What is difference between Git vs SVN?

Git and SVN (Subversion) are both version control systems, but they have significant differences in their architecture, workflow, and functionality. Here are some key differences between Git and SVN:

  1. Centralized vs. Distributed:
    • SVN: Subversion is a centralized version control system, meaning it has a single central repository that stores all the project’s files and history. Developers check out files from this central repository, make changes, and then commit them back to the same central repository.
    • Git: Git, on the other hand, is a distributed version control system. Each developer has a complete local copy of the entire repository, including its history. This allows developers to work offline and collaborate with others without needing constant access to a central server.
  2. Performance:
    • Git: Git is generally faster and more efficient than SVN, especially for large projects or when dealing with a considerable amount of history. This is because Git stores the full history locally, which reduces the need for constant communication with a remote server.
    • SVN: SVN can be slower for certain operations, especially when the repository history becomes extensive, as it requires more communication with the central server.
  3. Branching and Merging:
    • Git: Git’s branching and merging capabilities are one of its strengths. Creating branches is fast and easy, making it simple for developers to work on different features or bug fixes simultaneously. Merging changes between branches is usually straightforward and can be done locally.
    • SVN: While SVN does support branching and merging, it tends to be more cumbersome compared to Git. Branches are traditionally more heavyweight in SVN, and merging can sometimes lead to conflicts that require manual resolution.
  4. Repository Structure:
    • Git: Git repositories are simple and self-contained. Each local repository contains the full history, branches, and tags.
    • SVN: SVN repositories have a more complex structure, with separate directories for branches, tags, and trunk (the main development line). This can sometimes make the repository management less intuitive.
  5. Network Dependency:
    • Git: Git is less dependent on the network, as most operations can be performed locally without an internet connection. However, you’ll need network connectivity when pushing or pulling changes to/from remote repositories.
    • SVN: SVN requires network access for most operations since the central repository is essential for commits and updates.
  6. Ease of Learning:
    • Git: Git has a steeper learning curve, particularly for developers who are new to version control systems. Its powerful features can be overwhelming at first.
    • SVN: SVN is generally considered more user-friendly and easier to learn, especially for those familiar with traditional version control systems.

Both Git and SVN have their strengths and weaknesses, and the choice between them depends on factors such as the team’s preferences, the complexity of the project, and the existing infrastructure. Git has gained immense popularity due to its flexibility, speed, and robust branching and merging capabilities, while SVN remains a reliable choice for certain scenarios, especially in legacy environments.

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