Saturday, June 13, 2009

Version Control for Dummies

Version Control is one of those things that once you have it you wondered how you ever lived without it. A version control system (like CVS, Subversion, Perforce, etc.) runs on a server and holds all the versions of the files you put into it.

Daily Development with version control works like this:
First, you do an update of the files you're working on. This will get the latest version of each file from the server and copy it onto your local hard drive. Obviously, if you're the only developer you probably won't need to do it very often.
Then, when you come to a good stopping point (usually when you get something working or make a substantial change) you check-in the files to the server.
Now, let's say you're working on something and you screw something up, can't get the code to compile, etc. With a version control system in place, you can just revert the file back to the last good version.

I put all my firmware and software into the version control system and many of my PCB design files too. Oftentimes I'll put in other documents too if I'm working with multiple developers.

I use a hosted SVN solution from - they have plans starting at $3.95 per month, and they're very good. For client side, I use RapidSVN on the mac which isn't very good but I haven't found anything better yet, or TortoiseSVN in Windows which is a very nice shell extension.

1 comment:

  1. Can you explain the whole branch, tree thing?