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From: Beman Dawes (bdawes_at_[hidden])
Date: 2005-02-05 12:35:06

I've spent several hours playing with the Subversion Boost repository that
Troy Straszheim was kind enough to set up. Here is my initial experience:

* The downloads and installation of WxWidgets, Subversion, and
RapidSVN went smoothly; everything worked right away the first try.

* The initial Boost checkout using RapidSVN worked right away the first
try. However, there doesn't seem to be any RapidSVN documentation, so if
you aren't already familiar with WinCVS or similar, you might have more

***** Serious Problem ***** The initial checkout seemed to be working my
DSL connection pretty hard, so I started Task Manager and monitored "bytes
received". By the time the checkout finished, over 800 megabytes had been
received! I tried a completely fresh CVS checkout for comparison; the
received byte count was 12.5 megabytes. CVS uses compression (although you
have to remember to turn it on); I couldn't find any mention of a
compression option in the SVN docs, and a search of RapidSVN menus didn't
turn up any way to turn on compression. We would need to solve this problem
since 800 megabyte checkouts aren't acceptable for dial-up users.

* Boost Subversion updates are much faster than CVS; with CVS it took over
12 minutes this morning, versus a bit more than one minute with

* Starting RapidSVN on the Boost SVN working copy is very slow; over 60
seconds if the machine has just been turned on. The disk is being worked
hard. 10 seconds if the cache is warm. For comparison, WinCVS starts in a
second or so, even on a cold disk cache.

* The Subversion revision numbering scheme is so different from CVS that it
will take quite a bit of reorientation (at least for me) to learn how to
use it. It is very counter-intuitive for me that the previous revision of a
file isn't 12345 if the current revision is 12346. I found myself
constantly having to run "log" to figure out what the previous revision
was. I often look at past revisions, so this is important to me. I suppose
there is some way to do this as easily as with CVS, but I haven't figured
that out yet.

* RapidSVN doesn't save location on exit, so every time you start it up you
have to navigate to wherever you want to be. It also crashed on me several
times. My sense is it is a nice piece of software, but also very immature
as yet.

* The branching and tagging approaches seem different; we would have to
work out new best practices before switching to SVN.


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