The Perfect Storm of Source Control

I've been holding off upgrading my Subversion repository and tools, until last week or so when the "perfect storm" of source control arrived: VisualSVN Server with Subversion 1.5, TortoiseSVN 1.5, and the last piece of the puzzle, AnkhSVN 2.0.

If, like me, you've been waiting for the right time to upgrade your Subversion source control to the newly-released 1.5, then the free VisualSVN Server is one official (and dead-simple) way to do this as CodeBetter's James Kovacs recently noted. My older 1.3 repository was upgraded painlessly using VisualSVN Server, although I could have also called svnadmin upgrade from a command line as per this advice.

To Watch Out For: One point of confusion for me was the fact that I was running SvnService, installed with "Subversion 1 Click Setup" years ago, which still used the old Subversion binaries. I stopped the service, removed it and then renamed the old "Subversion" folder so that I could use the 1.5 binaries shipped with VisualSVN Server. VisualSVN Server doesn't add the path to the Subversion binaries to your environment variables though - this is one step you might have to do manually.

TortoiseSVN is a Subversion front-end for Windows Explorer. I've used it for years and have just upgraded to the latest 1.5 version, after upgrading my repository. The new version offers better icons...and of course much more (!), in addition to the existing integrated spell-checking, diff and merge tool, icon overlays, support for all Subversion protocols, etc. My "better icons" comment, while tongue-in-cheek, is actually serious: files not under version control or that are ignored are marked with different icon overlays, which is very handy.

Although I'm happy with TortoiseSVN, I wanted to include AnkhSVN 2.0 in my toolkit for its Visual Studio integration. I've been reading the Subversion blog and noted that AnkhSVN 2.0 offers full integration with Visual Studio 2005 and 2008. It certainly worked as advertised for me, installing simply enough and working immediately without any mucking around.

Good luck with your own upgrade - you'll have to decide for yourself whether this latest "perfect storm" of synchronised releases is worth upgrading to. And may your experience with the latest Subversion version and associated tools be as good as mine!

Links: VisualSVN Server, TortoiseSVN, AnkhSVN

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