Friday, 29 October 2010

20 things that are wrong with TFS, and counting

We have recently spent a lot of time using TFS 2008, im no expert with this tool but it seems to me that there are lots of issues with it. Its not that im trying to do some TFS bashing but my last project using subversion didn't have source control problems.

As always though if anyone out there can put me right on any of these issues please do so.

  1. Renames and deletes don't always properly get merged between trunk and branch and back.
  2. We had really random deletion of files when doing a merge from a branch that has had a baseless merge applied to it, (files were randomly deleted off the trunk during merge) these files existed in our branch and the trunk before the merge, but were removed off the trunk after.
  3. After doing a baseless merge (using power tools on the cmd prompt) you then can't reliably use the TFS GUI to do things like merges, you must use the command line tools.
  4. Tooling just doesn't work when merging, files that have no conflicts just don't auto merge all the time and requires manual intervention for no reason. This is intolerable when refactoring and you have changed 100+ files.
  5. No ability to create patch files which can be subsequently applied to other branches.
  6. Changes to one branch cant be merged into another branch unless you go via the trunk.
  7. You cant merge workitems between branch and trunk, even though workitems are the main unit of work in TFS.
  8. Many standard features like rollback are not built in. It requires an additional 'power tools' download (There is no GUI for rollback)
  9. Can't seem to rollback to a given point in time, you can only rollback 1 changeset at a time, this just seems wrong to us?
  10. Using TFS built in diff tool reports lines that have no changes to have changes. And does not line up source and target very well making the tool very hard to use when trying to spot important differences.
  11. Doesn't know that files or folders have been added unless you tell TFS in the GUI, This can easily lead to files not getting checked in if they were not created in visual studio.
  12. The GUI doesn't always update to reflect the state of the source control, requires a refresh, this mainly effects the pending changes view.
  13. The UI is confusing in that if you are browsing the source and click on a file to open it, it opens the local copy not the one in source control. Also it doesn't tell you that the local is different from the one in source control.
  14. When you add a new mapping to your workspace the tool says 'do you want to update your workspace?' when you say yes it then goes and gets everything from your workspace and updates everything, you expect it to only get the changes due to the new mapping. this caused us quite a lot of confusion and wasted time, but luckily nothing was lost.
  15. Sometimes labels disappear, completely, as if they were never created.
  16. A label to label comparison does not always give the same results as a date to date comparison, even though the dates used are the same as when the labels were created.
  17. Checking out (not getting) the entire branch takes ages (40 minutes plus) even though the source is not really that big (70,500 files), we actually gave up in the end and 1/2 were checked out 1/2 were not.
  18. Deleting a branch took 40 minutes. Did a delete in TFS of the branch folder (took 10 mins) got a pending delete dialogue box, tried to check in the delete which failed with the error 'the local copy is not up to date', so we then undid the delete which took 20 mins, got the latest source (3 mins) and finally did the delete again (10 mins). Why cant TFS tell us up front the delete wont work because our file system is not up to date? and why when doing it in the TFS GUI does our local file system matter? especially since we had no pending changes?
  19. When you re-branch you lose your branch history.
  20. If you tolerate this, then your code will be next...