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I am given the charge of finding a version control + project management setup, and also training and maintenance, in addition to my regular jobs; I will be known as "the git guy" (or whatever) from now on.

We develop PHP (in netbeans), C# (in VisStudio) and Python in windows XP and Fedora. The system is to be hosted on Windows. We are five-strong and may aggressively jump to 8-10 soon

I myself shortlisted Mercurial + Redmine by rationalizing.

My rationales are:

  • Its easy to admin and maintain
  • easy to get started in Mercurial and has a gentle learning curve
  • It supports solo and few-people workflows equally well
  • Mercurial has usable GUI tools
  • Redmine has a stable and integrated interface to Mercurial (TRAC is skirting around stable Mercurial support, making me nervous)
  • Netbeans has stable and usable integration with Mercurial (I know Netbeans ships with Mercurial support but...)

My questions (in order of importance) are:

  1. Are my rationales valid or will my assumptions lead to costly mistakes later?
  2. Does this combination have issues that severely affect usability?
  3. Are there less painful combination for our small team (SVN+Trac for example)?

Some in SO have the opinion "Just get started!", but I want to play it safe.

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migrated from Jul 5 '11 at 19:34

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I urge you to check out BitBucket for mercurial support – Kshitij Mehta Jul 5 '11 at 8:21
BitBucket is really nice (and completely free for up to 5 private users!), but not every company is willing to let a third party host their code. – Christian Specht Jul 5 '11 at 9:18
yes, we are not! – aitchnyu Jul 5 '11 at 9:21
@aitchnyu: consider the reasons you aren't willing to outsource - if you don't want a slip on their part to leak your code, well and good, but if it's just that you don't want to lose your data if they go under, remember that Mercurial is a distributed version control system in which every checkout is a full copy of everything. So each employee with checkouts has all the data, and you could push to your own server if you needed to, or even just set up another server to mirror the contents on Bitbucket. – Chris Morgan Jul 5 '11 at 9:55
Have you considered Kiln? Not free though. – Lasse V. Karlsen Jul 5 '11 at 22:11

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I agree to your optinion about Mercurial, we are using it as well for largely the same reasons.

But I want so say something about Redmine:
When we evaluated bug trackers a year ago, I looked at Redmine as well.
I really, really liked it (not only because of the fact that it has a good Mercurial integration as well) and I wanted to use it.

But the show-stopper for me was the fact that I have absolutely no experience/knowledge about Ruby on Rails/Apache/MySQL, neither has any of my co-workers (we are a Microsoft/.net shop, so only ASP.NET/IIS/MSSQL knowledge).
Redmine even has a special Windows installation guide, but I wasn't able to get through the installation because of lack of RoR/Apache/MySql knowledge.

So my opinion is: if you have to install something which does not come with a complete automatic setup, stick with something that is written in a stack that you understand. Because as soon as you have to have to tweak things manually, you probably need a certain amount of knowledge about the stack you're just using.

Apperently quite a lot of people don't share my opinion (see most other answers in my second link), but I wanted to share my experiences about this with you.
At least you should try if you are actually able to install Redmine before you sell it to management.

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"stick with something that is written in a stack that you understand" That makes it a valuable answer. I guess the proj management software can wait. Have you made a choice? – aitchnyu Jul 5 '11 at 12:06
I do not have particular ruby/apache/mysql experience (but .NET/IIS/MSSQL), but I was still able to install and maintain redmine on a Windows server with apache serving the static files and load-balancing the redmine requests several mongrels. Installing plugins and modifying a line or two to make integration with the Active Directory work gave me a (superficial...) idea of what ruby's about and was actually inspiring. Touching an apache config doesn't hurt, either. But I agree, try to install it before selling it to management, it sells itself once it's installed... :-) – marapet Jul 5 '11 at 18:35
I'd recommend trying Redmine, I had absolutley zero experience in Ruby and yet installation was no problem. We use it on a small internal network and just have it running using Mongrel running as a windows service which is perfectly adequate. – Adrian Jul 6 '11 at 10:47
Okay, maybe I should try it again. It was over a year ago when I tried to install it, maybe it will work for me now. – Christian Specht Jul 6 '11 at 13:17
@aitchnyu: no, we still don't use a bug tracker. I stopped evaluating because of deadlines and time constraints, and I didn't continue since then... – Christian Specht Jul 6 '11 at 13:18

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