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This course is a gateway to learning software version control (SVC), process management, and collaboration techniques. Author Michael Lehman reviews the history of version control and demonstrates the fundamental concepts: check-in/checkout, forking, merging, commits, and distribution. The choice of an SVC system is critical to effectively managing and versioning the assets in a software development project (from source code, images, and compiled binaries to installation packages), so the course also surveys the solutions available. Michael examines Git, Perforce, Subversion, Mercurial, and Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS) in particular, describing the appropriate use, features, benefits, and optimal group size for each one.
All right. Let's roll up our sleeves and dig into Subversion. Subversion, as we mentioned earlier is a centralized Version Control system. This means there's one repository shared by multiple people if multiple people are working on a project. You can also use Subversion in a local installation, which is what we're going to do here, but that repository is not something which you can export like you can with Git and Mercurial. It's really a single repository that's used by you. And if you set up a server to be able to access that, other people could also access it.
There are both free and commercial options for subversion. As I said for free, you can download and install a local version, you can also use it with Microsoft's CodePlex website, which is free for open-source projects, and there's a 45-day free trial of a commercial version at codespaces.com. All these links as with all other links in the course are also going to be in the Links.rtf file inside the Exercise Files directory. So first up, let's install the local version of Subversion, which is abbreviated SVN on the command line, and I'll be calling it SVN from time to time throughout the rest of this chapter.
The Subversion install is a straightforward MSI-based installation. So let's fire it up. Now, usually where I install subversion is in the C:\svn directory, it makes it much easier rather than putting it in Program Files, because then you have a directory name with spaces, and if you're running on a 64-bit version of Windows, you end up with the space, parenthesis, x86, so it's easy to just to install it here in C:\svn. All right. So we've got Subversion installed.
Let's open up a command box and make sure that we've got all the paths and environment variables set correctly. So we type svn --version, and you should see something like this, and the most recent version as we recorded this course was 1.7.6. Now, it's possible if you have some applications open, that a reboot may be required, but in our case, everything was closed down, so we can proceed on. Once this installation is complete, there's one additional step.
All of the environment variables are set with one notable exception, SVN_EDITOR. If we look at our environment variables, we can see when we look in the esses, that particular environment variable is not set. This editor is invoked whenever a commit message is required, and you don't supply one on the command line. This is particularly useful when you want to do multi-line commit messages. To set this easily, you can say set SVN_EDITOR= Notepad, or whatever other editor you prefer to use, as long this is on your path, and if we type set again, we can see now that that environment variable is set.
If you want to set this permanently, come to the Start menu, right-click on Computer, select Properties, select Advanced system settings, select Environment Variables, and then click New in here and add it into your Environment Variables. Note that after you've done this, it doesn't actually set that environment variable for any existing open command prompts, so you have to close your command prompt and open it up again. For this course, we're simply going to use it, and we're setting it on the command line. That's the installation of Subversion. We've got our editor set.
Let's move on to start creating a repository and a project.
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