Wednesday, June 22, 2005

I detest Visual SourceSafe

Ranting ahead, obviously...

All our new projects are in bright, shiny Subversion repositories and humming along just fine. I've got about a month of detour through existing products in Visual SourceSafe and I'm already aggravated on the first day. Don't get me wrong, every source control system has some sort of problem, but VSS is the absolute worst.

The client is a piece of crap; it falls over and corrupts in a swift gale, it's slow, and hangs during CC.NET builds almost as often as not. Branching and merging with VSS is a joke. In a world where Subversion and CVS are free and reliable with multiple clients and integration into IDE's, and SourceGear Vault is inexpensive, why is VSS still so popular in .Net shops?

I've played quite a bit with the vss2svn perl script from I have no idea if it works or not because VSS keeps crapping out on corrupted history trails. VSS won't even behave long enough to get rid of it.

One thing I'd really like to see from the .Net community as a whole is to stop taking everything from Microsoft without question. There is a whole world of development tools and knowledge out there that doesn't originate in Redmond.

How's this for scary though, in a former job we used VSS under the dark of night on the side because the officially mandated source control system (CC/Harvest ) was even worse.


Anonymous Weston M. Binford III said...

I was finally able to get to work on our VSS repository.

These were the hoops that I had to jump through:

I ran the VSS analyze tool and fixed all the issues that it identified first.

Contrary to the recommendations in the vss2svn readme, originally, I tried to use the Visual SourceSafe 6.0d client. After switching to the VSS 6.0c client, a lot of my problems magically went away.


3:36 PM, June 22, 2005  
Blogger Jeremy D. Miller said...

Huh. I never thought to try that. I'll definitely give that a shot.

3:38 PM, June 22, 2005  
Anonymous jeff clausius said...

I can see where people use VSS due to what they used in the past, but I'd like to see more people's eyes opened to the world of alternatives (both SVN and Vault).

Here's an example:

If anyone wants to let their thoughts be known, please do so.

10:07 PM, June 25, 2005  
Anonymous Steve Hebert said...

I was one of those "used VSS because I was familiar with it" for a long time.

I've used Vault before and I love it. I've also used StarTeam - eh. I remember hearing that MS actually had a different internal product they used called 'Slime' around 5-6 years ago. I wonder if that was true?

What a great name for an SCC product - Slime...

"Yeah boss, I slimed those files this morning."

4:29 PM, June 28, 2005  
Blogger Jeremy D. Miller said...

I think you've nailed it on the head. Supposedly, MS never used VSS internally. It was just a placeholder, but their internal tool was too MS specific to release.

4:54 PM, June 28, 2005  
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