly small-scale projects.

    I will keep it in mind though if we do start to grow even further (the price isn't that prohibitive, but I don't want software that requires training at this point).

  18. #18
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Yea we almost exclusively use it on huge public sector projects, etc. Very big commitment.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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    SitePoint Addict dnordstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samanime View Post
    I think we have. We haven't put it into play just yet, but it's looking like our best bet.
    Good. I believe so too, so please go for it. If you need any assistance, just let me know.
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  20. #20
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy
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    I'd generally contend that in 2011 there isn't a reason to use a commercial SCM product in almost any case. Your project isn't going to be as complex, distributed or big as the linux kernel, which is precisely the set of requirements that begat git and hg.

    Well, other than being on huge public sector projects and needing some entity to throw under the bus when SCM fails.

  21. #21
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wwb_99 View Post
    I'd generally contend that in 2011 there isn't a reason to use a commercial SCM product in almost any case. Your project isn't going to be as complex, distributed or big as the linux kernel, which is precisely the set of requirements that begat git and hg.

    Well, other than being on huge public sector projects and needing some entity to throw under the bus when SCM fails.
    Well, I hear you on the 'needing some entity to throw under the bus' thing but there are plenty of projects that are much, much, much, much more complex than the linux kernel.

    Your average case intake and workflow for a public entity in the social services field is incredibly complex when you consider how many interfaces, rules, and oddball requirements are involved. Add into the mix things like security (i.e. keeping the code private and secure) like you see with defense projects and things get pretty crazy.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard
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    The problem is we have 5 developers working on various projects, possibly at the same time. We need some way to manage and track all of this and prevent loss of work from overridden files, etc.

    If it was just one developer (as it is now) we wouldn't need one (which is why we don't at this point). However, we're looking to bring on several more developers and I want a way to keep things nice and orderly, as well as allowing me to easily check the progress of each of these projects.

  23. #23
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    With only 5 developers you should be in good shape with basic source control i.e. git-github or subversion. If you have each developer commit to around 2 hours of training then put them all into a command line interface, you'll eliminate all sorts of fooling around with gui/clients and get right to the nitty gritty of the source control.

    Simple and effective, and free.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  24. #24
    SitePoint Wizard
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    The problem with command line is we have a few people that'll use it that are non-developers (graphic designers, etc that need to edit images). I think I'll probably stick with command line and I suspect our developers will as well. Probably use something simple like TortoiseGit for the others.

    Thanks for the help everyone.

  25. #25
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Having trained thousands of users on various source control systems (literally) I would urge you to reconsider that. The problem with command line is the 'fear of the command line' itself.

    In almost all cases, the use of the command line is so simple that armed with a 1-page reference sheet most designers and non-techies can handle it. Meanwhile, the gui implementations (which mostly just put a shell over the command line) cause more trouble then you can imagine, and aren't worth it.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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