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Why The Github's Really Are Better Than The cvsdude's

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There are a lot of hosted source control providers out there. Github, bitbucket, cvsdude, ProjectLocker, Codaset, SourceForge, Codeplex, Google Code, Beanstalk, and I could probably keep going until all 5 of you stopped reading my blog.

Personally, I'm a Github kind of guy. From the looks of things, I would also enjoy Codaset or bitbucket.

We use cvsdude at CodeBaby, and while it gets the job done, it's not something I'd use otherwise.

First, the rational for the use of cvsdude at work:

  • It has an acceptable SLA (meh)
  • It talks SVN so it can host the older projects we have (Me personally, who cares about svn, but I can appreciate this)
  • It has trac built-in so the old projects can simply import their trac data (See above)

There might have been more, but I sort of stopped caring since whining about it wasn't going to solve anything.

I made the argument for Github, but that was shot down for a number of reasons:

  • Lack of trac (But they integrate with everything else, and have built-in issue tracking)
  • Lack of SVN (I hate SVN, so this is a win for me)
  • No SLA the bosses were happy with (as above, meh)
  • Git (I love git, and we are moving to OS X, but everybody at work seems to have a fear of git. Plus everybody is on Windows machines except me)

So, whatever. It's not the end of the world for me; I just use git-svn, and I can at least pretend.

But that's not what I wanted to talk about…

It is my firm belief that Github and others like it are still just better than many other hosted source control providers, specifically those of the cvsdude kind.

So I should probably explain, as there are some fundamental differences between between Github and cvsdude.


I am speaking from experience with Github and cvsdude. From what I have seen, other providers (such as those I listed in the beginning) fall into either one of the groups I will describe, however I have no actual experience with any of them unless noted, so I am being somewhat speculative. Take this with a grain of salt, and comment if you feel I've made mistakes.

Here goes: Github is new school, cvsdude is old school. Github is on board with new technology and ideas like git, web hooks, effective use of ajax, and social software. They built everything (by everything I mean the user facing stuff) from scratch, and did it all themselves. On the other hand, cvsdude took existing, free, off the shelf products, and hooked up a few things to make them play nice together, all controlled from an interface that is a great example of poorly used ajax techniques.

Github could have hooked up gitweb or cgit and redmine and called in a day. That's basically what cvsdude does: generic SVN server + trac + Bugzilla = profit. They are sysadmins. The Github guys are developers, writing software for developers, and it shows. When you are using cvsdude, you have to open a new windows to view the source (viewvc, yuck), open a new windows to track tickets and other things (trac, yawn), and yet another window for separate bug tracking (Bugzilla, gross).

Github integrates everything because it's all unique to Github. They didn't glue pieces together, they built it. Github is software by developers, for today's developers, and cvsdude is just behind the times. The other providers like Github (bitbucket, Codaset) are in a similar boat. Custom stuff to make it stand out and rise above.

All your commits are belong to Github.

On a side note, I'm such a fanboy…

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