Why I won't be buying Versions
Today, Versions, a Subversion app for OS X, moved to version 1.0, marking the end of its free beta period. While many people will be shelling out the €39 (~$49) for a license, I won’t be doing the same. Having used Versions for a couple months now, it just isn’t for me.
I don’t need a fancy UI.
When I loaded Versions for the first time, I was impressed by the amount of work that went into the UI. It looked nice, and it worked pretty well too. However, I found myself working harder to accomplish simple tasks than when I used the command line. For me, it’s a lot easier to
cd to the directory in the Terminal and do a
svn stat rather than take the time to load up Versions and do a similar command. Even though it might be nicer to look at, Versions was just never quite as quick or intuitive as the terminal commands I had grown used to. In addition, I almost always have the Terminal open, as I’m constantly running commands during development. Having to open up another app just got in the way of my workflow.
I already use TextMate.
TextMate is the center of my coding world. It is quite simply the greatest text editor I have ever used, and it’s where I spend the vast majority of my time when I’m coding. Built into TextMate is a great SVN plugin that really makes Versions unnecessary. Without changing applications, I just hit
CTRL+SHIFT+A and I’m greeted with a list of SVN commands. I tap
5, and I see a dialog where I can set my SVN commit message and choose exactly which items I want to commit from a list of changed files. Why would I need anything more sophisticated than that? If I wanted to go ahead and commit a few files with Versions, I’d have to fire up the application, locate the files I want, and hit commit. The worst part is, at least in the beta version I used, there’s no good way to select multiple files in Versions without resorting to holding the command key and clicking each file. In TextMate, it’s as simple as checking boxes.
Git is the future.
My biggest problem with spending close to $50 on a Subversion app is that I really don’t want to use SVN any more. I’ve fallen in love with Git, a distributed version control system that puts Subversion to shame. Just about every new personal project I start will be using Git, so there’s really no point in buying a program just to manage my older projects. If Versions supported Git as well, I’d definitely be considering adding it to my arsenal.
A Grain of Salt
Now, just because Versions hasn’t worked its way into my routine doesn’t mean it can’t be part of yours. I personally know several people that really enjoy Versions, and it has really improved their workflow. It’s definitely a well-made product, it just doesn’t work for me.