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Version Control. What does version control mean?. A version control system is a software tool designed to help keep track of changes made to files A version control system tracks the history of your files A version control system helps you collaborate on changes

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what does version control mean
What does version control mean?
  • A version control system is a software tool designed to help keep track of changes made to files
  • A version control system tracks the historyof your files
  • A version control system helps you collaborate on changes
  • These two qualities make them really useful, as we\'ll see
  • Popular systems include Subversion, git, and Mercurial
  • They have their differences, but much in common too
keeping track of history
Keeping track of history
  • You\'re working on software to process experimental data for publication.
  • You find to your horror that a change you made yesterday has rendered all the values for a particular result gibberish. How do you get the previous day\'s code back?
  • It turns out the previous version is also broken! You must have broken it during the last fortnight, but you don\'t know when. How can you find out what went wrong?
  • Someone asks for a copy of the software used for that Institute of Scientists journal paper last May. It\'s changed a lot since then! What do you say?
collaborating on changes
Collaborating on changes
  • You\'re the only one working on your code, but you need to run it both on your laptop at home and the server in the lab...
  • How do you make sure the code is the same on both?
  • You\'re working on code or a paper with a colleague...
  • How do you find out when they change something?
  • You both make fixes in the same file. How do you merge them without risking losing work?
  • How can you find out which of you introduced a bug, and when?
version control helps with this
Version control helps with this
  • A version control system helps with all of those problems
  • You do have to work a bit:
  • You need to tell it which files you care about
  • You need to tell it when you\'ve changed something
  • If two people make conflicting changes, you have to resolve them
  • ... but it\'s much easier than trying to do this by hand
version control terminology
Version control terminology
  • A repository holds the complete history of your project: every version of every file
  • A working copy is the project as you\'re working on it now: just the current version of each file
  • You can update your working copy, replacing its files with newer (or older!) versions from the repository
  • A repository can be local, on your computer\'s hard disc, or remote, on a server somewhere else
  • You can push or pull between repositories of the same project, to keep their changes in sync
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