Daniel Hoelbling-Inzko talks about programming

Source Control, Open Source and Microsoft

Posted by Daniel Hölbling on July 2, 2008

Something hit me today when I went into the "Team Synchronization Perspective" in Eclipse/Subclipse while trying to merge some changes a colleague made with my repository:

Visual Studio 2008 doesn't sport ANY source control of ANY kind that's for free!

If this isn't true I'm eager to hear about it.
But I only know about Visual Studio Team System, and that's not free:

Typically, customers purchase an MSDN Premium subscription when licensing the Team Editions and Team Suite, which provides Software Assurance that entitles users to product updates over the life of the subscription. This includes Team Foundation Server Workgroup Edition, development licenses of many Microsoft Windows versions, Visual Foxpro 9, Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Microsoft Office, development licenses of many server-side offerings, SDKs and DDKs, a large amount of documentation, and more. The Team Edition and Team Suite products can not be purchased without an MSDN Premium subscription.

Last time I checked, MSDN Premium costs $2,499 and additional $1,999 every following year.

I also used Visual Source Safe before (VSS 2005), and it was a huge pain in the ass trying to work with it due to the "one-guy-check-out" policy it enforces. So if you need some field/method in another class to continue working on your class, you'll be running circles through the office trying to get others to check the file back in (resulting in half-broken check-ins etc).

So I wonder, with all that commitment Microsoft has been showing to supporting and promoting open source (CodePlex, CodeGallery), why in the hell do they keep all the tools that would support open source development away from their users? I think that even Visual Studio Express edition should at least come with decent support for source control inside the IDE that is actually able to connect to CodePlex! (There is a SVN bridge, a command line client and the suggestion to get the team edition of VS.).
So, bottom line my CodePlex source control experience has been "lacking", while I'm getting more and more fond of subversion combined with subclipse.

While I'm seeing subversion becoming more and more "standard" among open source projects (if not THE standard), I wonder why Microsoft is making it intentionally hard to work with Visual Studio on shared projects.

So, as I already hinted at in my post about ASP.NET Wiki, Microsoft seriously needs to get more consistent in their efforts. Either support OSS and developer collaboration, or don't. But don't try to do so badly. The way they try right now isn't really going anywhere.

Update: Btw, Eclipse just released a new version called ganymede that really rocks!

Update2: Apparently I didn't find this info last time I used Codeplex, but it looks like there is a way to integrate a Team System client into VS called Team Explore 2008. I'll be looking at this tomorrow.

Update3: Mark Phippard just pointed me at AnkhSVN for Visual Studio that seems to be a pretty decent SVN client integrated into Visual Studio. Thanks for this link.

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