Version control with SVNSetting the stage for the course
ApproachEven though version control is mostly used for software develop- ment projects (code), the concepts are applicable to any set of text files that are being shared and worked on by a team.
Lets first discuss an imaginary motivation which will set the stage of why our team needs version control
Motivating questionsHow can my colleagues and I edit shared documents safely and effi- ciently?How can I keep track of who made what changes to a document, and when, safely and reliably?What are the limitations of version control systems, and what are the alternatives?
Problem: Writing a Paper With Several Other PeopleYour lab has been working with groups at two other universities to analyze anomalies in the trajectories of deep space probes, and the time has come to write a paper summarizing your findings. The last one produced by this collaboration was 35 pages long, and had 15 authors, 20 figures, and 400 references. It took six weeks to write, half of which was spent tracking down and reconciling bits and pieces that had gone astray in email or been overwritten acci- dentally. Everyone would like to find a less painful way to get this one written; since you weren’t able to attend the organizational meeting, you’ve been put in charge of figuring out how.