Graphical Subversion

2009 June 2 at 07:08 » Tagged as :netbeans, subversion, collaboration, python, c,

Trying out different graphical subversion clients the first one that I tested was rapidsvn. Seems like a pretty decent tool but it had one shortcoming - it will not allow me to enter an unversioned directory. If you are like me, when you go off on a tangent you probably create a few things in a directory that is not immediately added to the repository. If whatever experiment you are trying out , works out, that folder will be added but if it does not work out, you will probably forget about it. When cleaning up such content, you often need to inspect it first but if rapidsvn doesn't allow you to enter the directory, you need to do it on the command line or through another client.

KdeSVN on the other hand does let you work with a mix of files and directories that may or may not have been subversioned. It's user interface isn't as good looking as that of RapidSVN. The folder tree is displayed horizontally instead of being vertical as it should be. I might learn to live with that. It's not easy to figure out how to make branches or tags (you need to open the repository first), but once you do it's managable. By the way, Konqueror allows you to update and commit in a working copy but it does not have the full set of functionality. Besides, I am not use KDE at the moment.

Next I tried subcommaner. Unlike the other two clients, adding a new project takes several steps and at the last step, subcommander disappeared from my screen when i clicked on the 'Get url from working copy'. Yep, the software crashed. It did work fine when I copied and pasted the path that I got from subversion info, but then I realized that subcommander wasn't looking for the exact url for the trunk folder (it wanted the parent). In any case, source code is too important to be entrusted to a revision control system that seems to have a few teething problems. But subcommander is in beta and when the full version comes out the problems will hopefuly have disappeared. i certainly hope so because it has the best UI of the three.

So far all the clients that I have tried out can be installed easily with yum. Now I need to look beyond that. eSVN is the first one that I compiled from source, unfortunately it turned out to be a waste of time - both browse respository and browse working copy failed silently and didn't open the directory as it was supposed.

The next attempt was to install Workbench but in order to compile it, I had to install a few dependencies first (yum install wxPython pysvn ). And by jove this looks good the UI is slick and there are no show stopping bugs.  Looks like this is what I will be using from now on. It's repository management is weak but for that I would be able to use kdesvn. And of course for many day to day commits and updates I will still be using net beans anyway.

All this was done while I was still using Fedora 10. This post lay around in my drafts folder till now, so I can do the same again on Fedora 11.