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Chapter 4. Folders and Files > About Versioning

About Versioning

If you've ever worked on a large Web project, you know what it feels like to be drowning in files as the versions multiply. It's not just the layouts that can get out of hand; the require-ment documents, technical specifications, user profiles, and process diagrams also add to the swelling number of files. And since many of these documents are created by teams, each document can go through a dozen revisions in just a day as team members pass the documents back and forth for comments.

Traditional version control and document management systems try to track these changes by requiring you to follow an arduous process. To make a change, you check a document out of the system (locking out other users and preventing them from making simultaneous edits), make your changes, check the document back into the system, and enter comments about what changed. Such a formal document management process is unnecessary for many teams, and a pain even when it's needed.

Sitespring uses a less intrusive approach to tracking versions. It's so unobtrusive that if you didn't know it was happening, you wouldn't even know it was there. When your administrator configures Sitespring, he or she determines which of the server's shared folders has versioning activated.

Once versioning is turned on, every time you save changes to a file—with any program you use—the original file that is being overwritten is not lost, as it would be normally. Instead, the original file is backed up to the _revisions folder. Whenever you save, move, rename, or delete a file, a copy of the original file is placed in the _revisions folder (Figure 4.1).

Figure 4.1. Whenever you make a change to a file, the original file moves to the _revisions folder.


Since many files are saved multiple times, a three-digit sequence number is added to the original filename so you can tell the versions apart (Figure 4.2). The _revisions folder mirrors the structure of the server's folder in which it sits, so if you update a file from a nested folder, the old version of the file gets moved into the same place within the _revisions folder (Figure 4.3). Once the administrator has enabled versioning, you don't need to do anything in order for these versions to be created; they appear automatically no matter how the files are changed, moved, or deleted.

Figure 4.2. Three-digit sequence numbers organize the versions chronologically.


Figure 4.3. The _revisions folder, which contains the backup revisions, mirrors the structure of the folder in which it sits.


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