I have what I hope is not a unique situation…
…and I’m looking for suggestions.
I am looking for a better synchronization plugin for Eclipse than FileSync
I am looking for a distributed (preferably) version control system that will allow me and the other developers in my team the ability to work with local files and have that repository automatically upload changes and revision history to our development box
A combination of the two.
Most revision control applications I’ve tried are catered more to the compiled code workflow where you only check in when you have a compilable code base, and that makes sense to me. We, however, are working with Coldfusion pages on a remote development server which complicates the process of check-ins, quick updates and debugging. Now, I don’t necessarily want to have to check in every time I want to test code (because that would be a nightmare…) but it would be nice to have something that tracks changes throughout the day and logs those changes in a revision control automatically (Dev would state intention in dialog on opening the project?) while keeping the files on the development server in sync with all the programmer’s machines. It would be awesome if it tracked changes locally and did one auto check-in per day (at some scheduled time, preferably as a background process), but I’ve not seen anything like this.
Currently we are shoe-horned into using Serena PVCS (because they have free licenses mainly) and it’s not a very fast solution when we all work in different States, our development server is in a State that none of us work in, and the repository is in an even different State. (No control over this!) It normally takes Eclipse 10-15 minutes to synchronize ~500 files with the PVCS server and check-ins are “Eclipse-lockingly” slow. (ie: when checking in, forget using Eclipse for anything.)
I would like to have a workflow process that manages all our workfiles locally, synchronizes those changes to a remote development server and pulls down any changes that happen to be up there. I do not count on having any/many conflicting merges during this because we all work on different parts of the same site. However, it may happen.
I have played around with Bazaar, and this is what made me think about having a distributed revision system, but I’d like to have that auto-merge with the remote repository (the development server in this case) and I did not find a way to do that when local files were updated. I will have to admit I have not looked into Git or Mercurial much and was hoping that someone could share their experience with me on feature sets or solutions if one of these other options will work.
To give a back history, this came about when one of our developers started using FileSync in Eclipse and started overwriting all our changes because the Eclipse FileSync plugin is only one way… from the dev box to the server. Boss asked why we weren’t checking in all the time… we blame the speed… I get tasked to find a solution.
Also, a centralized solution like SVN was already turned down (because we have Serena and a crew of people that are supposed to manage this… but I’ve been waiting two days for even a response to an issue log I submitted concerning our lack of speed issue, so if we can self manage a solution thus distributed and why I looked at Bazaar that would be awesome.)
A DVCS like Git or Mercurial would definitely be a sensible choice, especially for:
- distributed development
- distributed repos (including one dedicated for those checks of yours)
That notion of dedicated repo is not a new one and has been used before (for local repo used for testing before pushing to a remote repo), but it can easily be adapted for the kind of automatic pushing you are looking for.
For a strong Eclipse integration, I would go with Git (even though EGit is not fully baked yet): all Eclipse projects (for the development of Eclipse) itself are or will be soon on git repo.
Eclipse is committed to replace its current native CVS integration with a complete native Git integration.