The Rise of Subversion Control

By: Sam Miller
Subversion control is an unfamiliar concept to many computer users. However, in order to understand and use subversion, a person should have a firm grasp on the basic facts regarding version control.The emergence of the version control system became highly beneficial, especially for many companies that are having software development projects. In such undertakings, it is not uncommon to find many developers working on a common set of files over a certain period of time. In this kind of set-up, overlapping of changes would inevitably occur. This brought forth the need for a system that can monitor and track down the changing states of files over a given period and consolidate or merge all changes made by multiple developers. Version control systems work by storing the history of changes on a project or developmental undertaking over time. When a developer makes some changes on a project, these changes are stored or saved as revisions.There are various reasons why version control is important to any development project, regardless of its size. One, a reliable version control system is important to maintain the integrity of data.

The same will also help software companies have a kind of data backup, should some codes get lost. Second, a version control system also increases the productivity of developers by saving them from the hassles of manual work integration. Third, such a system inculcates in the developers a sense of accountability for their work. In the same way, employers and supervisors would be able to easily identify who is responsible for modifications made. Fourth, version control is also instrumental in development branching, the process by which new projects arise from current code bases. Lastly, this system helps in the distribution of work among multiple parties. Through version control, project development through distributed work become so much easier.For many years now, the Concurrent Versioning System (CVS), introduced by Dick Grune in 1986, had become hugely popular as the first version control system that was able to support concurrent multiple file development. Despite this, several loopholes in the system had recently become more evident, making it less ideal to use. The Subversion project was commenced in 2004 with the goal that this new system will ultimately replace CVS. Version 1.0 of the Subversion project was publicly released in February of 2004. As an open source software project, Subversion is hosted by an online community by the name of tigris.org. As its developers have widely promoted online, Subversion or SVN has many features that make it superior to other version control systems like Visual SourceSafe of Microsoft, Arch of GNU, and CVS.In terms of basic interface and command-line operations, there are various similarities between CVS and SVN. The latter, in particular, exhibits greater flexibility in the layout of repositories, as it keeps histories of revisions for files and directories across renames, moves, and copies. It likewise makes use of transactions every time the database is modified, making database corruption least likely. GenerallyFree Reprint Articles, it can be said that features of subversion control is an improvement of CVS’ shortcomings.

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