How to collaborate on projects with SVN

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Setting up the clients

The following steps are to set up a single client. You'll need to repeat them for each team member. If you intend to run the server on a team member's computer, there should be no problem running these steps on the server itself as well.

For the clients to commit and update to and from the server, we need an SVN client. Again, there are many out there, but TortoiseSVN is free and an excellent client. Download and install TortoiseSVN. You might need to reboot after the install.

TortoiseSVN is a Windows shell extension. That means it's not really a separate application - its features appear in the right-click menus in Windows Explorer and on the desktop.

Decide where you want the local working copy of the project to go on the client. Open a Windows Explorer folder at that location, and right-click in an empty space. You should have a new SVN Checkout... option in the menu, from TortoiseSVN. Checkout is the once-off process of creating a working copy for this client. Select it and you should see the Checkout dialog appear.

Enter the URL of the repository from earlier. Remember to substitute the computer name for the IP address if you're not all on the same LAN. Verify the checkout directory is where you want the local copy to go, and press OK. TortoiseSVN will prompt you to enter the username and password of this client. Enter them and tick Save authentication (otherwise the prompt will appear for every commit and update, requiring you to re-enter your details).

TortoiseSVN should show a log, and say "Completed!" at the end. Click OK, and notice how you now have some new folders in the checkout folder:

As before, don't worry about branches and tags for now. All your files will go in trunk. Notice the extra icons that overlay the folder icons. This represents their status (e.g. up-to-date with the server, changed and not committed, conflicted, etc.) which is a great feature of TortoiseSVN - you can easily see the status of your local copy from Windows itself. More on this later.

The trunk folder is empty, because there is nothing on the server yet. One of the clients will have to be the first to upload the project to the server. Before we do that, get all the clients you're going to use checked out to this point, so everyone has set up TortoiseSVN and checked out a folder and entered their own login details.

For each client, you should also right-click in the checkout folder, and select TortoiseSVN -> Settings. Under General is the Global ignore pattern. These are file extensions that TortoiseSVN always ignores. As we mentioned before, we never want to share .uistate.xml files. By default Construct 2 also saves backups to files named .backup1, .backup2, etc. Be sure to also add [].backup[] to the global ignore patterns, so that none of the client's backups end up being shared.

Once everyone's fully set up, it's time for the first commit!

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