The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Wednesday, Debtember 31, 2003

This version, that version, the-other version

I've thought a lot about “what went wrong” with svn (and take it as axiomatic, on this list, that something went wrong) for two reasons: (1) like Bob, I really tried to like svn; (2) as I started to think about “what went wrong”—it seemed like what went wrong was a bunch of mistakes of exactly the sort that I am inclined towards myself and therefore have to actively resist: there, but for the grace of something, stand I.

Here's what I think went wrong. This is just my unscientific impression based on following news of the project over the years.

Via Ceejbot, diagnosing svn

Those that are used to source control are pretty much in agreement that CVS sucks. I myself don't really have an opinion about CVS as it does all that I want it for and was painless to install and get running. Mark can't stand CVS and has been singing the praises of Subversion for some time now. I myself have been a bit leary of Subversion, if only because it's not something I feel I need to use; Mark, on the other hand, is used to working on huge projects (he's used to ClearC ase) and feels he needs version control for what he does. For that, I have no problem.

But … Subversion isn't the easiest of packages to install. And Mark would be the first to agree with that. It took him several days of concerted effort to install a Subversion server, and even then, it pretty much requires a dedicated server of some hefty proportions to run. Even installing a client takes some work.

And the memory requirements (I've read that in some cases, over 300M of memory can be consumed) leave me wondering just what the heck Subversion does that requires such a hefty server configuration? I know I'm heading into a Dilbertesque Managerial mindset whereby what I do not understand must be trivial to implement, but still, the requirements for Subversion seem way excessive to me.

Now, I have hears some good things about arch; supposedly it handles everything Subversion does, isn't as bad as CVS and is easy to install. It seems pretty easy to me—one executable.

We'll see …

Tunnelling under FAU

Subject: Re: FAU Steam Tunnels?
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 11:56:51 +0000

Woohoo! We did it! We almost got caught too, check out the full report on the site:

or if you prefer, here's a direct link to that update:

… We saw pretty much the whole system with the exception of a few minor side branches that didn't really seem to go anywhere. There is in fact asbestos down there, so that kinda sucked, but most of it looked to be in good condition, so it's probably not a big deal if you take a trip or two down there without a respirator mask.

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