[svnbook commit] r2882 - trunk/src/en/book

sussman noreply at red-bean.com
Sat Nov 17 09:13:11 CST 2007

Author: sussman
Date: Sat Nov 17 09:13:09 2007
New Revision: 2882

Finish trac issue #54.

* src/en/book/ch00-preface.xml
  (Is Subversion the Right Tool?):  new section.


Modified: trunk/src/en/book/ch00-preface.xml
--- trunk/src/en/book/ch00-preface.xml	(original)
+++ trunk/src/en/book/ch00-preface.xml	Sat Nov 17 09:13:09 2007
@@ -629,6 +629,56 @@
       grocery shopping lists to digital video mixdowns and
+    <!-- =============================================================== -->
+    <sect2 id="svn.intro.righttool">
+      <title>Is Subversion the Right Tool?</title>
+      <para>If you're a user or system administrator pondering the use
+        of Subversion, the first question you should ask yourself is:
+        "is this the right tool for the job?"  Subversion is a
+        fantastic hammer, but be careful not to view every problem as
+        a nail.</para>
+      <para>If you need to archive old versions of files and
+        directories, possibly resurrect them, or examine logs of how
+        they've changed over time, then Subversion is exactly the
+        right tool for you.  If you need to collaborate with people on
+        documents (usually over a network) and keep track of who made
+        which changes, then Subversion is also appropriate.  This is
+        why Subversion is so often used in software development
+        environments — programming is an inherently social
+        activity, and Subversion makes it easy to collaborate with
+        other programmers.  Of course, there's a cost to using
+        Subversion as well: administrative overhead.  You'll need to
+        manage a data-repository to store the information and all its
+        history, and be diligent about backing it up.  When working
+        with the data on a daily basis, you won't be able to copy,
+        move, rename, or delete files the way you usually do.
+        Instead, you'll have to do all of those things through
+        Subversion.</para>
+      <para>Assuming you're fine with the extra workflow, you should
+        still make sure you're not using Subversion to solve a problem
+        that other tools solve better.  For example, because
+        Subversion replicates data to all the collaborators involved,
+        a common misuse is to treat it as a generic distribution
+        system.  People will sometimes use Subversion to distribute
+        huge collections of photos, digital music, or software
+        packages.  The problem is, this sort of data usually isn't
+        changing at all.  The collection itself grows over time, but
+        the individual files within the collection aren't being
+        changed.  In this case, using Subversion is
+        "overkill".<footnote><para>Or as a friend puts
+        it, <quote>swatting a fly with a
+        Buick.</quote></para></footnote> There are simpler tools that
+        efficiently replicate data <emphasis>without</emphasis> the
+        overhead of tracking changes, such as <command>rsync</command>
+        or <command>unison</command>.</para>
+    </sect2>
     <!-- =============================================================== -->
     <sect2 id="svn.intro.history">

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