Perforce — IDC, PAY for Version Control?!

Update: please see my Git rants to see where we’re at now.

We’re starting a new software project here at IDC and some of the developers we’ve hired have strongly recommended using use Perforce. They also have recommended ExtraView for bug tracking which integrates with Perforce.

While it’s not against my religion to use expensive, proprietary software for business critical functions, especially server type functions, and especially when pricing is per user, it’s pretty damn close.

We’ve been using Subversion around here for a few years and, frankly, other than for storing revisions, it pretty much sucks.

The way it handles conflicts is a complete pain in the ass that always leaves me thinking “there’s got to be a better way”, pulling out older versions always sends me back to the manual, the monolithic numbering scheme has always given me agita, and God help you if you’ve got to merge a branch (or branches!) back to the trunk…the list goes on and on.

So, much as it pains me to face an $800/user licensing fee, the 2 user, 5 client workspaces limitation on the free, unlicensed version of Perforce has sucked me in.

ExtraView also has a limited, hosted version that will allow us to do this project and see how things go.

Who knows? We may actually have to pay for these things if they work well enough.

Next entry — my trials and tribulations getting it set up on one of our public-facing servers.