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Hi, I think that the major contribution to CVS of march-hare is the server update. I am tempted after an evaluation am I doing (suggested to me from this topic) to buy smartCVS. No product can be good for everyone but I think that the bundle from march-hare is , as cleary explained by others, a glue of free products with little or no added value. The server instead adds value to CVS. In my opinion server could cost something eventually with less irritation (money speaking) from community. If you want to finance your server development by th mean of client sales, this is a good idea -but- build a good cvs atomic client which can have a sufficient commercial value, and we will buy it. smartCVS is 79 USD (about 60 euro for me) and it seems it deliver its value. Regards -- Fabio D'Alfonso 'Your Partner in Business' cell. +39.348.059.40.22 web: www.fabiodalfonso.com email: fabio.dalfonso at fabiodalfonso.com fax: +39.06.874.599.581 ---------------------------------------- From: Howard Ha <bluespire at gmail.com> Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2008 2:41 AM To: cvsnt users list <cvsnt at cvsnt.org cvsnt downloads at march-hare.com @CVSNT on Twitter CVSNT on Facebook> Subject: Re: [cvsnt] March-Hare message into my commit messages Just wanted to add some feedback and maybe ask a few questions. Keep in mind I'm thinking from the perspective of a small team of 4-10 people working with perhaps 20-25 cvsnt repositories. I accidentally only sent this to Tony so I am sending to the list now, with some edits to portions that don't across as I intended: "You make it sound like it's a bunch of free stuff thrown together. " In the 4+ years that I have been to the march hare site this is EXACTLY the impression I come away with when I read about the paid version of CVS Suite. 1) tortoise and wincvs are both free software, and the pages do not seem to go into any detail (especially with screenshots) explaining how the paid versions differ. Some of the features you promote look to be ALREADY present in the free versions :| (commit by bugid in tortoise). Integrating with Mantis can be done with the free software, I'm not sure why this is advertised as a paid feature? 2) Which leads to: you mention bug tracking but WinCVS doesn't support bugid natively (unless the paid version does?), and tortoisecvs supports bug id's in its free version. 3) the manual may be valuable, but there is no information that entices me to even want to read it for free, much less buy it. The description doesn't convince me or any of my teammates it would help save even 30minutes of work in our lifetime. There's just NOT ENOUGH information about what's inside to make it interesting. For example, I recently bought the excellent High Performance MySQL book published by O'reilly because on browsing it I know it definitely covers some solutions to some very important problems. I have no idea if any of the challenges that I have seen with cvsnt are covered by the book. Perhaps a rewrite of the marketing materials to cover specific topics that experienced users might care about. For instance, in the list that you provided in the materials it says "Fundamentals of CM, CVS Architecture, Designing your Solution, Setting up CVSNT Server, Server Administration, Command Line CVSNT, Troubleshooting, Administrative files, Installing Integrations and Client Connection and Configuration". Of that entire sentence the only thing that even remotely sounds interesting is Installing Integrations and I have no idea what that even really means. The only other thing that really intrigues me is "Detailed client workflows are described for WinCVS, TortoiseCVS, CVS Suite Studio and Release Manager" but the problem is I already had a very good workflow and the descriptions of CVS Suite Studio and Release Manager do NOT make me want to include them in my workflow. 4) "CVS Visual Studio .NET Integration" integration does nothing for our team. I feel like I'm considering paying for a product where a huge selling point has zero value for us. 5) Release Manager: I personally believe this is one of the most valuable tools that CVS Suite has, but I have no idea how good it is. The sparse description reads like a pamphlet written by Marketing specialists who have never used the thing before. It spends most of its verbiage on bragging about how good it is rather than actually telling us what it can do. Let ME decide how good it is by telling me the details of how it works. The only screenshot available shows a very limited screen which leaves the following questions unanswered: a) I see a schedule manager, but I see no indication of how to schedule to upload to specific servers? b) Does this tool even support SSH deployment to live servers using SSH keys? It seems to talk about FTP then throw in SSH and SSL only as afterthoughts c) How does this tool interact with multiple deployment servers? Does it have a "connection manager"? d) Does the tool have a "project manager" where it has saved settings for different projects? Each of my projects may be deployed to a different server or servers. Within each project can I deploy to a different set of servers? (Eg Project "Google" has a staging server and 10 production servers, I want to first deploy to staging, then deploy to production servers, can I set up the Release Manager to handle these two scenarios without having to continually entering server info, server passwords, etc?) e) The wording of the page seems to suggest this tool has to exist on the deployment site. Well that has me worried, all my servers are Unix based. Does this mean the tool is worthless for those of us running Unix servers? I thought it was a tool that runs from your local machine and pushes changes out to other servers. See how many unanswered questions there are in Release Manager alone? I'm a person who visits March Hare maybe 10 times a year to see if there's any updates to WinCVS and other tools and yet I come away each time unsure what the software even does and whether it even works for my team. Just look at the TINY and fuzzy picture at the top of the Release Manager page (http://www.march-hare.com/cvsnt/features/relmgr/)! 7) The "New Features" (http://www.march-hare.com/cvsnt/newfeatures/) page is very irritating for me and I suspect for longtime "lurkers" who are looking to see whether the new versions of CVS Suite are suitable for them. It has no indication of what is new and what is old. 90% of the text in there I thought I read in 2002! Look at the headings which are clearly not "new features" at all and are really features available for years: "Release Manager" "Audit" "Repository Browsing" "commit by bug number in tortoise" "Mergepoints" "multi sites" Maybe you should rewrite this entire page to ONLY talk about what's new in the latest release. Then include a "complete features" page that covers things that have been around forever, because right now when I see this page I feel like someone is trying to inflate the "new features" section to make it look like there are many new wonderful things when there are not. 7) The CVS Suite Studio to me seems like a completely superfluous piece of software. My first impression when I read about it was "I can already do all this stuff", yet the description makes it sound like it is a huge deal. "CVS Suite Studio will change the way you view CVS forever". Out of the features list I think anyone in my situation would not care about Open from Server without checkout, anonymous checkout, and even repository browsing. Browsing the repository has no usefulness in our workflow since all our developers have checked out copies of their working repositories and wincvs/tortoisecvs have free repository browsing tools built in. The ACL sounds interesting but I'm not sure if it works with a unix server. 