Version Control Systems to Avoid


Based on the front page you've probably guessed that CVS is no longer a good option for a version control system to use for your projects. If you're looking for a VCS that is a much better superset of CVS, take a look at Subversion; other version control systems may fit the bill even better.

But there are other commonly used version control systems that should be avoided at all costs. Some of them are even worse than CVS. The purpose of this page is to list exactly those systems.

List of Systems to Avoid

Microsoft Visual SourceSafe

Little positive can be said on Microsoft Visual SourceSafe. Check for example, this entry on the Joel on Software site or the Why not VSS page in the Subversionary Wiki. It is very weak, unreliable, and idiosyncratic even in comparison to CVS. The only reason people are using it is because it's the solution offered by Microsoft.

Another bad thing about SourceSafe is the fact it is limited to Microsoft Windows alone (if we don't take into account the UNIX ports that Mainsoft are doing, which probably don't work too well.). If you are using SourceSafe now, you should migrate to Subversion or a different alternative as soon as possible. Subversion and other systems work very well on Win32, and are much more reliable, robust, feature-rich and portable than Microsoft Visual SourceSafe.

Here are some other anti-VSS links:

  1. Visual SourceSafe: Microsoft's Source Destruction System
  2. Visual SourceSafe Version Control: Unsafe at any speed?
  3. No more VSS, It's Subversion
  4. Discussion on the Joel-on-Software Forum: "Ugh.. they use SourceSafe"
  5. Coding Horror: “Source Control: Anything But SourceSafe”

(Thanks to Eric Sink for some of the links.)