Friday, April 01, 2005

Buggy Source Control

I think every developer agrees that source control is a necessity. Every good developer, at least.

Buggy source control is a huge headache, though. In my personal practice, I use a product from SourceGear called Vault(version 3.1). I use Vault because Eric Sink, one of SourceGear's owners, provides Vault free of charge to single developer shops.

At work, we use another of SourceGear's products, SourceOffSite. SourceOffSite is an interface to Microsoft's Visual SourceSafe, which many MS-centric shops use because it is included with MSDN.

Sourcesafe is buggy. SourceOffSite is buggy. Vault is not buggy.

When doing personal work, I never have to worry about my source control system screwing up and not binding a project correctly. I have never had to delete my entire local source tree and reload it from source control. In 7 weeks at my current job, I have had to start from scratch on my local machine three times.

Today, I am getting errors all over the place because someone created a solution in SourceOffSite where the solution file is below the project file in the repository. I have spent the last two hours trying to get Visual Studio and SourceOffSite to work with this project, which I am trying to add to another solution. Good luck with that. I ended up creating a seperate project, with the same files, and referencing the new project instead. How irritating.

Based on my experience with Vault and other SourceGear products, I would hazard a guess that the problem with SourceOffSite is that it is written against a buggy backend.

As soon as we get the current version of our product into production, I am going to push for a migration to SourceGear Vault. I wonder if Eric will give my company a price break, since we have already invested in SourceOffSite?

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