Version control: SVN, Tortoise, Collabnet & our SVN world

Please post all questions on Help+Manual 8 here

Moderators: Alexander Halser, Tim Green

Post Reply
Dave Gehman
Posts: 458
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:05 pm

Version control: SVN, Tortoise, Collabnet & our SVN world

Unread post by Dave Gehman » Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:58 pm

For various reasons, we have to use the latest SVN, 1.13.0. It's the repository right now for all of our company's software development work.

Because we can't downgrade SVN 1.9.2 or use Collabnet (because it requires a downgrade to SVN 1.11.1) -- what are our other options for version control?

Or can we also connect with our company's material via 1.11.1? We'll need access to EVERYthing. I don't know what changes from version to version of SVN, but if it's like most software, many of its changes are added to heighten security...

User avatar
Tim Green
Site Admin
Posts: 21467
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 9:11 am
Location: Bruehl, Germany
Contact:

Re: Version control: SVN, Tortoise, Collabnet & our SVN world

Unread post by Tim Green » Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:15 am

Hi Dave,

We're working on getting the Apache SVN runtimes for 32-bit included in our own distribution, but this requires very extensive testing before we can release it.

Generally, however, you should find that it works if only Tortoise and the Collabnet runtimes are matched. I.e. if you have Tortoise 1.11.1 and Collabnet 1.11.1 they should generally work with a 1.13.0 server. It is worth a try.
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

Private support:
Please do not email or PM me with private support requests -- post to the forum directly.

Dave Gehman
Posts: 458
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:05 pm

Re: Version control: SVN, Tortoise, Collabnet & our SVN world

Unread post by Dave Gehman » Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:55 am

Tim Green wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:15 am
Generally, however, you should find that it works if only Tortoise and the Collabnet runtimes are matched. I.e. if you have Tortoise 1.11.1 and Collabnet 1.11.1 they should generally work with a 1.13.0 server. It is worth a try.
I'll leave it up to our IT gurus. I'm meeting with them later today.

Minus SVN, do I have any options at all for version control of our H+M floating licenses? Visual SourceSafe appears to be out, since it's off the market. Team Foundation Servers appears to have been renamed "Azure DevOps Server." Its basic plan is $US 6/user/month but I don't know enough to know if the basic plan covers what we need with H+M...

As for trying 1.11, I can't unilaterally try something that might compromise our entire software development efforts (And I don't know what's involved in sequestering a separate SVN server for documentation.) I know that at some point in the future, the development team will be moving to git, but it's unclear when that will happen.

User avatar
Tim Green
Site Admin
Posts: 21467
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 9:11 am
Location: Bruehl, Germany
Contact:

Re: Version control: SVN, Tortoise, Collabnet & our SVN world

Unread post by Tim Green » Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:13 pm

Hi Dave,

I checked with our SVN developer and he says it's fine to use Collabnet 1.11.1 and Tortoise 1.11.1 along with SVN Server 1.13. It's only the first two that have to match. Apart from that you can also use ANY version control passively with Help+Manual uncompressed projects. (If it's SVN just turn off SVN support entirely in View > Program Options > Subversion.) Then each user must just do their updates and commits manually. Update manually before starting work to get the changes from other users, commit manually after work to merge your own work with the master copy.

All you really get from using integrated SVN support is syncing from within Help+Manual and the status icon overlays in the TOC. 8)
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

Private support:
Please do not email or PM me with private support requests -- post to the forum directly.

Dave Gehman
Posts: 458
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:05 pm

Re: Version control: SVN, Tortoise, Collabnet & our SVN world

Unread post by Dave Gehman » Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:33 pm

Tim Green wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:13 pm
All you really get from using integrated SVN support is syncing from within Help+Manual and the status icon overlays in the TOC. 8)
Thanks, Tim.

For us, the automated status icon control would be a definite plus.

"Syncing" = does this mean that H+M automatically reaches out to SVN, does automatic check out / check in / commit? (Apologies, I'm just learning the ropes around version control).

EDIT: whoops, wait - went to the Help file and see that it's not automatic, but the check in/check out capability is on right-click menus and overall File options. That's fine and useful -- it looks as though authors can check out individual topics, which would be great.

User avatar
Tim Green
Site Admin
Posts: 21467
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 9:11 am
Location: Bruehl, Germany
Contact:

Re: Version control: SVN, Tortoise, Collabnet & our SVN world

Unread post by Tim Green » Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:29 pm

Dave Gehman wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:33 pm
"Syncing" = does this mean that H+M automatically reaches out to SVN, does automatic check out / check in / commit? (Apologies, I'm just learning the ropes around version control).

Yes, when you're using the integrated support. It's always a combined update/commit when you do it from within Help+Manual, however. In SVN parlance the term "update" means getting the new changes from the server and adding them to your local working copy. "Commit" means adding your changes from your local working copy to the server.

In Tortoise SVN the term "check out" is normally used for getting the entire project from the server to create the working copy that you are going to work on locally from then onwards. You would only do that with Tortoise if you have SVN support in Help+Manual turned off. You can do that from within Help+Manual with the Version Control submenu in the File menu (Load SVN project and open it locally).
EDIT: whoops, wait - went to the Help file and see that it's not automatic, but the check in/check out capability is on right-click menus and overall File options. That's fine and useful -- it looks as though authors can check out individual topics, which would be great.
Caution! You were reading the chapter on the old Visual SourceSafe, which is completely different from a modern version control system. There is no checking in/out of individual topics with SVN or TFS because you always have the entire project on your local computer. So the entire thing is always "checked out". You work on it offline and merge your changes with the server version by doing a commit after working.

This approach is called "Copy - Modify - Merge" and it is the way that all modern version control systems work. Visual SourceSafe uses the old Lock - Modify - Unlock approach, which requires a constant online connection because when one user is working on a topic or any other file it is locked for all other users on the server. Copy-Modify-Merge systems like SVN and git have sophisticated conflict management systems that only cause conflicts when two users change the same sentences since both of their last commits. Then a conflict management page is displayed and you have to choose which version you want to keep for each conflicted block of text, "Mine" or "Theirs". Good communication in the team can generally eliminate such conflicts completely.
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

Private support:
Please do not email or PM me with private support requests -- post to the forum directly.

Dave Gehman
Posts: 458
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:05 pm

Re: Version control: SVN, Tortoise, Collabnet & our SVN world

Unread post by Dave Gehman » Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:43 pm

Thanks again, Tim - especially for the version control spoon-feeding. Eventually I'll get the hang of it...

Post Reply