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Personal Source Control with Google Code & SVN

I’m reading The Pragmatic Programmer at the moment, and one thing they recommend is to always use source control, even for small prototypes and personal projects.  Now I’ve been using source control at work ever since I started coding, but I’ve never given serious thought to using it at home – I only have a single machine for a start.

But that’s not really an issue these days, as there are a number of Internet hosts that can act as your source control server – and this gives the additional advantage of being able to access your code wherever you can get on the ‘net.  And as well as being a good way of backing things up,  you also get a full revision history, which can be handy when things go pear-shaped!

Now, I don’t want to spend any actual money on this, but that’s not a problem as there are many open source options available – I didn’t look too hard here as I’ve already used Subversion (SVN) at a previous job and it has a big following, and is supported by most of the online hosts.  Same with the client, which is the part I had to install on my machine – TortoiseSVN integrates with Windows Explorer, is free, easy to use, and has all the functionality you’d expect.

TortoiseSVN in action

TortoiseSVN in action

So the main thing to do was chose a host.  Again, there are many free options – this site has an excellent comparison of the available options, including several free ones.  One of the main things you need to decide is whether you want your code to be open source or not, as several of them only host open source projects.  I’m happy enough with that, so after a little research online I went for Google Code, which has a lot of space, unlimited users, and some useful features.  Two minutes to create a Google account, then you can crate a new project by entering a few basic details, and you’re ready to rock & roll!

Creating a new project in Google Code

Creating a new project in Google Code

Once you’ve got TortoiseSVN installed and your Google Code project set up, you just need to upload your project – this blog has some useful tips that will get you up and running in a couple of minutes.  And that’s it!  In less than 10 minutes you can be up and running with a full source control solution, including online administration:

Google Code administration page

Google Code administration page

And if you want to get someone fixing your defects for you, all they need is an SVN client and you’ve got yourself a development team.  If I’d known it was that easy, I’d have done it years ago..

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