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Where content meets technology

Sep 10, 2008

Follow up on Mac Subversion clients

A few weeks ago I wrote a post introducing two new Mac Subversion clients: Cornerstone and Versions. After the free trials expired I chose Cornerstone and have been pretty happy with it. I tend to use Cornerstone as a file browser when I am working with a straight text editor (like TextMate). From there I can browse around my working copy, open files, and see changes against the most recent from the repository. The user interface is very clean and presents useful information clearly. When I am working in Eclipse, it is hard to resist the convenience of Subclipse.

Interestingly, the main reason why I switched from TextWrangler to TextMate was its project browsing functionality. Now Cornerstone plays that role for me - at least for anything I have in source control, which is everything. However, I have gotten used to TextMate so I think I will stick with it.

For a while, I struggled with Cornerstone's performance. It seemed to consistently hang as it tried to scan the file system for changes. This was resolved by changing a preferences setting: Preferences -> Working Copy -> Refresh Working Copy = "Manually." Now it only checks the working copies when I ask it to (with command-r).

Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

One thing you may notice in the screen shot above is that it shows Cornerstone looking at the source code from my website. A lot of people ask me what web content management system I use. Well, the answer is none. Because my website is so small and I am comfortable with source control, HTML, and FTP, I really don't need one. My website as 13 pages. A web content management system is like a web page factory. You don't build a factory to produce 13 units. Of course, that may change when I hire that flashy marketing executive with the wafer-thin laptop.

I use Transmit as my FTP client. It has a nice little feature called "Drop Send" that allows you to drag a file onto the Transmit icon in your doc (from Cornerstone or your Finder) and it automatically puts it in the right place (thanks for the tip dizzytree). If you want an all-in-one alternative to the TextMate/Transmit/Cornerstone combo, you might try Coda, which seems to do it all like Adobe Dreamweaver (without the WYSIWYG but $300 cheaper). The latest version of Coda (1.5) has a SVN client.