Eclipse was the first “real” Java IDE I used and I’ve stuck with it for a while now. We migrated a project from CVS to Subversion a while back and, after a brief and highly unsuccessful fling with Subclipse (I’m sure it’s improved in the meantime, but I’ve never gotten around to trying it out again) I started using Subversive to provide Subversion support within Eclipse. Most of the basic things work but it has the following annoyances:

1. On my home machine, for some reason when I synchronize, it always asks for my username and password. Actually it doesn’t so much ask, seeing as the fields are already filled in and I just have to click “ok”, but it always presents the dialog.

2. On my work machine, on the other hand, it doesn’t do that. What it does instead is ask for the proxy password, despite the fact that I have entered the proxy password in the Eclipse preferences. Annoyingly, it asks for the password again from time to time as I do commits, synchronizes, whatever.

3. A whole lot of corner cases seem to be broken, especially with regards to tagging. For instance if I choose a folder under trunk and “New -> tag” (which incidentally is a really awkward menu choice, why can’t “tag” be one of the top-level options?) and then give it a new tag name, it creates the tag and puts the contents of the folder under the tag, but not the folder itself. If I create the folder under the tag first, and supply that combined tag name and folder name as the tag name (i.e. “TAG_NAME/folder_name”), it then DOES put the folder underneath the folder with the same name that I’ve already created (TAG_NAME/folder_name/folder_name)! WTF! To get it to work I have to create the tag without creating the folder and then specify “TAG_NAME/folder_name” as the tag. It’s borked.

4. Some tag operations don’t automatically refresh the tree in the SVN repository browsing view, even though they should. (I can’t remember exactly which ones, but I did spent a lot of time today creating and removing tags while trying to solve the problem in [3]).

5. What the hell is the “ROOT” folder? It just seems to contain a copy of the repository underneath it. What’s the point?

6. What does “Add revision link” (in the context menu on a folder in the SVN repository browsing view) actually do?


One thought on “Subversive

  1. I whole-heartedly agree! I made the switch about a month ago and have had lots of issues with it so far. Tagging sucks and it’s a whole lot slower than CVS. Everytime I do a big merge, I get errors and dangling files. I have to restart Eclipse, etc. Maybe the Eclipse interface is bad but all I know is that CVS within Eclipse was way more robust. I rarely had any issues with it. The only advantage that I see so far is that I can actually tag something with spaces. CVS wouldn’t let me do that. Other than that, I wished our company stayed with CVS.

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