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Subversion on Windows + Eclipse Howto: Part 1

There are a lot of Subversion/windows tutorials out there, but many of them are also outdated. Subversion is quite mature now, and there are several ways to use it for software development lifecycle.

The two most common questions I get about subversion are:
  • Can I have subversion manage source on a remote server if I develop over FTP? and

  • Do I have to run subversion on my local machine if I want to develop locally.

The short answers to these questions are: Yes, you can have subversion manage code that lives remotely, you just have to know how to do it. And No, you do not need to install and run the subversion software on your local machine if you don't want to.

The ideal setup is that your server runs Subversion to manage code on your remote server, and you simply use a client to connect to your repository for remote development. If you are connecting remotely and actually doing your development on a remote machine, thats where it gets a bit tricky. You will need access to the server and do critical commits, updates, etc. on the server. Other than that, you can remotely develop via FTP.

In Part 2, I will detail the installation process on Windows 2003 (using modern versions of subversion and tortoise SVN), step by step, so that you can get a Subversion server up and running, and connect to it remotely using Eclipse.

Subsequent parts to this will be examples of how to setup projects that are server-side development code versus client-side development code along with pros and cons of each.

If you have specific configuration requests, please post comments so I know what you want to see.

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