In and amongst other things recently, I've been working on sorting out a replacement for Microsoft SourceSafe / nothing at all. I've done my research and I believe Subversion an excellent starting place for using version control and will probably keep most, if not all developers happy. If distributed (and GIT) turns out to be too much of an advantage to ignore - the fact that Subversion is such a mature and well used product, there will always be an upgrade path.
I'll try not to go into too much detail, as there are plenty of useful resources dotted around that you can find information from. However, before I go onto the directory layout of our repository, I feel I should mention the hardware and software layout of Subversion itself in our environment. Where I work, we are migrating from our historically used Classic ASP code to using C# in ASP.NET, though we have some systems using PHP too. I mention this because we want to be able to use Subversion to look after all code - not just one specific language.
Server Software: In my opinion, I believe you need both Subversion and Apache HTTP for an optimal setup. As we have an Active Directory server as well, it seemed like a good idea to use this rather than create further usernames and passwords for all our developers. For this, you can download and configure everything manually (after all, there is an excellent resource in the free eBook on Subversion) - but actually - you might as well just download the excellent VisualSVN Server. It takes almost all the hardwork out of creating the Subversion server. It's truely a brilliant piece of kit and if you are new to Subversion, I'd advise using this (or at least having a nosey at it and seeing how it does things - if you're that way inclined). It's possibly worth me mentioning that all these applications have the most agreeable price-tag of absolutely nothing at all. Woo!
Client Software: For this, every developer wanting to use Subversion must install TortoiseSVN. TortoiseSVN is a great explorer based client for Subversion that allows developers to perform standard (and advanced) commands from the safety of the right click context menus. This works for all languages and files, but I'd advise for anyone working in Visual Studio, that downloading and paying $50 for VisualSVN is money well spent. It doesn't require VisualSVN Server, but it gives you a way of utilising all the TortoiseSVN context menus from within Visual Studio, meaning you needn't worry about mulitple windows and all that. Just concentrate on your coding! Also, because you have installed VisualSVN (or Apache seperately) you can allow (authenticated) users to view the repository in their web browser of choice.
All this and we're almost up and running. But before we can continue, we need to sort out the structure. This is how I've suggested our team uses it:
svn / aspnet / libraries / trunk / branches / tags / project01 / trunk / branches / tags / project02 / trunk / branches / tags / users / amadiere / user02
- Every language has it's own repository. There is no need to bring multiple languages into one repository, especially when the amount of code for each language is sufficient to live in its own. I think there may be exceptions to this rule, but those can be taken on a case by case basis.
- Every language would have a 'libraries' directory (this is the equivalent to 'include' or whatever). Some things will obviously be used multiple times, so it makes sense to keep them in a central area, this is nothing new. With everything being in one repository however, it means moving something from Project01 to the libraries area will still keep all the history and version attached to it. This is a big plus from where I'm sitting and is why I've gone for this layout.
- Each library or project folder would have the standard 3 directories for trunks, branches and tags. There is plenty of advise and advantages for this structure, most detailed in the SVN book. A project may involve further sub-project folders if it was relevant, before creating the trunk, branches, tags folder structure. However, depending on the nature of the project, it might be better to create multiple top level projects than sub projects with 'different trunks'.
- Each user would have their own area (without the 3 standard directory structure). There isn't a need here for the trunks, branches and tags because this area shouldn't be used for projects. This area should be used by developers to simply 'Sandbox' or test small bits of code etc. There isn't an end product to need to branch. In the end, this code is the developers to work with - so I guess if they wanted the branches, then they can go for it.
I think with this format, we've got a good standing point for where we want to be going with Version Control and the ASP.NET environment. I'm confident, but until we really start using it in anger - we'll never know! But the idea is then, when I want to develop something, I open Visual Studio and a blank solution. I then add the projects that I'll need (e.g. Project01, Libraries and Amadiere) and off I go - I have everything open I need and they are all going to their appropriate places in Subversion! Genius!