Wednesday, November 08, 2006

TFS folder items and history

Recently, Richard Berg wrote very concise post on what are items in TFS version control. In the post he states "TFS rarely makes a distinction between files and folders". While that surely true on a high level, there are still some important differences in small implementation details.

The one difference I'd like to address is history representation. The history for the folder displayed in History tool-window in Visual Studio contains both changes performed on the folder itself as well as changes to any files/folders contained in the folder.For example, when folder is renamed the change will appear in its history together with the change resulted from new file added to the folder.

To make things more interesting for the user, History window for the folder does not indicate whether the change performed affected the folder or only the files in it (in History Sidekick we tried to display that information - history entries that include folder changes are marked as such). Also the history for the folders does not allow version comparison by simply selecting two changesets in list (though you may compare folder versions using Tree Diff from TFS Power Toys).

But other than that, files and folders do behave alike and I hope that in next TFS version the folders history will be much more similar to files.

On related note, I would highly recommend to watch Richard Berg's blog as he unveils the mysteries of TFS Version Control in his upcoming posts (two posts so far, so that's the high time to jump on the bandwagon).

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