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The long-discussed “Versions” for the Mac is now open for anyone to download, for free (for now). It’s pretty slick. It’s not as awesome as the hype built it up to be, but it’s definitely worth checking out.
Versions is an app that provides a strong GUI front-end for the “svn” (Subversion) command-line application. I, personally, prefer a GUI over command-line, but the benefits of Subversion were worth the hassle to me in my Cocoa development. We’ve discussed Subversion and its uses and benefits in quite a few places here on TAB before, so it’s nice to finally see an app like this come along.
Scott Stevenson had posted an earlier sneak peek of the app last week, and his comments area sparked a “war” of sorts amongst users of other version-control systems, saying that SVN is no longer “cool”.
John Gruber posted a quick ping yesterday, noting how nicely it works with Beanstalk, to provide a nice end-to-end solution for newbies.
Check out the Versions beta, and decide for yourself.
Update: Be careful about using it with any projects for which you already have version control activated in Xcode… the two apps, for some reason, don’t work in sync. I’m not entirely sure what the problem is, but Xcode will give errors for projects that Versions touches, and isn’t able to sync until you re-checkout the project (using Xcode). Versions also runs every single file, and freaks out when my PPC machine makes an extra or different build file than my Intel machine. Again, I don’t know what it’s doing – only that I’m going to keep using only Xcode for this project until the authors of Versions work to integrate the two programs better.
I also had a problem where my Versioning provider had an out-of-date ssl certificate, and it was throwing an error that required response, but I wasn’t given any way to respond in Versions, so I had to load up the command-line svn first to get around it. Versions needs a way to present possible options/answers to the cryptic errors that svn throws.