8) There is an ironic problem here. Because I come away not understanding how useful the Release Manager is, and thinking the Suite Studio is not very useful, I don't feel there is value in the product. Then I'm told that the book alone is worth the price of admission, but it covers topics that are already DONE in our team. The topics that it covers that I'm interested in involve telling me how useful Release Manager and Suite Studio are to my workflow - this is information I need BEFORE I can even consider those two pieces of software are even worth using! My point in the above points is threefold: As an addendum, I wanted to list some very real problems that I would buy CVS Suite to solve if only I knew with confidence they were even addressed, and from reading all the materials over and have no idea if these topics are things that a paid version of CVS Suite will help me: 1) WinCVS is old and outdated. It doesn't support commit by bugid and it has no way of letting you override its default command parameters. Yet it is critical to our workflow because it has keyboard shortcuts and can filter the display of files by filename and also by status, including showing all files in all subdirectories which need commiting and then sorting them by date to see which ones were edited recently. (tortoiseCVS is joke compared to WinCVS when you add these two factors). Does the paid CVS Suite update WinCVS to support bugids? Including merge by BugID, commit by bugid, etc? 2) We don't need to know how to setup cvsnt, but a detailed workflow using WinCVS to handle complex branches might be nice, including scenarios where teams are working on HEAD and branches and where one or the two need to merge changes frequently. What about branching of branches and merging of branches? These topics are NOT advertised in the description of the manual, and yet they are critical to successful team development. Are they even covered in depth in the manual, and by indepth I mean case studies, actual examples, usage examples, illustrations, and how to do it with WinCVS/Tortoise? 3) An option for repositories if the administrator wishes to use svn style revisionid's where a commit of one file increments the revision id of all files in the repository. This feature alone is powerful enough that it is making us and many other teams like us consider switching to svn! Then take this to the next step and integrate this with things like Release Manager and bugid: allow us to assign bugids or tags to every file at once with the same revisionid. 4) When editing a changelog message make it also edit the Audit entry. I know you guys frown on the idea of editing a changelog message but sometimes it is very important. 5) Is it possible to tag revisions with bugids after they've been committed, just like with tags? If so is that method supported in the visual graphing tools of WinCVS in the paid version? (wincvs graphing tool lets you assign tags to any revision). 6) A truly visual and robust Release Manager that supports Unix production servers (ours are FreeBSD). Can we deploy straight from my Windows box to our Unix boxes and have it release a specific bugid or tag in one step? What about deploying all changes committed by a specific user in one step? Deploy all files changed on a specific date in one step? Anyway that's my feedback. I love cvsnt and appreciate all the work that has been put into it. But I I use and encourage people to use cvsnt because of only a few SMALL number of things, mostly: 1) mergepoints. This is critical IMO and svn's mergepoints sound very flakey while cvsnt has a very solid mergepoint support. 2) auditing: cvsnt has good auditing (but very poor auditing documentation. I assume because it's in the book). 3) Wincvs: the best change management UI that I've yet to come across. Every one always tells us to use tortoisesvn, but they overlook the very handy keyboard shortcuts and ability to filter file display in WinCVS. Unforunately WinCVS has NO support for any of the nice new things you are putting into cvsnt. If March Hare is telling a die hard old school WinCVS person to use TortoiseCVS to get some of the new features, then you make a critical mistake: tortoiseSVN is FAR SUPERIOR than tortoiseCVS. The things that I need solved are either not solved by CVS Suite or the fact that they are solved is not well advertised to users like us. All I see when I look at CVS Suite is a bunch of free tools and a couple of other tools whose usefulness I don't understand, plus a book whose contents may or may not cover topics we need to learn. Howard >> IMHO if CVSNT Pro offered a very good GUI which can take advantage of >> the advanced features - developed internally or licensed - the >> perceived value would increase a lot - company would have to buy one >> tool to get everything, like most commercial VCS offer. What's inside >> the box now, customized version of open-source projects, looks not >> enough, IMHO. >> >> > You *do* only have to buy one tool. CVS Suite contains everything you > need. > > You make it sound like it's a bunch of free stuff thrown together. > Nothing could be further from the truth. It contains extra features - > such as bug tracking and visual studio integration. The ebook is > worth the price alone IMO. > > Even the packaged apps are customised to work better with our system & > have more features that aren't in the free releases (we do contribute > changes back to the projects but some of it is too specific to cvsnt > to make it into any generic releases). > > Tony > _______________________________________________ > cvsnt mailing list > cvsnt at cvsnt.org cvsnt downloads at march-hare.com @CVSNT on Twitter CVSNT on Facebook > http://www.cvsnt.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/cvsnt https://www.march-hare.com/cvspro/en.asp#downcvs > > Upgrade to CVS Suite for more features and support: > http://march-hare.com/cvsnt/ > _______________________________________________ cvsnt mailing list cvsnt at cvsnt.org cvsnt downloads at march-hare.com @CVSNT on Twitter CVSNT on Facebook http://www.cvsnt.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/cvsnt https://www.march-hare.com/cvspro/en.asp#downcvs Upgrade to CVS Suite for more features and support: http://march-hare.com/cvsnt/