How-To Setup Eclipse and WinAVR, Part 3a

How-To Setup Eclipse and WinAVR


Part 3a.

Discussing and installing version control software is what we will be working on today. Their are many different programs that handle version control, or revision control as some like to say. To start I would like to say what version control software is and is not. Afterwards, I will mention alternate version control programs. From there, we will move on to installing version control software. As a side note, their are many programs out there. I will leave it as an exercise for the reader to search the web to see what is available. Again, I will also mention, use what works for you. If you don't like the program I present, try a different one.

So let us continue...

What is version control software? Well, that turns out to be a bigger question than I thought. So I will simplfy things a bit. When I talk about version control software, I am talking about software that maintains all the different revisions of a file or folder and allows you to access those different revisions. I know this is a simplified definition, and in truth the software can do more. I look at it like this, the software is the "just saved my behind" program. Say you made a change to your code and it did not work. With version control, you can get back to the most recent version. Now say your not using version control software. If you cannot remember all the changes you made, get ready for a headache trying to get back to your previous version.

What version control software is not? It will not make you a better programmer. Only experience will do that. It will not save your back side if you don't use it on a daily basis. It takes some getting used to. Once you have used it, you'll wonder why you haven't used it before. Also note, that if you do not check in all your little changes, you will not have the ability to recover them. Basically, you didn't save them. So remember to commit often. If you don't understand what I am talking about, don't worry we will go through that.

SVN, Subversion, and TortoiseSVN

For this article we are going to install TortoiseSVN. TortoiseSVN is a Windows program for Subversion. It adds context sensitive menu options to the right-click pop-up menus. Just to mention other program choices, here are a few other options. CVS was the standard program used in open source projects. Their is even TortoiseCVS, which is similar to TortoiseSVN. Another version of CVS is CVSNT. CVSNT is the freeware version of a professional software package. You can still find RCS floating around cyberspace. I don't know much about it, so you'll have to do your own research on it.

On to the install...

So enough talking about version control, let's get it installed. First you will need to download TortoiseSVN from

And the download page...

Once you have downloaded the program, you should also download the manual from I would get the TortoiseSVN and the TortoiseMerge documentation. This way you'll have most of the information you'll need. Also, as you will notice this screen shot shows version 1.5.3 of TortoiseSVN. The most current version on the web site is 1.5.5. It is safe to use the most current version.

Once your done with that, go ahead and click on the Windows installer. You should now see this screen.

Now just click "Next".

And accept the License Agreement. Next you will see that you can customize your setup. Unless you know what you are doing, I recommend just clicking "Next".

Now the program is ready to install the files. Go ahead and click "Install". After which you get to wait for the files to be installed. Isn't software fun?

Now that the files are installed, click "Finish". You will then be asked to re-start your computer for the changes to take effect.

And you are done. Easy compared to some of the other stuff we have done. If you installed a newer version, don't worry as the install instructions are the same. Now you'll also notice nothing seemed to changed. Their is no TortoiseSVN icon on your desktop. You see an entry in your start -> programs menu, but it does not seem like much. The magic is in your right mouse button. Out on your desktop some where (not on an icon) right click. You'll see a context sensitive menu. If you hover your mouse over the TortoiseSVN item, you should see something similar to this:

Well, this has been a long one. I am going to stop here and let you flip through the manual a little. Next time we will go through setting up the repository where your revisions will be stored. Then we will incorporate Subversion into Eclipse. Once we have all of that taken care of, we will finally be able to start a project. So come back soon as I should have Part 3b up shortly.