How do you use different version control systems for your designs?

29 Apr 2008 - 6:31am
6 years ago
7 replies
1191 reads
Paul Reijnierse
2008

Hi everyone,

I think a lot of people here that work in a team are familiar with the
hassle of version control. Now of course there are several systems
available for keeping your files and versions in sync and for some type
of files this works fine. For instance we use subversion to manage all
our code, this works perfect as conflicts can be resolved relatively
easy and it is easy to keep track of different files and modules.

Now we would love to have the same flexibility and control for our other
documents that we use for our designs such as: word files, visio
documents and of course files from the different adobe products.

For the different adobe products there is the possibility to use Version
Cue, but our experience with it so far has not been great. And for the
other files we have not found anything that fits our needs.

What are your experiences with this? How do you use different versioning
systems in your projects?

Any feedback would be great.

Thanks,
Paul

Comments

29 Apr 2008 - 3:25pm
Jim Hoekema
2004

I'm on a project where we just started using Google Docs for
version control. It seems to work well within its limits - once you
upload a file, users edit it online using Google apps for text (word)
documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Google stores previous
versions, which are readily available. You can share with specified
users.

There are size limitations, though they are fairly generous. The
biggest drawback is that it only supports those 3 formats -- no Visio,
no PDF!

- Jim

Quoting Paul Reijnierse <paul at demonsters.nl>:
>
> Now we would love to have the same flexibility and control for our other
> documents that we use for our designs such as: word files, visio
> documents and of course files from the different adobe products.
>
> For the different adobe products there is the possibility to use Version
> Cue, but our experience with it so far has not been great. And for the
> other files we have not found anything that fits our needs.
>
> What are your experiences with this? How do you use different versioning
> systems in your projects?
>

29 Apr 2008 - 6:37pm
Jeffrey D. Gimzek
2007

we are using a wiki called Confluence

<http://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence>

it automatically saves previous versions of files - but i have to
admit i have only done it with JPG comps

i am also a naming fanatic - 1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.3.1, etc. - to track
version

jd

On Apr 29, 2008, at 2:25 PM, jim at hoekema.com wrote:

> I'm on a project where we just started using Google Docs for
> version control. It seems to work well within its limits - once you
> upload a file, users edit it online using Google apps for text (word)
> documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Google stores previous
> versions, which are readily available. You can share with specified
> users.
>
> There are size limitations, though they are fairly generous. The
> biggest drawback is that it only supports those 3 formats -- no Visio,
> no PDF!
>
> - Jim
>
> Quoting Paul Reijnierse <paul at demonsters.nl>:
>>
>> Now we would love to have the same flexibility and control for our
>> other
>> documents that we use for our designs such as: word files, visio
>> documents and of course files from the different adobe products.
>>
>> For the different adobe products there is the possibility to use
>> Version
>> Cue, but our experience with it so far has not been great. And for
>> the
>> other files we have not found anything that fits our needs.
>>
>> What are your experiences with this? How do you use different
>> versioning
>> systems in your projects?
>>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
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- -

Jeffrey D. Gimzek | Senior User Experience Designer

http://www.glassdoor.com

30 Apr 2008 - 11:36am
Fred Beecher
2006

Axure just released a new version, version 5, that integrates version
control. I haven't used it myself yet (although I'm about to!).
Here's a demo of how it works: http://www.axure.com/p401_1.aspx

F.

On 4/29/08, Paul Reijnierse <paul at demonsters.nl> wrote:
>
> Hi everyone,
>
>
> I think a lot of people here that work in a team are familiar with the
> hassle of version control. Now of course there are several systems
> available for keeping your files and versions in sync and for some type
> of files this works fine. For instance we use subversion to manage all
> our code, this works perfect as conflicts can be resolved relatively
> easy and it is easy to keep track of different files and modules.
>
> Now we would love to have the same flexibility and control for our other
> documents that we use for our designs such as: word files, visio
> documents and of course files from the different adobe products.
>
> For the different adobe products there is the possibility to use Version
> Cue, but our experience with it so far has not been great. And for the
> other files we have not found anything that fits our needs.
>
> What are your experiences with this? How do you use different versioning
> systems in your projects?
>
> Any feedback would be great.
>
> Thanks,
> Paul
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

7 Nov 2008 - 1:45pm
Adrian Howard
2005

On 29 Apr 2008, at 13:31, Paul Reijnierse wrote:
[snip]
> What are your experiences with this? How do you use different
> versioning
> systems in your projects?
[snip]

Personally I try and avoid using multiple systems and encourage
everybody to use the same one.

