typodupeerror

JsD
• #### Re:Subversion... (Score:2)

My problem with svn as opposed to cvs is that sometimes I want to have per-file revision tracking. For instance, my directory full of miscellaneous documents is such a place. I do not care what the relative state of the documents is at any given point, because they have no interrelations whatsoever. Source code and independent documents are different animals, and I don't know of a revision control system that treats both of them the right way.
• #### Re:Subversion... (Score:5, Informative)

on Monday June 05, 2006 @07:18PM (#15476388) Homepage Journal
After several years of working with SourceSafe and it's truly braindead way of dealing with atomic commits and binary files (not to mention the massive data loss problems we had with it) my office switched to SVN for EVRYTHING. All employees use it for everything, from notes on ideas in Notepad or BBEdit or pico, to massive software projects with hundreds of files and over a million lines of code. Using TortiseSVN to put it into the windows desktop shell, it's nearly transparent, and it allows atomic commits to work intelligently, making the engineers who work with programs that have multiple files (hardware in myb case, a half dozen files for each PCB design, it works even better for revision control for the software guys), which has allowed us to recover a really insane amount of time we'd been handing over to M\$SS for maintainance and babysitting. Additionally, the (automagically compressed) repository size for 11 hardware guys and 13 software guys with a year's worth of code and binaries (2M lines and hundreds of MBs, local, respectiively) is a paltry 180MB. That's with upwards of 20 commits on everyone's data every day. I admit, I sound like I drank the SVN kool-aid, and I'm OK with that. The next step is to install it at home and use it to back up /home, /documents and /music on my various and sundry computers (seperate server, weekly media swap, etc).

I love it that much, and you can too!
• #### Re:Subversion... (Score:2)

I've just started to use trac [edgewall.com], from edgewall software. It's open source, easy to administer, and has an interface direct to a subversion backend.

In summary, it has the following features:

• Wiki for documentation/specifications/knowledge base. The wiki is extremely easy to use, but there is a bit of labour involved in importing a whole stack of word documents;
• Subversion interface. You can directly access your subversion repository (This implies that you will be using subversion for your source control). Su
• #### Question I ask my coworkers too (Score:2, Informative)

Someone replied: "Ever heard of Adobe Acrobat? That's what it's for." I'd like to say they missed the point of the question, which isn't just edits to a document. What I think the poster, and myself, are searching for is a web-based document server that tracks who's working on what, when. So if I decide I'm going to work on the Abstract of a paper, I go online, download it, and work on it. Let Word or whatever track my exact edits.

When another user decides to edit it, they'll see that it's "checked out
• #### Re:Question I ask my coworkers too (Score:2, Informative)

by Anonymous Coward
SugarCRM's document feature does exactly that (web-based check-in/check-out). Plus, it's open source (yay) and does a bunch of other stuff, which you may or may not need (I believe you can just turn off other modules/functions that you don't need so that they don't bother you).

http://www.sugarcrm.com/ [sugarcrm.com]
• #### Re:Question I ask my coworkers too (Score:2, Informative)

Quite right - Submitter is not looking for a word processing tool, necessarily. Just something that allows you to fall back to an earlier revision if necessary, and maintain accountability for changes. Subversion is really rather robust in this respect. You can branch off toward infinite if you'd like.

In a nutshell: You set up the central repository, and then everyone who might work on a file maps a directory to this trunk. Whenever you make a change to a document, you check that in to the central Subve

• #### Sharepoint has revisioning (Score:2, Informative)

The poster says they're using Sharepoint. It already has the capability to "check out" a file instead of just opening and saving it. Click the down-arrow next to the document name and select "check out". The document list will then update to show that you've got the document checked out. When you've edited and saved the document, do the same and select "check in".

Doing this keeps previous versions of the document. If you just open, edit & save, then you're just updating the current version of the docume
• #### All-encompassing tools (Score:4, Informative)

<{ten.nnilksam} {ta} {gro.todhsals}> on Monday June 05, 2006 @05:21PM (#15475538)

While I haven't managed to get them integrated into the workflow yet (working on it), I find tools such as Trac [edgewall.com] extremely interresting and full of potential: Trac integrates a wiki (for base documentation) with a bugtracker (bugzilla-like) and a Subversion repository while linking all of them together (you can use the SVN commit comments to link a commit to a bug, track them from the wiki, generate timelines, ...)

And important document should never ever be stored in proprietary binary formats: you can't decrypt them yourself, can't change bugs, can't do anything.

• #### Re:All-encompassing tools (Score:2)

Precision to my previous post: when I say that I haven't managed to get them integrated into the workflow, it's not in the technical sense of the term (installing Trac is fairly trivial) but in the hierarchy-related one, management isn't interrested in changing it's habbits or in seeing the dev teams change their habits.

