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  • Dreamweaver CS4 Subversion Integration

    Posted on May 7th, 2009 phpguru No comments

    I’ve been developing websites and online applications for over 10 years, but I’ve only been using Subversion for about 3 years within my web development projects. Although it may seem like an added inconvenience, especially for small websites, from my experience, making the commitment to learn to use a source code repository and version control system as a part of your normal development routine can be one of the smartest decisions you’ll ever make. Even if you have the best anti-virus software, a good back-up software, and back up your hard drive frequently, having your actual code and websites backed up and versioned, particularly on a different system than your workstation, can be a huge benefit for several reasons.

    First, you can look back over time and see exactly what you did at a glance. Second, if your project scales quickly, or you run out of time to finish on deadline and need to hire some programming help, having your work in a repository makes it a thousand times easier for multiple programmers to work on the same code without collisions — accidentally overwriting each other’s work.¬†Third, if catastrophe does strike, you can be back up and running much more quickly.

    I use Dreamweaver as my main IDE. On Windows, I’ve been using Tortoise, the graphical interface to Subversion repositories, along with Araxis Merge for comparing source code. On Mac OS X I use Dreamweaver, Terminal, svn-X, and the SCPlugin.

    So I have a fair amount of Subversion experience on both Mac and Windows. I was excited to learn about Dreamweaver CS4 having built in Subversion integration, because I figured I’d be able to save a step or two having Subversion repository support included natively within Dreaweaver CS4.

    So I set about setting up a repository and entered the information into Dreaweaver’s Site Manager dialog box. It was as simple as placing the right information in the Subversion server settings dialog box.

    I checked out the head, made a few changes and started poking around. Well, to my disappointment, I have to say nice try, Adobe, but not worth the time. What a bummer.

    This article on Adobe’s website proclaims that the Subversion features of Dreamweaver CS4

    will have a proufound impact on developers?

    Hardly! The feature is crippled. You’re much better off using Tortoise.

    You can’t do svn log. You can’t do diff (without Araxis merge or another diff merge tool outside of Dreamweaver.) You can’t do so many things… as compared with Terminal or even Tortoise, it was a big let down.

    Dreaweaver CS4 does keep track of new, modified and deleted files with ease. You don’t even need to explicitly tell Dreamweaver to add files to the repository — all files are added by default (in many cases, that can work against you). I couldn’t find a way to put in any svn:ignore properties, so having to click on and not commit _notes folders with dwsync.xml data is a giant waste of time and a deal breaker for me. I guess it doesn’t hurt having _notes/dwsync.xml in every folder in my repository, but it’s just unfortuate that some of the basic features are left out.

    Oh well, thankfully I never uninstalled Tortoise.

    Which brings up one final annoyance — a Dreamweaver working copy is not modifiable by Tortoise and if you checked out with Tortoise, you can’t commit with Dreaweaver.

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