Ludicrous Software

Quick and Easy Revision Control

Revision control is like backing up your files - one of those things that most people know they should be doing, but only give it some serious thought once it’s too late. If you want something that’s quick, painless, and a snap to install and implement, give FileHamster a look. I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now, and am quite pleased with it so far.

FileHamster runs in the background, and is almost completely transparent; you’ll barely even notice that it’s doing its work. Simply tell it to watch a particular file or directory, then get to work. When you save a file, FileHamster will automatically create a revision for you. A small window will pop up briefly (just above the clock in the taskbar) to notify you. You can click a button on that window to add a note to that revision, so you can keep track of changes, or just ignore it and continue working.

Another nice feature is that you can tell FileHamster to ignore specific files or to only create a revision after a specific amount of time. This is a nice feature if, like me, you’re in the habit of hitting ctrl-s to save your work in Flash before testing the movie. That ctrl-s/ctrl-enter combination can get pressed four or five times inside of ten minutes when I’m making little tweaks, and it’s nice to know that I’m not clogging up my hard drive with unneeded revisions. You can also tell the program to not create revisions for specific files (no need to have revisions of your swf if you don’t want them).

FileHamster isn’t ideal if you’re working in a multi-person shop or are working with remote designers/developers; in that kind of situation, setting up a subversion server would give you a lot of helpful features. But if you’re a solo developer, give FileHamster a try.