What is Subversion and CVS? What's it used for? Part 1 - the roundup ~ Ask The Admin

Thursday, July 05, 2007

What is Subversion and CVS? What's it used for? Part 1 - the roundup

Hey there kiddies,
If you work for any company with any decent in-house development department, you've probably heard the terms 'SVN', 'Subversion', or 'CVS' (not the pharmacy). SVN is short for Subversion which is a Concurrent Versions System, hence CVS. It's basically a system that tracks the changes in a variety of file types, from images to html to flash. What makes this system so universally accepted is, firstly, the fact that its completely open source. Secondly it's inherent efficiency lies in its ability to track only the changes, or deltas, in an instance of any given file, rather than just saving full file versions. It also gives you the power to roll back, merge, compare and completely control the work flow on a collaborative project down to the individual file level. It's also very powerful in a 1 person environment, as sometimes coders have a tendency of painting themselves into corners. If used properly SVN will allow you to greatly improve your code quality and workflow, allowing you to go home and spend time with your kids, rather than staying up al night wondering where you went wrong in the past 5 hours and 250 lines of code.

Part 1 of this blog is dedicated to reaching out to all the admins, designers and developers out there to tell us what kind of files you use Subversion for, so as to illustrate the flexibility and variety that this binary versioning system has to offer.
Read on to Part 2