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Don't describe git as 'automated' version control #455

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js-robinson opened this Issue Dec 6, 2017 · 5 comments

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@js-robinson

js-robinson commented Dec 6, 2017

This page http://swcarpentry.github.io/git-novice/01-basics/ describes git / svn etc. as Automated version control systems, which suggests automation, i.e. that the user doesn't need to do anything in order to record revisions.

This is not a commonly used term and could confuse users.

@djinnome

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djinnome commented Dec 6, 2017

Perhaps a better for description of git, svn, cvs, rcs, etc would be just 'version control system'. This could then be further categorized where git, mercurial, etc would be 'distributed' version control systems and SVN, CVS, etc would be 'centralized' version control systems.

@iglpdc

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iglpdc commented Dec 7, 2017

I understand "automated" in the lesson as not completely manual, instead of completly automated. People would argue that naming the files with the date there were updated or appending "_v_1", "_v_2", etc... is a version control system. Our learners are typically unaware of the existence of version control software, so the step of going from this "manual" version control system to git or svn automates a big part of their versioning.

I would not introduce distributed vs centralized, but maybe a better description clarifiying that is not fully automatic (say like Word autosave or Dropbox versioning) is needed.

What about "automated version control" -> "software/system that automates/helps automatizing (if this is word) part of the versioning process/hassle/burden..."?

@djinnome

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djinnome commented Dec 7, 2017

Perhaps a better way to help our git novices understand the value of an automated version control system like git is to have them first implement a manual version control system as suggested in issue #429

@kekoziar

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kekoziar commented Feb 16, 2018

I tend to use accordion lessons, where I employ formative assessments during my lessons and cover/skip sections as needed. So, I think changing the curriculum based on issue #429 depends on your audience.

The first time I taught this lesson, some learners didn't understand the value of version control, although most did. The next time I facilitated a <5 min discussion after showing the PHD comic where the learners shared their usual method of version control. Many of the learners said they would often append tags at the end of document names. At the end of the workshop, nearly all agreed that version control with git was the most impactful lesson. With the second set of learners, spending an additional 30 minutes to have them implement something they already did would not have been productive.

@iglpdc

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iglpdc commented Mar 22, 2018

See also #382

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