[cvsnt] CVSNT and Subversion

Anderson, Allan aanderson at opentv.com
Wed Mar 22 01:37:18 GMT 2006

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Hi, folks. I've been asked by my employer to do a quick comparative
demonstration of Subversion and CVSNT. We're replacing an older CVS
installation, and have been evaluating both CVSNT and Subversion. I see that
both do much of what we're looking for, such as atomic commits, binary
deltas, and user authentication against our Windows Domain server. My
background is in Perforce, so I'm no expert in either CVSNT or Subversion.
As a result, I'm going to emphasize a few features of each, but I'd love to
hear if you folks think I'm missing something important.


To show off Subversion, I'm going to rename and relocate some directories
and show how the files retain their history. I'll also make some branches
and tags to compare speed, and then do some merges by changeset number and
by branch name. I'll point out the convenience of viewing by changeset in a
browser. If I have time, I'll look at some of the hook script possibilities.


I'll also demonstrate some weaknesses by clobbering some changes by
forgetfully merging changes more than once. Because other groups will also
need to convert to our choice of source control, I'll mention some of the
difficulties of converting a CVS repository and setting up svnserve or


To show off CVSNT, I'll start with showing how developers can keep using
their familiar WinCVS client. I'll do some merges and show how they're
tracked with mergepoints. I'll compare the ACL permissions to Subversion's
functional but, I think, lesser permissions control. I'll show them the
modules2 file (is there something like this for Subversion?)


Against CVSNT, I'll show the difficulty of moving and renaming files.
Changesets also seem more fragile under CVSNT; I'd love some insight around


Both pieces of software seem strong. I don't mean to start off an
interminable comparison war; I'd just like to figure out how to present both
options to developers.


Thanks in advance, folks.



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