As announced, I’ve installed DropBox and SparkleShare today on my Windows XP-based PC. DropBox works out-of-the-box 😉 and makes the impression of a mature and stable application. It works fast, reliably and features Web interface to overlook and manage the state of your remote repository. Its only shortcoming (except for the one mentioned in previous post) is that you cannot manage file history in off-line mode – this is something Git-based solutions for sure don’t suffer from (major benefit of distributed VCS). Thanks to directory monitoring, changes are picked up right when they actually happen (not in a time-triggered fashion) and are propagated to DropBox server almost instantly. So basically – DropBox just works(tm 😉 )
Now to SparkleShare – unfortunately, I’ve learned the painful way (immortal ‘Program has ended unexpectedly…’ message) that it is unsupported on Windows XP !!! That’s a major issue in my opinion but never mind – I gave it a try anyway on another PC running Windows 7. SparkleShare’s user interface looks quite nice and provides easy wizard-based configuration. We can have SparkleShare handle Git projects hosted on our own server or any of the free Git hosting providers: Bitbucket, Github, Gitorious or The GNOME Project. However, all seems nice and well only as long as you’re not behind a firewall! I’ve tried to add a project hosted on my own server and failed miserably. For all the free hosting providers SparkleShare also tries to use SSH and fails. And there’s no option for HTTP proxy configuration (this is what I normally use to punch through to my server). Ouch! That’s painful – I can’t really test it now, can I? ;/ Actually I can but since it requires some extra steps, I will let it rest for now.
It was all anyway to prepare the stage for a new player – my very own thin-git ; ) More about it in the next post. It actually works where SparkleShare failed! 😉