• #### Non-binary formats (Score:2)

And important document should never ever be stored in proprietary binary formats: you can't decrypt them yourself, can't change bugs, can't do anything.

Amen to that. One of the nicest things about non-binary formats is the ability to difference versions without any special tools.

• #### Trac (Score:3, Informative)

on Monday June 05, 2006 @05:23PM (#15475558) Homepage
I myself like using trac which I believe is opensource and works off of a subversion tree. To my knowledge Subversion is meant to be a better solution then CVS for most items, and can be used on it's own.

On the other hand, my company uses Subversion and TortoiseSVN as a shell extension, edit files locally and simply commit them to the subversion repository. You can do all the blame, branching/tagging you need, but our company is likely much smaller then yours. Something to look at I guess.
• #### Re:Trac (Score:3, Interesting)

Since trace is just a frontend to a subversion repository, and tortoisesvn is a frontend to subversion (client) itself, using all 3 is perfectly acceptable - i do it all the time (for my windows development, anyways).

But I do agree, Trac is a great tool. Combination of wiki + ticket tracker + roadmap + svn browser. It's great because it's all integrated: you can make wiki posts that say "this will be done in milestone:1.2", tickets that say "Fixed in [265]" (revision), or svn commit messages saying "Fixed t
• #### Baby step #1: source control + existing docs (Score:5, Interesting)

<.gro.reldnasd. .ta. .reldnasd.> on Monday June 05, 2006 @05:28PM (#15475586) Homepage

It's pretty shocking to change everything (document format, writing environment, collaboration tools) all at once. Start with reasonable source control, the best bacon-saving device you can get. Have everyone check existing docs (Word, HTML, whatever) into source control; Even though diffs are meaningless for the binary formats, the other benefits (versioning, collaboration, remote storage, tags, platform independence) are huge. It's the quickest way to put an end to the madness of emailed .doc files and accidental deletions.

If you've got a lot of Windows users, go with Subversion [tigris.org] and get everyone to install the TortoiseSVN [tigris.org] shell extension, which offers the most natural GUI for new (and experienced!) users of version control.

Once everyone's comfortable with SVN, you can then start migrating to text-based document formats in which the source control diffs mean something (LaTeX, XML, reStructured, etc.)

• #### Trac and Subversion (Score:2, Redundant)

Trac [edgewall.com] is a powerful ticketing system that integrates well with Subversion [tigris.org], and is built around an easy to use Wiki. I would also recommend using TortoiseSVN [tigris.org] as a Windows client for both developers and non-developers.

on Monday June 05, 2006 @05:36PM (#15475645) Journal
I doubt I'll have much to add to the long list of people describing their experiences with various systems, but I'll pop out this meta-thought: Your developers and "functional analysts" probably have wildly varying needs, especially if the "functional analysts" use word-processing documents like Word. There's no crime in given each group of people a separate system.

Your devs probably ought to get subversion because the continuing cost of using a sub-optimal source management system adds up to staggering amounts pretty fast. Your other writers probably aren't continuously branching and merging and doing all the other things subversion allows (if nothing else that's really confusing for most documents), so they can use a simpler, easier-to-use system that doesn't incur continuous costs due to confusion and documents getting mangled or destroyed due to incorrect use of the system.

The right tool for the right job.

(Note: I'm not saying you should use multiple systems; I'm just saying it's not a crime, if they solve different problems. If you can get your writers to use SVN, especially if they use something with a decent plaintext representation that stands a chance in Hell of merging, hey, great, more power to you.)

Exactly.

What is the problem with keeping specs in Sharepoint and code in SVN?

Sharepoint is really good at tracking/merging Word docs. SNV is really good at tracking/merging text files. Why not use both?
• #### Ease of Inertia (Score:2)

Your big problem is your analysts. They want "ease of use" which is just another way of saying "we like working with a word processor". But the messy data maintained by a word processor is incompatible with your other goals. You need a well-structured format such as XML/Docbook. (I mention that specific format by way of example, though it's a good general-purpose solution if you want to maximize your reliance on off-the-shelf technology.) Imposing structure on your document base is moderately difficult, but
• #### Talk to End Users (LaTeX+subversion vs. Mediawiki) (Score:2)

I use subversion + LaTeX when I can. I use vim with latexsuite & usually use subversion in another term (although I have the subversion plugin for vim). Each individual product has already been suggested above, and they are powerful in combination.

