Version Control Or Revision Control

Version Control Or Revision Control by Arjan van IJzendoorn

Version control is sometimes called revision control and in some ways that is a better name. Of course, version control helps you deal with managing versions of your applications but, more than that, it helps you deal with changes to the project.

A revision is a set of changes that you commit to the repository. A revision can be retrieved by others, merged to a different development line and reverted. It is good practice to keep revisions small so that they can easily be understood and be dealt with separately. If you commit a lot of changes at the same time you will not be able to automatically revert just one of them.

You can think of a revision number as representing the complete state of the project at a certain point time but it is more correct to think of it as a set of changes. For example, when you are merging a feature branch back into the main line, you need to select all revisions of the branch because together those revisions form the complete set of changes. If you thought of revisions as the complete state, you might be tempted to just merge the last revision and this would give unexpected results.

Anyway, version control or revision control, by any other name it would be as sweet!