For example most places I've worked recently put pretty much
everything into Subversion - including office docs, PSDs, etc..

As soon as you have more than one location for important documents the
team has to start spending time figuring out where it lives when they
need it. The functional advantages that some more document specific
systems have seem to be outweighed by the simplicity of everybody
knowing where everything is - and only having one system to master.

As ever YMMV :-)

Adrian

9 Nov 2008 - 4:25am
Jens Meiert
2004

> What are your experiences with this? How do you use different versioning
> systems in your projects?

My experience with version control systems rather says that it's most
important that you have one, and that it's getting crucial to pay
attention to the subtleties and differences between the systems only
in very complex projects (where you're benefiting from branches etc.).

For graphics and stuff, Alienbrain [1] is supposed to be good, but
personally I found it the most awkward system so far; CVS [2],
Subversion (SVN) [3], and Perforce [4] are all pretty neat systems (of
which I usually prefer SVN).

If there's absolutely no chance to set up a version control system,
any tool that allows for collaboration and document histories (like
e.g. Google Docs, Sites, or any decent wiki), should be preferred over
having files hanging around the local machine. That is not just
careless and risky but rather unprofessional.

[1] http://www.softimage.com/products/alienbrain/
[2] http://www.nongnu.org/cvs/
[3] http://subversion.tigris.org/
[4] http://www.perforce.com/

--
Jens Meiert
http://meiert.com/en/

9 Nov 2008 - 5:58am
Paul Reijnierse
2008

Thank you guys for your valuable response! When I asked this question
back in April the different systems mentioned here helped us during
the design stages of our own new system, codenamed PEF. Whil PEF does
not necessarily do version control at the moment, it does support some
of the key reasons why some designers use version control systems,
buit in a very different way:

- It helps you to have all different stages of a design in a central
place, in our case a zoomable timeline
- It helps you with distribution, as PEF synchronizes with your
colleagues
- You can add context to a design and discuss it with colleagues.

While we are still working very hard on PEF, I am interested to see
what you think of it right now. You can see a screencast of the
application in the way it was in September at
http://www.deMonsters.com/pef/

I'm really curious to see what you think.

GRAWH!
Paul

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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11 Nov 2008 - 4:47am
Adrian Howard
2005

On 9 Nov 2008, at 03:58, Paul Reijnierse wrote:

> Thank you guys for your valuable response! When I asked this question
> back in April

My reply was actually written back in April - this is what happens
when you start up that machine you've had behind the sofa for the
first time 7 months :-)

> the different systems mentioned here helped us during
> the design stages of our own new system, codenamed PEF. Whil PEF does
> not necessarily do version control at the moment, it does support some
> of the key reasons why some designers use version control systems,
> buit in a very different way:
>
> - It helps you to have all different stages of a design in a central
> place, in our case a zoomable timeline
> - It helps you with distribution, as PEF synchronizes with your
> colleagues

Aren't those pretty core to any version control system?

> - You can add context to a design and discuss it with colleagues.

Iiiiiiiiiiiiinteresting :-)

> While we are still working very hard on PEF, I am interested to see
> what you think of it right now. You can see a screencast of the
> application in the way it was in September at
> http://www.deMonsters.com/pef/
>
> I'm really curious to see what you think.

From the screencast it feels more like a project management system
than a version control system as I'd normally understand it. Something
we'd use to comment on and review designs. From what I saw I find it
hard to visualise it scaling to manage hundreds or thousands of assets
in a large project.

For the project management/sign off stuff it looks interesting. We'd
currently use a combination of tools like Jing, basecamp & newer web
apps like getsignoff to go through the feedback/review process. This
looks an interesting variant.

For the version control side we'd tend to use Subversion - as I typed
back in April and recently accidentally posted!

The thing that would put me off PEF for the version control side would
be that it seems very focussed on supporting the design side of the
team. Which is great if that's what you're after. However I've
personally found it more effective to have everybody in the team
designers, dev, project management, etc. all using the same system for
tracking changes. Unless PEF could plug into something like
Subversion, Mercurial, or some other industrial strength system where
it could be used for all assets/tasks, not just the design ones.

As ever YMMV :-)

Cheers,

Adrian

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