That being said, it is not usable if you're dealing with end users who don't understand the tools. Your FAs sound like such users. The front ends for LaTeX have scared end users and/or write pretty bad LaTeX (which causes those who hack it in vim to screa
• #### Trac/Subversion + Knowledge Tree (Score:3, Informative)

<moiraNO@SPAMmodparlor.com> on Monday June 05, 2006 @05:50PM (#15475755)
Many have mentioned Trac/Subversion allready and I second that.
For managing Documents I would use Knowledge Tree [ktdms.com]. The open source version is cool and the professional edition adds in all the stuff managers like.
• #### Microsoft Word and Sharepoint (Score:4, Informative)

on Monday June 05, 2006 @05:58PM (#15475800)
Based on the requirements, you should be using Microsoft Word and Microsoft Sharepoint.

If those don't fill your needs, then either you've failed to describe your requirements or you've failed to correctly set up the software.
• #### Depends very much on your analysts (Score:5, Interesting)

on Monday June 05, 2006 @06:05PM (#15475853)
Where I work, developers use CVS exclusively. It has its quirks, and we've considered alternatives, but the combination of CVS+TortoiseCVS+Jalindi Igloo (Visual Studio integration)+Jira is unbelievebly hard to beat (Subversion doesn't have a reasonable SCC connector, and nothing else has anything that comes close to TortoiseCVS -- even TortoiseSVN is clunky and awkward by comparison. Oh, and CVS mergepoints work perfectly, unlike the nonexistent merge tracking capabilities of Subversion).

When our "functional analysts alike" guys wanted version control, we naturally gave them the tried-and-tested CVS, and gave them instruction on its use. It was a horrible failure. The update-edit-change-commit cycle which is so trivial to developers just didn't work. The people are not dumb - just have a different mindset. We had also tried a Wiki (MoinMoin, works well for devs), but its inability to search or version Excel files make it irrelevant.

Eventually, much to my dismay, we settled on Sharepoint. And while it's clunky, horrible, keeps only the 7 latest versions of any file, has no branching and is often inconsistent with error messages, them users are able to work with it without requiring assistance.

Do not confuse a feature list with applicability of a tool to the situation at hand which, it appears, might depend more on the people involved than anything else.
• #### SVN + WebDAV + Autoversioning (Score:5, Informative)

on Monday June 05, 2006 @06:20PM (#15475989)
http://svnbook.red-bean.com/nightly/en/svn.webdav. autoversioning.html [red-bean.com]

From the SVN Handbook:
"Because so many operating systems already have integrated WebDAV clients, the use case for this feature borders on fantastical: imagine an office of ordinary users running Microsoft Windows or Mac OS. Each user "mounts" the Subversion repository, which appears to be an ordinary network folder. They use the shared folder as they always do: open files, edit them, save them. Meanwhile, the server is automatically versioning everything. Any administrator (or knowledgeable user) can still use a Subversion client to search history and retrieve older versions of data."
• #### Mod Parent Up. Was Re:SVN + WebDAV + Autoversio... (Score:2)

That's exactly the setup I've put in place in a couple of places. Works brilliantly. Non-technical and recalcitrant users simply get another folder that they can drag-and-drop files to. MS-Word and many other tools understand WebDAV and will issue LOCK commands, so other users know when files are being worked on and won't conflict. There are the occasional "drop new copy over the top of updated one" type-errors, but that's the trade-off for ease-of-use. Pick what's more important to you.
• #### Re:SVN + WebDAV + Autoversioning (Score:3, Informative)

by Anonymous Coward
We tried this setup with a Linux/Apache server and WinXP clients. A word of caution: Windows XP WebDAV implementation is horribly, horribly broken especially if you want to have any resemblance of security. Couple of days and several dozen google searches later we were able to patch something together, but it was definitely not pretty.
• #### Go Wiki, go Confluence (Score:2)

I would strongly recommend going with a Wiki with access control. This will allow your team to collaborate on various documents. I highly recommend Confluence http://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence/ [atlassian.com] from Atlassian Software.

Everything your analysts like about the combo of Word and Sharepoint will be provided in an easy to use package, plus everything that the "geeks" want, need, and love will also be provided.

Yours,

Jordan
• #### Confluence fits your requirements (Score:3, Informative)

on Monday June 05, 2006 @06:44PM (#15476163)
We chose Confluence at my firm ( http://www.atlassian.com/ [atlassian.com] ). They are the same people who write Jira (the project management system on a bunch of open-source sites). It handled all of our requirements (very similar to yours) and it works really, really well. I don't work for the company, but I feel good talking-up people who make good products. My favorite features:
• WYSIWYG editor built in with an option to do wiki-markup if you want.
• Full versioning of the docs and attachments
• Full searchable indexing of both docs and attachments (even word, powerpoint, excel, and pdfs)
• Easily customizable permissions
• It works great with open-source databases (postgres in our case) and pay ones and its searching is very powerful
• You can be set-up and running in about 30 minutes
My favorite feature is that we don't have to mess with it at all. We set it up and both non-developers and developers get along with it well. I would chose it over Sharepoint or Notes in a heartbeat (both of which I used before and thought were a mess).
• #### Lucidoc (Score:3, Informative)

on Monday June 05, 2006 @06:58PM (#15476258) Homepage Journal
It sounds like you want something like Lucidoc [lucidoc.com]. It integrates with Word and even IE, and does what you seem to want, I believe. It's pretty seamless, and used in health care document systems. Have a look at it and see if it does what you want; it sure would be easier than convincing MS Word users to use cvs or svn. Disclaimer: I am neither a vendor nor a user of this stuff, but I know one of the developers.
• #### Telelogic's Doors (Score:2, Informative)

