Be Good Not Bad by Brian Warren

20 December 2007

Subversion is Almost Good Enough

I tread this fine line in my life. I’m just geeky enough to do lots of programming and live in that world a lot. But I’m just enough a designer to choose user experience over low-level pragmatism. This gets me in trouble sometimes and makes for some hard decisions.

I’ve been wanting to use Subversion for more of my digital bits and pieces these days. I use that a lot for projects I’m working on. It’s fantastic, especially when working in a team. I can’t imagine working without it.

The problem: it works only if you use it with text files or binary files. To be fair, pretty much any file you use in programming projects falls under one of these categories. If you want to use SVN for anything else, you’re pretty much out of luck.

This seems to be a growing problem as more and more programs are creating files that fall under the category of “packages”, which are folders that OS X treats a little differently. Anything iWork (Numbers, Pages, & Keynote) products, is a package. So are Garageband files, and even most actual applications themselves are packages, and therefore will break SVN.

SVN should either a) Get over itself and deal with packages in a way that’s not going to cause problems; or b) Never mind, I was going to write something here, but I like “a” better.

I can’t stand the idea of changing everything around just so I can use Subversion. Maybe If I was a just a bit more geeky and cared a little less about the other stuff. Hmm… Outlook not so good.

For a the other side of this argument, check out Alex’s post on the subject.