It had to happen, logically speaking I mean. Software change and configuration management (SCCM or SCM depending on your preferred acronym) probably needed to offer more advanced web and multimedia visualisation capabilities. I mention this because I’ve recently been looking at the open source version control offering put forward by Gitorious and trying to ask why anyone would bother with a bought solution when this collaboration tool appears to be gaining popularity.
This may be part of the reason why; Gitorious does not appear to offer extended web and multimedia visualisation – although a simple search on the home page linked in the above para with the term “web” does point to the Imagine Framework for Web Applications.
Who is attempting to persuade the market that extra relevance to web development is the next big thing in SCM? Well, the product (officially announced last Thursday) is called Perforce Visual Client, so that ought to be a clue. Its makers claim that through a cross-platform graphical interface, web developers and web designers can preview changes to web, video and audio content.
Is this the next major function to be sent reverberating through the open source SCM space? Perforce’s COO Nigel Chanter argues that the SCM needs of the engineering department vary greatly from those required by the marketing and legal departments. “Through system customisation, we can optimise usability and offer the appropriate level of features and functions to each discipline or department throughout the enterprise,” he said.
I’m not going to turn this blog into an open source vs. proprietary debate. God forbid that were to ensue. I’ll simply round off by saying that I do a bit of copywriting for a web design agency and I know that they guys with the fingers on the mouse pads do have to perform a lot of client-facing niggles – for distinctly different departments in large companies. So a tool like this that allows for greater ‘customisability’ and, if you like, ‘preview-ability’ is more likely than not to be a positive step forward.
Will open source SCM and collaboration offerings move to emulate this development? No no no & thrice no, I thought I said we weren’t going to talk about it.