Should Subtext Move To CodePlex

subtext 0 comments suggest edit

Seems like every day now someone asks me if I plan on moving Subtext over to CodePlex. I figure it would save me a lot of trouble if I just answer this question here once and for all.

Though of course I can’t answer once and for all. I can only answer for the here and now. And right now, I have thought about it, but have not strongly considered it for the following reasons.

Not Feeling the Pain

First of all, I am not really feeling a lot of pain with our current setup at SourceForge. We have CruiseControl.NET humming along nicely, a great build process, and are very happy with Subversion. Life is good, why should we change?

Also, we already made one switch from CVS to Subversion. To yet again switch source control systems is a big hassle. There would have to be a huge benefit to doing so to make it worthwhile. A minor benefit is not enough.

Source Control

As you know, I am a big fan of Subversion and TortoiseSVN. Source Control bindings in Visual Studio have been the biggest nightmare second only to Front Page extensions that I have had the pleasure to deal with. For example, I work with one client who uses Vault and another who uses Visual Source Safe. Switching between the two is such a pain in the rear as I have to remember to switch the SCC provider before I start working on one or the other.

As far as I am concerned, there is a big hump to overcome to get me comfortable with using SCC again. I understand that the Codeplex people are working on Turtle which is a TortoiseSVN like interface to CodePlex. When this is as solid as TortoiseSVN, perhaps we can talk.

Also, does Team System source control version renames and moves? That is a big plus in Subversion. Does it work over HTTPS? Are checkins atomic? Are branching and tagging fast? I haven’t looked into this and would love to know.

Source Control History

Can we import our Subversion history into Team System at CodePlex? Our version history is very important to us. At least to me. I would hate to lose that.


It is probably only a matter of time before someone writes a plugin for CruiseControl.NET that works with Team System. But this would be important to me. Now Simone tells me that Team System has something equivalent that would replace CCNET as part of CodePlex. If this is the case, then I would love to see details.


As you might also know, I love me some MbUnit. I made the switch from NUnit a while ago and have never looked back. If CodePlex has a CCNet replacement, will it integrate with MbUnit. I know Team System has its own unit test framework, but does it have the Rollback and RowTest attributes and a TypeFixture or equivalents? And if you tell me about its extensibility model and that I can write my own, I ask in response, why should I? I already have those things.


At this point, I would love to hear more details about CodePlex that address my concerns. Perhaps a demo video that shows me what we’re missing. But until these issues are addressed, or if all the other Subtext developers are chomping at the bit for CodePlex and threaten a mutiny if we do not switch over, I do not see any urgency or reason to switch now. Sometimes being bleeding edge just leaves you with a bloody mess.

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12 responses

  1. Avatar for Simone Chiaretta
    Simone Chiaretta June 30th, 2006

    Phil: just point out a few things:
    There is already a source control provider for CC.NET:
    And, to access CodePlex from outside VS2005, there is the full featured Team Explorer Client:

  2. Avatar for Brad Wilson
    Brad Wilson June 30th, 2006

    I posted answers to most of your questions on the CodePlex blog today. Hopefully it helps you get a clearer picture of the capabilities of Team Foundation Server.
    - Brad

  3. Avatar for Haacked
    Haacked June 30th, 2006

    Brad, thanks for the blog post. I didn't realize you were involved with Codeplex. That's good to know.

  4. Avatar for Haacked
    Haacked June 30th, 2006

    Looks like there is a commercial product that can migrate Subversion to TFS.

  5. Avatar for Simone Chiaretta
    Simone Chiaretta June 30th, 2006

    Yes, but I doubt it can be run on CodePlex.
    maybe it's usefull for those who have TFS running on their own servers.
    Then, I read Brad's post:

    "That's probably Team Build you're hearing about. Unfortunately, Team Build is not supported on CodePlex."

    One of the things I liked most in TFS it the Team Build, and the reporting of all the metrics available after a successfull build (code coverage, failed/successfull tests). But CodePlex doesn't have it, so...
    And if it doesn't have Team Build it also doesn't run the unit testing as they will be run on out CC.NET box.
    So, what does CodePlex have that SF.NET doesn't?
    I also requested an account on CodePlex for a personal project, but knowing TFS a bit I did it mainly for the Team Build feature. Maybe when they approve my request (I did it 2-3 days ago) I can tell you more about what are CodePlex features.
    PS: Brad, if you are reading this and want to speed-up the approval process, my account name is simonech and the project name is keawinemaker :-)

  6. Avatar for Damien Guard
    Damien Guard June 30th, 2006

    Have you tried AnkhSVN yet?
    SVN integration with VS.

  7. Avatar for Craig
    Craig June 30th, 2006

    Phil: Don't do it! I put msdnman there, and while it's a nice site, it's not ready for big projects. You'll find the command-line SCC painful to work with, as it requires authentication at every operation. You can automate this for yourself, but then what do anonymous users do? Plus, as you point out, the lack of anything like Tortoise (yet) means you get to choose between VSS integration (which works nicely, but screws anyone who wants to fire up the project) or command-line, which ain't great.
    Add to that the fact that there's no email support in the site (no lists, no emailing when bugs are submitted) and you're left with the fact that SF is just better right now. Sure, CodePlex has RSS, but it's really not the same thing, IMO.
    I have friends on the CodePlex team, so I'd really like to recommend it, but they need to do at least one more major release (or a bunch of small ones) before it's ready for prime time.
    Anyway, that's my two cents.

  8. Avatar for Haacked
    Haacked June 30th, 2006

    Thanks for the input Craig! Don't worry, I'm not in any hurry to migrate out of SourceForge. :)
    It sounds like CodePlex has a great team and over time, it will be worth checking back in from time to time.
    But it takes time to build a mature product like this.
    Sourceforge has been around a while and has plenty of iterations under their belt. I wouldn't expect CodePlex to come out of the blocks fully realized.
    I'll wait a few iterations to see what happens.

  9. Avatar for Andrew Stopford's Weblog
    Andrew Stopford's Weblog July 2nd, 2006

    Great vaction time, really great weather (today was 30c in the UK) and a great birthday, alas it's back

  10. Avatar for Mountain
    Mountain July 3rd, 2006

    My company is switching from TFS to either Vault or Subversion. TFS is feature rich, but it is also the only SCC any of us have used that caused us to lose work. Once that happened, no one on my team trusted it anymore and they all demanded we make a switch. I switched to Subversion for my personal projects and I'd be really disappointed to see open source dotnet projects move to a non-open source SCC system such as TFS. In my opinion, Microsoft also needs to rethink its MSDN pricing before we should start throwing a lot of community support behind TFS and/or VSTS.

  11. Avatar for Brian Harry
    Brian Harry July 6th, 2006

    Could you please provide some detail on this? How did you lose data? Was it a hardware failure or a software failure? If software, what component? What were you doing when you lost data? How did you determine that the data was lost?
    We take data loss incredibly seriously and a eager to investigate any report of it very thoroughly. If you could provide us additional information to go on, we'd very much appreciate the opportunity to investigate it.

  12. Avatar for amin sharifi
    amin sharifi January 28th, 2011

    hello dear haack.
    google code and sourceforge is forbidden in these countries:
    Sudan, Syria, Cuba, Iran and North Korea.
    and for this matter, we can not access to subtext project.
    in the codeplex, we haven't this issue.