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Eric Sink, Company Founder

People think we’re odd.

And maybe they’re right. I mean really — a software company that publishes comics?

Let me try to explain. The root of this goes deep, all the way back to the beginning.

In the summer of 1996 I was at my church for one of those Saturday morning men’s pancake breakfasts. The speaker that morning was a guy named Greg. I don’t remember anything he said except this: “If you hate your job, then you either need a new attitude or a new job.”

I was working for a company that had been through a lot of major changes. I had once loved working there, but I no longer did.

After six months of trying to get a new attitude, I founded SourceGear with one very simplistic mission statement: I want to create a place where I will enjoy working.

At first glance, this mission statement appears to be incredibly deficient. It’s too short. Where’s all the stuff about making the world a better place? Why doesn’t it talk about delivering great solutions to customers? How can it be a real mission statement without words like “synergy”, “leverage” and “paradigm”?

Surprisingly enough, my mission statement has worked out very well in practice. It’s simplistic, but it creates all kinds of very positive secondary effects that are visible throughout our company.

First of all, the core principle is contagious. It is no surprise that a place where I enjoy my job is an attractive place for others to work as well. Having a great work environment is part of why we now have an excellent staff of people I am proud to call my coworkers.

And once you have a whole bunch of people who want to enjoy their job, a lot of other things fall into place.

We use our own products every day, so we want them to be great. If they’re not, we’re not going to like working here as much.

Why am I so fanatical about keeping customers happy? Because when you are disappointed with our products or the quality of our service, I don’t like my job very much.

I’m not saying we never make mistakes. We’re not perfect. Our products aren’t perfect. But our goal is always to make great products that our customers like to use. The simple truth is that doing things right is inherently satisfying.

I’d have to admit that my simplistic mission also has a few secondary effects which don’t sound quite as noble. Why does our office have all kind of toys, like a pool table and a Wii? Because they’re fun.

A few years ago we moved our office from a rural location to downtown. Why? So we could walk across the street to great coffee and some excellent local restaurants.

And then we get into a SourceGear marketing meeting and ask ourselves what kind of ad campaign we’re going to do.

“Maybe we should do a basic ad like everybody else’s with a logo at the top, some bullets in the middle, and a download URL at the bottom.”

“If we’re going to do boring marketing that nobody notices, I don’t think I’m going to like my job very much.”

“Hey, instead let’s do a full color comic strip where the dumb project manager who didn’t choose our products is portrayed as an Evil Mastermind with a dry sense of humor and an obsession for pop culture and all the smart developers who wish they could use great version control appear as numbered minions and many of those minions will be drawn with a striking resemblance to people on our own team!”

“But if we do that, won’t people think we’re odd?”

Yeah, maybe.

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Paul Roub, Product Manager

Welcome to the SourceGear Customer Newsletter — a quarterly(-ish) mailing intended to keep you in the loop with what’s new, interesting, and upcoming in and around SourceGear.

In this issue, we’ll visit some of the cool new features in Fortress 1.1 and DiffMerge 3.2. We’ll also talk trade shows, and give you a peek or two behind the scenes of the Evil Mastermind ads and comics.

Speaking of which — at the TechEd Developers conference next week (June 3-6), we’ll debut the Evil Mastermind comic issue #2. Not to mention Guitar Hero contests, Evil Mastermind guitar giveaways, and more! Please stop by booth 1309 and say “hi”.

DiffMerge 3.2 Released

Jeremy Sheeley, Development Manager

We’re very proud of the success that we’ve had since releasing SourceGear DiffMerge as a free product. Users on Mac, Linux and Windows are all enjoying the powerful diff tool that Vault users already know and love. We’ve released a new version of the stand-alone DiffMerge tool, with the following improvements. Of course, users of our commercial products will get all of these enhancements by upgrading to Vault 4.1.2 or Fortress 1.1.2.

  • Added the ability to switch between vertical and horizontal panel layout. This is useful when your files have long lines and you can’t see the entire line without horizontally scrolling.
  • Added alternate cut/copy/paste keyboard shortcuts. In the Windows and Linux versions, we now support Ctrl+Insert, Shift+Insert, and Shift+Delete.
  • Binary file detection. We display a warning, and report if the files are identical using a raw comparison.
  • Made the “multi-line intra-line analysis” adjustable. This increased performance greatly when diffing large files with lots of changes.
  • Added External Tool feature. DiffMerge can now be configured to invoke an external, third-party diff tool for various types of files (such as Microsoft Word documents) based upon the file suffixes.

You can download DiffMerge for free at

Fortress Clouds

Paul Roub, Product Manager

One of the most interesting new features in Fortress 1.1 is called “Tag Clouds”, or just “Clouds”. You may have seen the “Show Cloud” drop down above your work item lists.

What is a Tag Cloud? What’s it good for, anyway?

read on…

Vault/Fortress Power Toys

Jeremy Sheeley, Development Manager

In the years that Vault has been a successful product, we’ve gotten lots of requests for features that we don’t feel fit into our vision for what Vault should be. In some cases the number of requests for these features is so overwhelming that we wish we could have ways to meet customer’s needs outside of the main Vault client. We now have an avenue to provide these solutions, we call them Power Toys

Some of the power toys we’ve released so far are:

  • Deploy. You can automatically deploy a files or a folder locally, over a network share, or through FTP with this power toy. There’s a command line version, and it has the ability to rerun a deploy that you’ve previously performed.

  • The Advanced Obliterate Client. This Power Toy implements a more streamlined way to obliterate deleted items.

  • VSS Share. This wizard will share all subfiles of a folder, instead of sharing the folder.

  • And More

We want to hear your ideas for future Power Toys, as well as feedback on the current ones.

Vault Power Toys

Fortress Power Toys

The Evil Mastermind, Issue #2

John Woolley, Art Director

Our second comic book is complete and will make its debut June 3rd at TechEd 2008 - Developer’s week where SourceGear will be a sponsor.

Get a sneak peak, and hear more about the comics from the man behind the Evil Mastermind, John Woolley here…

Sending out an SOS (Survey)

Jeff Clausius, Lead Engineer

A favorite adage of mine claims the only constant in life is change itself. This certainly holds true in the case of SourceOffSite. Late last year, SourceGear issued a SourceOffSite (SOS) customer survey whose purpose was to gather information about features for a planned SourceOffSite 5.0.

What did we learn? Read on to find out…

SD West recap

Paul Roub, Product Manager

Wherein we list the reasons that SD West was a blast.


Life is Short. Upgrade to Vault 4.1, and then Go Fishing

John O'Neill, CEO

Life is short. Too short to waste without the latest Vault features.

As someone who pays attention to today’s real issues, it’s very clear to me that what the world truly needs is a greater appreciation of the fragile nature of our global environment, better education, and fully-supported .NET and Java APIs.


Customer Testimonial

“I have used SourceSafe, TFS, CVS, PVCS and Atria ClearCase and we recently started trialling Fortress. I have to say it is the best VCS I have ever used.

“I never have to think or even read the manual. It just does the job without fuss and you hardly know it’s there. It’s simple to integrate using the VAULT command. I had a problem where my network connection went down. How does Fortress handle that…. what’s this? A ‘go online’ option. Problem solved.

“Robust, seemingly bulletproof, stable and fast, no weird errors messages or having to do bizarre things, capable of being integrated with a custom written build tool in under half an hour… well done.”

Richard Clarke

SourceGear Newsletter Issue #02

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