June 4, 2008

Slow News Day

Surround SCM
It’s not unusual for someone to suggest a feature which, in fact, we already have. It’s not even all that unusual for that person to be using the version of the software that has that feature. So I thought I would take a few minutes to point out some features in Surround that you may have forgotten, or missed during an upgrade.

Repository differences

This was mentioned in our last newsletter but I think it’s worth pointing out again. The Repository Differences window shows the difference between the server repository and your local working directory. This includes files that are missing from your working directory as well as files in your working directory not in Surround. It can even do this recursively. Check out the newsletter or the user documentation.

View/Edit file options

If you don’t want to use the internal viewer or editor for files, you can easily customize what to do using your user preferences. If you have a favorite XML editor, for example, you can tell Surround to use that when double clicking on an XML file. This is especially useful for text files, which all default to the internal editor.

File list and Repository menu

Speaking of user preferences, you can customize the list of items in the context menu for files and repositories. That way, if there are some actions you rarely perform (like sharing files) you can remove the clutter from those menus. This is also a great chance to take a look at some items like the new Open Containing Folder feature we added in Surround 2008.1.


Although one of the primary uses of changelists is to guarantee a set of actions occur atomically, they are also a great way to group a set of actions together and give them a name. Unlike a lot of other SCM systems, Surround allows you to give changelists a human-readable name. Then, if you ever need to know “what were all the things I did to address this request” you can pull up your list of committed changelists and see.