Use of svn in web application

Subversion manages files and directories, and the changes made to them, over time. This allows you to recover older versions of your data or examine the history of how your data changed. In this regard, many people think of a version control system as a sort of “time machine.”

Managing web applications in SVN is tricky for some reasons:

When using revision control, a programmer is always working on a ‘working copy’ of the project. In traditional software engineering, this copy is somewhere on the his machine, as it’s a stand-alone application. In web development, however, we’re talking about webspace. Should every developer have a PHP environment on his machine then? Shouldn’t all programmers work on the exact same server configuration? What about Windows and Mac users? Web Application Development India

This means the working copies should be best on one webserver, along with an SVN client. Thus, we need some interface (the most simple one being SSH) to access it. Maybe a rich web client would be even better.

The application needs to be deployed to a live webspace. This might happen quite often and should be as painless as possible.

Version Control Terminologies

Let us start by discussing some of the terms that we will be using in this tutorial.

Repository: A repository is the heart of any version control system. It is the central place where developers store all their work. Repository not only stores files but also the history. Repository is accessed over a network, acting as a server and version control tool acting as a client. Clients can connect to the repository, and then they can store/retrieve their changes to/from repository. By storing changes, a client makes these changes available to other people and by retrieving changes, a client takes other people’s changes as a working copy.

Trunk: The trunk is a directory where all the main development happens and is usually checked out by developers to work on the project.

Tags : The tags directory is used to store named snapshots of the project. Tag operation allows to give descriptive and memorable names to specific version in the repository.

Branches: Branch operation is used to create another line of development. It is useful when you want your development process to fork off into two different directions. For example, when you release version 5.0, you might want to create a branch so that development of 6.0 features can be kept separate from 5.0 bug-fixes.

Working copy: Working copy is a snapshot of the repository. The repository is shared by all the teams, but people do not modify it directly. Instead each developer checks out the working copy. The working copy is a private workplace where developers can do their work remaining isolated from the rest of the team.

Commit changes: Commit is a process of storing changes from private workplace to central server. After commit, changes are made available to all the team. Other developers can retrieve these changes by updating their working copy. Commit is an atomic operation. Either the whole commit succeeds or is rolled back. Users never see half finished commit.

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