vcs

Properly configure git before using it

In order to tell git which editor to use for editing the commit messages one simply needs to properly configure git. To achieve this one can either navigate into the local directory of a git repository and call git config core.editor EDITOR where EDITOR is the name of the executable of the editor one wants to use. This solution only configures the editor for the current repository. If one wants to use the same editor for all repositories one needs to use the --global flag.

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Using Git DVCS (distributed version control system) and GitHub to effectively collaborate on an open-source software project

While collaboratively working together on an open-source project (which aims to provide a fresh web app framework in this concrete case) and moves at a fast pace it conseqeuntly turned out that using the standard approach of centralized VCS for it soon hit its limits. Therefore, we jointly decided in the community to switch to a decentralized one, namely Git. This DVCS was originally developed by Linus Torvalds for managing the development of the Linux kernel. Its main concept basically is that everybody has his/her own complete "clone" of the code repository. So there isn't a single centralized code repository as in the structure/architecture of Subversion, but a number of decentralized ones. As a consequence Git was also developed to have very powerful and convenient capabilities of merging branches of code repository clones. This feature which is also one of Git's biggest strengths shall be described and explained in more detail. Git's basic usage is mainly command line based and can especially in the beginning pose quite a steep learning curve on new users. So it should be given a short introduction to Git's main concepts and concrete usages as well. Another very nice companion to Git is the Git code repositories hosting site/service GitHub (github.com) which can make using Git simpler and furthermore improve collaborative development processes and tasks of a programming/development project. This shall also be presented and explained.

Setting up a Subversion repository and corresponding Trac app on a (Debian/Apache) server

So the basic problem here is how to best work together productively in a programming/development project and the question which are good tools providing capabilities to potentially support and improve this. One such tool is a version control systems (VCS) which basically helps to keep the code and especially its progress under (version) control in a code repository (transparently). A specific such VCS is Subversion (a.k.a. SVN). This is at the time one of the most popular and up-to-date systems of its kind (i.e., centralized VCS). Its basic slogan is "CVS done right" (which consequently can be seen as Subversion's indirect predecessor system). There are many tools available to work with Subversion from a client/user perspective like stand-alone client apps, integration in editors, e.g., via special plugins or also complete integration in a full-blown IDE (integrated development environment). Now, what's up to do is to actually setup a Subversion system on a server and to create a code repository for a programming/development project. In this case a Debian-based OS with an Apache Web server is chosen as infrastructure. Additionally a Trac app should be installed which among other things offers nice and convenient Web visualization of the code repository (and its progress) to users. When all this is in place users can take the benefits of using Subversion for version control of the code of the project.
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