We use Telelogic's Doors [telelogic.com] It's good for large projects with multiple systems. It supports requirements tracability and revision history to the object (typically a paragraph). After you're done you can export it to MS Word and you can customize this process using a scripting language and Word templates. I work for a government contractor and the systems we develop include hardware and software efforts on multiple independent processors. It might be overkill for what you need.

Brian
• #### Go for Alienbrain (Score:2, Informative)

Having individuals on the team without a development background and/or the need for a decent UI and all the features you could ask for in a version control system, I'd urge you to get your hands on Alienbrain. It is stable, easily accessible for non-techies, industry-proven and still the market-leader in game dev. You could of course look into UIs for subversion etc. but I guess something along the lines of Alienbrain would be most feasible in your case. And for the rest set up a wiki.

• #### Twiki.org (Score:2)

Twiki.org [twiki.org] = powerful version controlled wiki, very easy to use. Check out the case studies and customer list [twiki.org]!
• #### text source for documents. (Score:2)

well, duh. if you want to version control your documents, maybe you should make them plain text and store them with your source code? ya think? that leaves you with html and LaTeX. where I work, we use noweb as a thin wrapper around LaTeX.
• #### Svnwiki, of course (Score:5, Interesting)

on Monday June 05, 2006 @07:51PM (#15476562) Homepage

I would suggest using svnwiki [freaks-unidos.net], a wiki system that stores its whole contents in a Subversion repository (Disclaimer: I am the main author of svnwiki). That allows you to use the usual svn commands (svn diff, svn log, svn update, etc.) to work with your wiki as well as using the web interface.

You can see an example wiki [bogowiki.org] (in spanish) and its associated svn repository [no-ip.info] (login as anonymous, password is the empty string; Slashdot seems to strip out this auth information from my URL) to get an idea of what the repository looks like.

These are examples of some of its features:

• #### Why branching for spec documents ! (Score:2)

This will only confuse them!

Unless your spec is hundreds of pages long, I dont see a need for branching

Do not overkill
• #### Word has this built in (Score:5, Informative)

on Monday June 05, 2006 @09:55PM (#15477100) Homepage
Alot of people don't realize it, but there is document versioning built into Word. If it's turned on, it will track changes, etc. by user. There is also pretty rich editing capabilities. Reviewers can mark up the doc with comments, etc... Adding sharepoint lets you distribute that process pretty well. Get an in-depth Word book and figure out how to do it in sharepoint/word.
• #### Re:Word has this built in (Score:4, Informative)

on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @08:44AM (#15478950)
While the in-built "track changes" is useful, it's not version control. You can't go back to the document as it was on Jan 1st 2006. Part of the reason for version control is to safeguard against corruption. "Track changes" doesn't do this.

I use the comments stuff heavilly myself though, very useful to mark and annotate work-in-progress.

• #### Subversion + Trac (Score:3, Insightful)

on Monday June 05, 2006 @10:07PM (#15477156)
I second all the Subversion [tigris.org] recommendations, and add to that the web-based Trac [edgewall.com] frontend. Trac incorporates a web-based interface to your SVN repository, along with authentication & access levels, wiki, and several project-management features (timeline tracking, milestone tracking, ticket system, etc.) Nice interface to SVN, though you should still install Tortoise on everyone's desktop for additional client functionality. Here's an interesting writeup on one sysadmin's use of SVN, Trac, and RapidSVN client [adminfoo.net].
• #### use subversion (Score:3, Insightful)

on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @02:17AM (#15477846) Homepage
The reason I'm recommending subversion is because I strongly believe that development artifacts should be kept as close to the source code as possible (so when you branch or tag these artifacts are part of the operation instead of out of date binary blobs on some network drive). Since we are talking about functional specifications here that means storing them in a source repository and as far as I can see subversion is the best option. It supports efficient storage of binary files; easy integration with windows explorer; easy esposure through an intranet or even over internet via ssh or https; integration with webdav etc.

Do not use cvs. Period. There are no use cases left where cvs is better than subversion. Even the tooling now is comparable or better for subversion (e.g. tortoisesvn is much nicer than tortoisecvs) so the legacy tooling excuse for using cvs is no longer valid.

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