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TOTW: Subversion & Subversion Clients for Mac

I did a little research a few months back about Subversion Clients for Mac. I ended up switching to GIT, but since I already had this post mostly finished, here's what I found. This is going to break a little from the traditional TOTW format since it's more of a sampling of a lot of different tools. I've already posted about two of these before...

What it is:
Subversion is a semi-modern version control system. As I said, Git is quickly replacing it as the "next big thing". But if you are going to do version control, and you're not doing Git, you should at least consider Subversion (and I'd stay away from CVS, it's old and borked). It allows you to "save states" of your program. So, instead of "save as" > "myProject1", then "save as" > "myProject1working" and then "myProject1tryNewThing" etc, you would just have one copy of your project/file that you "commit" to your version control. Each commit lives as it's own snapshot so that if you need to go back to another version, you just browse your history and restore that version. You can even "diff" your current version with any other older version to see what you changed if you're trying to figure out how you broke something.

When you need it:
Anytime you do any software project at all, big or small, I'd say you need version control. But here's the bullet list:

Working on a software project:

  • In a group
  • By yourself on one machine
  • By yourself across multiple machines
  • Working on an open source project to help distribute the source code
  • Joining an open source project (if they don't have version control, they aren't worth joining, unless you are joining to set them up with version control 😉 )

There's a few options out there, but no clear winner. On Windows, TortoiseSVN seems to be the clear winner, and is a great tool. Nothing stands out this way on Mac. At least nothing free. So here you'll find a list of several Subversion clients for Mac. My favorite as of this writing is Versions, but it costs $60 (there's a free 30 day trial). I recommend setting up a subversion server (either on your local machine, or corsair) and using it. Any job worth having is going to require you to use a version control system, so it's best you become familiar with one now.

Here's a question on StackOverflow discussing these plugins if you're interested in learning a little more.

Using Subversion from command line

Martin Ott's Binaries
Free Subversion Book


Versions provides a pleasant way to work with Subversion on your Mac. Whether you're a hardcore Subversion user or new to version control systems, Versions will help streamline your workflow. Versions is here now, so say hello to the fresh new look of your repository and start saying less to that command-line interface. Download the free demo to take it for a spin.


SCPlugin Download


ZigVersion is an easy to use interface for Subversion, a popular open source version control system. Instead of simply reproducing the command line concepts as a graphical interface, we looked at the typical workflows of professional programmers and designed an interface around them.

Comments (4) Trackbacks (0)
  1. You forgot a lot more SVN clients for the Mac, for example smartSVN and syncroSVN.

  2. Thanks for the heads-up! I’m semi-new to the Mac, and these are the ones I ended up looking at when trying to get Subversion working. Totally not a comprehensive list or study of SVN on Mac (which is why I linked to the stackoverflow question about it). This is merely meant to be a jumping off point for someone who hasn’t used SVN on a Mac, but was curious as to how to get started.

  3. Thanks for sharing this. I have tried SCPlugin but now using rapdsvn on my daily job.

  4. @Gede: “I have tried SCPlugin but now using rapdsvn on my daily job.” Okay, bro, whatever floats your boat – and whatever you mean by “on my daily job” I think you just mean to say “at work”, but go ahead and express this simple concept like a complete molester, man. Seriously, might as well make it “during my daily fap”.

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