Reading feeds might be a common activity for most people now. But checking out SVN repository? i don’t think so, especially when you’re not involved in the project.
But i’m telling you, it is a good thing to do for a developer. Following everything that happens in your favourite project’s repository can give you a clue whether it is actively developed or just an empty house that has been abandoned.
For example, i can easily know that projects like Zend Framework or Dojo Toolkit are still actively developed. While project like Ngeblog has been practically dead, since there’s no activity for the last four months. 🙂
Sorry guys, i have to stop Ngeblog for now on, since i don’t have much time to maintain it. But don’t worry, there is Zend_Gdata that has similar feature and even more. And since version 0.7.0, Zend_Gdata has been moved into ZF core.
I also have signed Zend CLA last december to submit some of Ngeblog code to them (Client Login authentication). So officially, i am one of ZF developer now. Although there’s no single code i submitted yet till now. Arrgh, still got so many work to do in my daily job.
Anyway, back to SVN. For some projects like Dojo or ZF, getting files by SVN gives you more than by downloading the release package through their website. Dojo for example, gives you buldtools and test utility that i think it’s pretty useful.
The other advantage, of course, you’re always be the first to know the upcoming release. But you should beware, there’s always chances to any updating or even deleting some files in its repository. So keep your local files updated.