Subversion vs. Gnu Arch

I’ve spent some time today fighting with both Subversion and Gnu Arch. After the first few battles, it was decided that Subversion is not going to be used for the project, and that we’d go with Gnu Arch instead. There were three reasons for that.

  • Subversion is a pain to install. Especially on older machines. It requires a whole bunch of libraries and static compilation is not that easy. Gnu Arch is a charm to install.
  • Subversion does not keep owners/permissions information about files and directories. Gnu Arch does so.
  • Subversion does not support distributed development, which is practically a must in our case. Gnu Arch does so easily.

If you are confused about distributed development term above, here’s what I mean. We have bought a piece of software. We want to do some customizations and additional functionality development internally. Meanwhile, we also bought an upgrade plan, and it turned out that the vendor is releasing patches pretty often. Merging our internal development with vendor patches on a regular basis can be a real pain in the bottom, unless software version control system supports it natively. Gnu Arch does so and hence we’ll use it for the project.

But Gnu Arch is not perfect aswell. One of the things that we want to keep in the repository is the complete source package from the vendor. The source package consists of a couple of thousand files in few hundred directories. Files come in all variety – ZIP archives, GIF and PNG images, MS Word, PDF, RTF, and plain text documentation, PHP source code files, HTML pages, and so on, and so forth. Importing all these stuff into Gnu Arch repository turned out to be, well, slightly more difficult than it should have been.

For now, I’ll leave you on your own and give you some time to write a bash script for importing of such a source tree. You can post it in the comments. You have time until I will finish with my script some time tomorrow. I will post it here than.

Update: I decided to create a new post with the script.

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