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Beanstalk SVN Hosting

Version control is an important aspect of a good development environment. Even a single-developer project should have a version control system in place to manage their code changes. However, it is especially important to have version control for a project with multiple developers, to allow each developer to work on the project without screwing up everyone else's work. Unless you have your own server, you are going to have to find a company that offers hosted version control, probably for SVN or for CVS. Often these services are pricey (especially in comparison to a normal hosting account) and the interfaces are clunky.

Recently, I discovered Beanstalk (external link), a hosted SVN service that is actually worth the money. The interface is intuitive and elegant and the pricing is reasonable. They also integrate into other programs, like Basecamp and Twitter, plus they have an iPhone interface! To me, it just seems they are offering a service that is from today's web, not from the Internet five or six years ago like other hosted SVN providers. I just wanted to give them a shout-out for their great service. They also have a free account level if you want to give it a try!

Comments

  • Look quite good. Wonder what the performance is like from the UK to their servers?

    Persoanlly I just use local SVN for my person stuff ans SF.net for anything I make that's open source.

    Posted by Matt Oakes (external link) on Sat 20 Sep 2008 at 13:09

  • I don't know about UK performance, but I don't think it would be too bad. I don't know for sure though. I generally just use local SVN for everything, considering I don't work on any group projects really. If I ever do though, I'll certainly give Beanstalk a shot with their paid plans.

    Posted by Ethan Poole (external link) on Sat 20 Sep 2008 at 14:09

  • Actually, one can push a Bazaar branch to a normal hosting account's web space, so it is not quite true that one has "to find a company that offers hosted version control". On the other hand, there are advantages to having Bazaar installed on the server, e.g., speed (which is still one of Bazaar's weaknesses).

    The "Security, Reliability, and Redundancy is our primary focus" is a given, so I think that the killer app of Beanstalk is its tool integration: less time is spent using the tools, so more time can be spent on development with the tools. It is not a new idea by any stretch, but it certainly is something that can make you consider using Beanstalk even if you have your own server.

    Posted by Eugene Wee on Sat 20 Sep 2008 at 14:11

  • Actually, most hosts do not allow any sort of personal file storage on their accounts (which includes version control). I emailed my host about using Bazaar once and it apparently violates their ToS because it's too similar to a file hosting service.

    Posted by Ethan Poole (external link) on Sat 20 Sep 2008 at 19:38

  • It seems odd that they wouldn't let you use version control since web hosting is essentially just publicly accessible files. The only difference is that their (SVN files) just being restricted to a subset of people.

    Can Bazaar really be that resource intensive to potentially throw away business?

    Posted by -=Hero Doug=- on Sat 20 Sep 2008 at 20:04

  • There was an argument about "why not" I read somewhere. Basically, the argument is that is not what it is designed for. The example it gave is that if you rent an aparment you cannot store your car in the aparment itself. Sure, you rent the space, but that doesn't mean you can do anything you want with it. I don't know how valid that argument is, but I can kinda see the reasoning.

    Posted by Ethan Poole (external link) on Sat 20 Sep 2008 at 20:13

  • Actually, most hosts do not allow any sort of personal file storage on their accounts (which includes version control).

    I think you are right. I did not consider this as none of the hosts that I use have such a provision in their terms of service, but it makes sense, especially for the big hosts as they oversell. Oversellers need to disallow non-web file storage, otherwise their overselling plan becomes more likely to fail when too many users use up their allocated space (which may be "unlimited"). NearlyFreeSpeech, which I used for awhile, does allow such non-web data file storage despite being a shared host, possibly because its "pay-as-you-go" scheme means that by definition it does not oversell (but then NearlyFreeSpeech has version control tools installed on their server, and is generally an unusual host to begin with).

    The example it gave is that if you rent an aparment you cannot store your car in the aparment itself.

    That's probably a bad analogy though, since there are physical and technical limitations to storing one's car in one's apartment rooms smile

    In this case, there are no technical limitations to storing non-web-related files in a web hosting account. Space could be a "physical" limitation, but this is something that can be bought*. The limitation is mainly on the legal side: what the hosting contract says, and how it is interpreted in a court of law vis-à-vis what you do as a party to the contract. So yes, it is true that "that is not what it is designed for", since (shared) hosts expect users to have a particular usage pattern such that they can sustain things like overselling.

    * Then again, if there is a huge apartment with car elevators, it is entirely feasible that when you rent that apartment, you can store your car in your apartment itself big grin

    Posted by Eugene Wee on Sun 21 Sep 2008 at 2:49

  • Sounds interesting.

    On the car analogy; you're not allowed to alter the size of the door (generally), but as long as storing your car wouldn't damage anything then there is no clause against it in any rental contract that I know about. It would be stupid to rent an apartment to store your car because thanks to provisions like heating and various other things you don't find in garages you would be overpaying a lot. So as far as the analogy goes, you'd be trying to use a garage as an apartment I'd say, not the other way around.

    I love the off topic. secret

    Posted by Frans (external link) on Sun 21 Sep 2008 at 6:12