Bye Source Safe, Hello Subversion!

April 19, 2005

I made a few big changes to our source code repository over the weekend. First, I converted our ASP.Net web projects into Class Library projects. This gave me a chance to clear out some of the cruft that had accumulated over time. Also, the projects load up faster in Visual Studio. Next, I migrated from Visual Source Safe to Subversion. This was a more controversial change, since Visual Studio does not natively support Subversion. Despite being tightly integrated, I could not stand its Lock/Modify/Unlock model. I much prefer the Copy/Modify/Merge model common to other source control tools, such as Subversion, CVS, and Vault. Vault seems like an excellent choice. It has great features, it's designed to run on the same ASP.Net/SQL Server platform, and it's designed to be a drop-in replacement for Visual Source Safe. However, Subversion has an excellent client called TortoiseSVN. TortoiseSVN isn't a separate program or plugin to your development tools, it's a generic plugin for Windows Explorer. Now, you can use source control in all facets of your work, not just source code. For instance, it can be used to keep documents on multiple desktops in sync. This is a very powerful concept that most people don't even know about.