Perforce is FREE
Many people love Perforce. That includes me.
What a lot of people don’t realize, though, is that if you are an individual programmer working on your own personal projects, Perforce is free.
See, you can download the latest release of Perforce and use it in an evaluation mode, where it’s limited to two users and two clients.
If you’re only using it to maintain your own local changes to one or more open source projects (say, GWT and Ajax4JSF and Seam), then that’s all you need. There’s no limit on the number of files or branches, and all Perforce features are 100% functional.
Right now on my Windows PC, I’ve got a Perforce depot which has:
– a complete download of the GWT Subversion tree
– a complete branch of that GWT tree, with my changes in it
– a complete download of the Ajax4JSF Subversion tree
– a complete branch of THAT Ajax4JSF tree, with my changes in it
– a copy of the Seam booking example
– a branch of the Seam booking example, with my changes in it
Setting my Windows Perforce client to use Unix line endings means that Perforce doesn’t screw up the Subversion metadata.
The workflow is:
– check out from Subversion
– check in to Perforce
– branch in Perforce
– edit like mad in the branch, committing at will
– once done, integrate back to the Subversion copy
– check out the whole Subversion copy for edit
– svn update, svn patch, svn commit
– revert unchanged files in Perforce
– re-commit to Perforce
The truly wonderful part is that I can take changes from the Subversion copy to my dev branch, or vice versa, as circumstances warrant. Basically, it’s the full power of Perforce branching, used to manage my personal development alongside the concurrent development of everyone who’s landing in Subversion.
I can’t recommend it too highly. Totally brain-saving compared to keeping multiple local Subversion working copies or whatever. Try it, you might love it.