Continuing on with the theme of what is wrong with Adobe Version Cue server CS4 and what Adobe can do to fix it, I will continue my quest to force Adobe to take responsibility for issues with their software. Next up…
3. Checked out files should be easy to find on the local system.
In Version Cue server CS3 a file that was checked out was automatically copied to the local file system in its entirety to a location in the end user’s documents folder. You could always navigate to that documents folder and find every project you were working on and each individual file was available to you with the same name that it had on the server. So if there was ever an issue with the server, your work was safe and easy to find.
In Version Cue server CS4 checked out files are buried in the following location (this one on the Mac) /Users/username/Library/Application Support/Adobe/CS4ServiceManager/diskcache/ and the files either have a “.info” extension or no extension at all. If the server loses your file (as happens all too often) you’re left trying to figure out which one of those files was the actual file you were working on. This terrible file organization can be very disconcerting, because it requires putting a lot of faith in a buggy software product. In fact, it is so troubling to our design department that few if any of them actually use Adobe drive to check out files. They work on all files locally instead and check them in to the version control system when they’re done, defeating the entire purpose of version control in the first place. The worst part about this file organization is that you have to add the extension to the actual file just to find out if it is your file or not. That’s not real fun when you don’t even know if it’s a Flash, Photoshop, or Illustrator file so you have to try all those extensions.
4. Bring back synchronization of projects.
Version control systems such as Version Cue CS3 or SVN (and every other version control system I’ve ever seen or heard of) allow you to synchronize content from the server to your local computer. From there, you can work on the file locally and when you are finished you check the file back into the server. For some unknown, and clearly misguided, reason the new Version Cue server forces you to connect to all projects instead of just the project you are working on and requires that you check out individual files directly from the server instead of allowing you to synchronize an entire project (or subfolder) to your local system.
This is especially troubling for flash developers because Flash CS4 does not integrate into Version Cue server (Really? it’s been over 4 years). Instead, it creates all sorts of files on the filesystem and leaves them checked out. Since you can no longer synchronize a folder, you have to manually find each file that has been checked out even if you did not check it out explicitly. The end result is a mess of files that are almost never checked in properly.
I would love for Adobe to explain why they did away with the most basic functionality of a version control system that they had already implemented successfully in Version Cue CS3 server.
As always, I strongly encourage anyone who is interested in getting Adobe to fix the problems with version cue CS4 to submit either a feedback requests or a bug report form. They are both accessed from the same link. Select version cue from the product list, and if you aren’t sure what to write, copy and paste what I’ve written above. Feel free to submit feedback for every issue as they have told me on more than one occasion that this is the best way to get them to change or fix version cue.