Team Foundation vs. SourceSafe | Cloaking

Klingons and Romulans everywhere will bristle with pride when they learn that cloaking has survived the conceptual port from Visual SourceSafe to Team Foundation. Cloaking is a vital feature in VSS as it speeds up expensive Get operations and conserves disk space on your client by not retrieving items that you deem outside the scope of your project. For Team Foundation users, cloaking works in roughly the same way as it does in VSS. In my opinion however, it is not such a killer feature, mainly because Team Foundation gets at warp speed compared to VSS and partly because disk space is much cheaper today than it was in VSS’ heyday.

[John Gallant] “I finally learned what the cloaking feature of VSS does and wanted to share.

If you cloak a folder, you are marking it as a folder that you do not want to include in a recursive get. 

For example, lets say you have this dir structure.

 – Apps (Cloaked)
 – TestCases

If you were to do a recursive get from $/, the Apps directory would be excluded from the get.

This is very helpful if you want to get latest, but don’t want to get a certain dir, like “Images” for instance.  A real time saver in my opinion.

How To Cloak:
1. Right click on VSS project
2. Select Properties
3. Check the “project cloaked for me” checkbox.

Here’s the complete ref.

In the Visual Studio Team System IDE, you can cloak a folder in your workspace using the Source Control Explorer in roughly the same way you do it in the VSS explorer. Using the Team Foundation command line utility, you can cloak a folder in your workspace using tf workfold /cloak c:\projects\images. Doing so ensures that the contents of the repository folder to which \images maps are not retrieved to disk during recursive Get operations of the c:\ or c:\projects directories.

Disclaimer   Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation is an orange tree and Microsoft Visual SourceSafe is an pomegranate. They’re both sweet but they don’t compare. SourceSafe is a standalone source control system for individual developers and small teams. Team Foundation is an integrated, extensible work item tracking, workflow management, and source control system for teams of any size. For more information, see The [new] Future of Visual SourceSafe and Microsoft’s New Source Code Control Application.

Comments (14)

  1. Ricky Dhatt says:

    Er…ITYM "Klingons".

  2. You’d think that a Corby whose name begins with a ‘K’ would get the spelling of ‘K’lingon right the first time. <<blush>> Fixed.

  3. an pomegranate?

    In any case, I think the biggest gain scenarios aren’t the ones like John’s – in that case I’d just map TestCases and never create a mapping for $/ or $/Apps in the first place.

    However, if $/TestCases has 10 folders, each 200MB (or whatever) and I’m interested in 8 of the 10, I’ll just map $/TestCases and cloak those 2 that I don’t care about.

    It’s kind of interesting mainly because at this point I still don’t have a good feel for just how much mapping management people will be doing on their own – we’re going to try and make things "just work" of course, but there will be people that map $/ and be done with it and others that will end up with dozens of mappings. Both are fine and valid, of course – it’ll be interesting to see all the different usage scenarios 🙂

  4. Time and again, the most common sceario that I’ve seen discussed in newsgroups and in the blogosphere is the one that John Gallant ( mentions:

    Always get me the contents of /src but don’t bother getting /images.

    In the future, I think we’re bound to see more and more related scenarios as Team System leads teams to consolidate IP that they currently store outside their source control repositories.

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