Paul Roub

A Software Tool Geek in His Natural Habitat

Itch: Scratched. WebDav in Vault and Fortress.

Something I should not probably not admit publicly (both from a best-practices standpoint, and given that we are a vendor of version control tools):

Until recently, our website was not version-controlled.

There, I’ve said it.

sourcegear.com is largely maintained by myself and John Woolley, our Director of Graphic Awesomeness.* John’s is a Mac-centric universe, and I’m running Windows. For web-maintenance purposes, we both use Dreamweaver.

As you may know, Fortress and Vault both offer Dreamweaver integration; but there are a couple of issues:

  1. With each new version of Dreamweaver, the location and requirements for our integration code seems to change. This is not much fun from a support and maintenance point of view.
  2. This integration method is Windows-only — which, as you can imagine, makes it less than useful for John.

So John was out in the cold. He’s not alone in wanting Dreamweaver/Mac support — it’s been a long-time feature request from a number of our customers. But as always, the development team needs to work on the features most requested by the most customers. What we needed was someone with some time on his hands, who really wanted this particular itch scratched…

So last Thanksgiving, unable to move after dinner, I started playing around with a hobby project.*

Dreamweaver, out of the box, supports checkin/checkout/locking via WebDAV. If we had a WebDAV layer over Vault/Fortress, Dreamweaver could use it without any special code installed. Other tools could use it to, and we wouldn’t have to worry about specific Dreamweaver versions, operating systems, etc.

So, with excellent test clients and validation tools in hand, off I went.

Within a day or so, this was happening:

Configuring Dreamweaver to use Vault WebDAV

Allowing this:

Dreamweaver CS4 using Vault/WebDAV version control

And, with no extra effort, this:

Mac Finder browsing Vault repository via WebDAV

Open standards kinda rock, if you needed any more evidence.

It’s been in use every day since.

Starting as soon as next week, you can try out the WebDAV interface yourself, in Vault 5 Beta 1. Watch the Development Blog for details. We’d love to hear feedback and suggestions from the brave, the few, daring enough to use The Code that the Marketing Guy Wrote.*

  1. John always tells me to use “whatever title [I] want” when referring to him. He should know better by now.
  2. If your hobby project is useful to more people than yourself, think twice before mentioning it to the development lead.
  3. Don’t worry, the code has long since been vetted, reviewed and revised by the actual development team.