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Subversion - Just Do It

Yesterday evening there was a post on the CFEclipse mailing list. Someone was curious about how they could back up their CFEclipse projects and I responded "by using Subversion".

They replied:

It just seems like complicated overkill for a single developer

I see this all the time and it's frustrating because of all the tools I use Subversion is THE one I wish I had started using years ago. Yes it was confusing at first... What is an update? Commit? WHERE is my code? What is a 'repository'? But now I couldn't live without it.

Everything I do related to a project goes into Subversion:

  • Code
  • Ant build scripts
  • SQL scripts
  • ALL project documentation

Installing and getting started with Subversion is fairly easy. There is a Subversion book online, for free. There is a 'one-click' installer (for Windows) available. There are several great client utilities. Two of my favorite are Subclipse (great w/CFEclipse) and TortoiseSVN.

I recommend everyone download and check out the help file included with TortoiseSVN. It is IMO one of the best guides written for Subversion. In particular the "Basic Concepts" and "Daily Use Guide" sections are a great introduction to version control.

While I'm pushing Subversion here, if that doesn't work for you, there are lots of other version control solutions. Just use one. It doesn't matter if you are a solo developer or on a team. Version control will help make you a better developer.

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