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Why do TFVC users hate Git


When I start a new development engagement or TFS implementation with a client, I prefer to use and promote Git for the codebase. I have been faced with a lot of resistance from developers to use Git instead of Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC) or another centralized version control. In this post, I will have a list of the common complaints I hear when I propose using Git.

Concept of a local repository

The first thing a developer must do after creating the remote repository is cloning the remote repo. By cloning a remote repo, we are creating a local copy of the repository. For new Git users, this is a new concept. I don’t like to say that it is like “Get latest” for the first time because it is fundamentally different. Cloning a remote repo means you are getting a copy of the remote repo, which includes files, branches and history, on your computer. With that copy on your disk, you can modify files, commit changes, create a new branch, merge a branch, view history and compare files with their previous versions, all that while being offline. With TFVC, you can only modify files while you are offline.

Branching

Some centralized version control users often hate branching. It is their nightmare. They often only branch the code for releases or bug fixes in a release. In Git, branching is a first class citizen. It is the norm and not the exception. Centralized VC users get intimidated by that fact. Technically speaking, your local code is considered a branch of the remote code.

Terminology

The terminology to work with Git VC is different than TFVC. In TFVC, 90% of the time developers use two commands which are Get latest and Checkin. In Git, developers often deal with more commands on daily bases such has Fetch, Pull, Commit, Push, branch, merge, and Checkout. There are other commands in Git but they are used less often than the commands listed in the previous sentence. Some TFVC developers who are new Git find that overwhelming.

Command line

TFVC version control users interact with VC using GUI. Git is integrated with Visual Studio, Eclipse and other IDEs. But sometimes you must roll up your sleeves and use command line.

I can’t Pull the content of one folder

In TFVC, it is easy to get the latest code of a folder. In Git, you can only pull the changes for current branch from the remote repo. You can’t pull the changes of one folder.

Too many repositories

In TFVC, you can have one code repository per Team Project. We usually separate projects by adding them into separate folders. In Git, we create a repo per project. Keep in mind a project doesn’t necessary map to one .NET project or solution. I often hear complains that developers have to switch from one repo to another because they work on multiple projects. This forces them to either open multiple instances of the IDE and each instance is pointing to a repo or keep switching from one repo another.

Those are the top complaint I hear from client when switching to Git. Do you have other complaint? I would love to hear them.

About Lajak Technologies

A consulting firm in Ottawa, Ontario that provides services related to Microsoft technologies, Team Foundation Server, DevOps practices, security and more. Contact us today to help you in solving your complex software problems.

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