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Subverting stuff

Subversion logoI spent part of the day yesterday installing Subversion, the heir-apparent to Concurrent Versions System (CVS). After a couple of screwed-up installs, it went OK. We’re now running the svnserve executable on a Win2000 server, with WinXP clients. I haven’t tested things like the Eclipse plug-in Subclipse but will soon.

A lot of people seem to be seriously looking at the tool now. Here are my quick tips for getting the system up and running on Windoze:

  • Download the set-up installer from the Subversion site. I installed 1.0.5 yesterday, which fixes some security issues.
  • Run the installer, accepting the defaults. You will now have a load of stuff in /program files/subversion with all the executables in the bin directory.
  • You may need to install a Microsoft run-time file (msvp60.dll) if you’re proposing to run Subversion on Win2k — at least, I had to. The download for this can be found on the MSDN site here. Be sure to run the initial executable, and then the various files it results in. You may also have to edit your machine’s Path environment variable to point to the DLL location.
  • OK, the installation is done. Time to create a repository. Think about how you’re going to name / structure the repository, but don’t worry too much: moving directories etc. is a lot easier than in CVS. Create the folder structure on your hard disk, and then issue the following command via your favoured CLI:
    svnadmin create <PATH TO YOUR REPOSITORY>
  • Now you’re set. If you want to set up security for your repository, navigate to the conf sub-directory and edit the svnconf.conf file. I set anon-access to “none”, and auth-access to “write”, with some user names and passwords detailed in a separate config file in the conf directory. Works fine over the standard svn protocol.

Next up is to investigate the Apache / WebDAV integration. Like I say, Subclipse will be tested, but in the meantime I am using TortoiseSVN — with its excellent Win32 shell integration — as a Subversion client for now.

The nearest equivalent to TortoiseSVN on the Mac is the SCPlugin tool. This integrates Subversion with the Finder. Now, whilst commenting on Gus Mueller’s account of setting up Subversion in his Mac environment, I started to think out loud: how might one incorporate Subversion in Xcode (Xcode already has CVS integration)? Well, we have the Apple World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) coming up in less than two weeks, with a number of tracks on Xcode. I don’t think it’s beyond the realms of possibility that version 1.5 will go gold at the conference. This snippet from Think Secret hints heavily (my emphasis):

In release notes, Apple said that Xcode 1.5 will include updates to user interface, inspectors, building, code sense, CodeWarrior project importing, debugging, documentation, file editing, and source code management.

We shall have to wait and see!

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I’m a software architect / developer / general IT wrangler specialising in web, mobile web and middleware using things like node.js, Java, C#, PHP, HTML5 and more.

Best described as a simpleton, but kindly. You can read more here.

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