|By Jesse Randall Warden
|April 14, 2009 10:30 PM EDT
This entry is about utilizing branches for each developer in Subversion, Merge Day, and how while cool, it’s an ivory tower process.
Note: This isn’t a tenet of the Agile methodology itself, it’s just something that works well when you have a bunch of developers collaborating together rapidly, and a specific workflow our client requested we follow.
We’re utilizing a Branch Workflow on my current project. What this means is that each developer creates their own branch in Subversion. If you’re utilizing Tortoise SVN on PC or Versions on Mac, this is effectively a folder. As you may know, Subversion has 3 default folders that you typically utilize in a repository, and hopefully each project gets its own repository. These are branches, tags, and trunk.
Some people choose to ignore these. Some put multiple projects into the same repo. Both are fine because the mere fact people are utilizing source control in the first place, even if its just for disaster recovery, is great.
These folders, however, really do have a few reasons for their existence that have been well thought out. Each source control system tries to out-do the next. In Subversions case, the simple definitions are trunk is for the current version of your project, tags are for multiple older versions of your project, and branches are for experimental features or code that will possibly be merged back into trunk later.
Those are EXTREMELY simple definitions. If you read the SVN book as well as other people who incorporate SVN into their workflow, the definitions and purposes can get quite complex. For the project I’m currently on, branches take on a new meaning. Not only are they where experimental code goes, but they each represent a user story. Meaning, if I’m working on completing the user story where the user can modify their hardware device settings via a Flex form, that’ll go in it’s own branch. Using source control to do this is pretty straight forward. Instead of checking in here:
You instead check-in here:
And the other developer with me would be working from:
Pretty easy right? It gets even easier to check in. No more, “Dude, have you checked your shiz in?” to another developer, or the cardinal rule of doing an update before checking in. Now you can check in to your hearts content knowing it’s your own repo to abuse how you wish.
This has the side benefit of NOT breaking trunk… usually. Again, the point of having frozen code you KNOW for a fact works is to use a tag, or a series of tagged builds. A lot of developers get seriously bent out of shape if you break the trunk. At one job, whoever broke the trunk had to use this monkey icon for their IM icon for one week. It was funny until the 50th person asked why I had a silly monkey icon, and by that point, I was swearing I’d never break ANY trunk ever again. This can possibly have the effect of keeping ‘em happy. At the very least, this reduces the possibility of it happening because no one is working from trunk.
Instead, you check into trunk at the end of every sprint, or for my team, from Merge Day onwards.
Part of Agile is to have a day a few days before your UAT where everyone merges their working user stories into the same code base and “works out the kinks”. Since everyone was coding in a different direction, this can be good and bad. Good because they are working on completely unrelated things, but in GUI coding, we all know some things are extremely related. Specifically, these are your data model in the form of ValueObjects, calls to a framework such as the use of Event classes in Cairngorm and PureMVC Mediators, and modifying settings in higher level view’s or CSS.
Since this can potentially have major consequences for some portions of a user story, or set of stories, it’s important to devote a pre-scheduled time where the team knows their code will be merged with everyone else’s code. This is called Merge Day on my project and it happens every other Wednesday. I take my branch and my co-workers, and merge his code into mine. Then, I fix things that explode. This could be as simple as just merging code over, or a complex verbal discussion to work towards resolving 2 different implementations. No code is trivial. If another developer added a style to MXML for example, setting the background color may seem small to you, but could be the difference between working or non-working code for the other developer’s code, so its important you do these merges together.
Once that is done, I merge into trunk, test again, fix explosions, and finally check in the working build. I then upload a new build, or in the case of my current project, deploy a new build in a new sandbox utilizing Django’s web interface. It can deploy to the web the latest bin-release that’s checked into SVN by merely clicking a button. I’ll send an email to all members of the team identifying what’s new in the build. This includes user stories, fixed bugs, and other things of note that are different from previous builds.
For fellow developers, this is a courtesy. For Project Managers, it’s a necessity for them to set client expectations for Friday’s UAT. For everyone it’s a Sprint milestone as well as reality check. You can identify what user stories are done, which ones aren’t, what older ones you may have broken, and which current ones have issues. You can then plan with your team what to spend the next day and a half on. This is also where the rules can potentially break down. What I’ll usually do is check my local copy into a new branch, and either fix partially completed or broken user stories, or just finish what I can. The temptation here is to abandon branches since you only have a day and a half and it isn’t worth the trouble; just don’t break trunk in the meantime.
…riiiight. The last thing you want to have happen the day before UAT is get all stressed out because trunk is broken. To me, it’s worth the extra time in using the process to ensure your UAT prep goes smoothly. I’m conservative.
I say that all high and mighty like, but on Sprint #2, I did just that. Did I get lucky or was it just mad skillz? Luck.
Now, all of the above processes could have been done with just utilizing trunk. As you can hopefully see utilizing a branch for each developer, or multiple since creating a new folder is really easy, helps things go a lot smoother without surprises. You can also plan for the chaos on Merge Day, which while extremely stressful for whoever is doing the merging, is at least expected and a concerted team effort. I really have enjoyed the Branch Workflow so far.
…however, I don’t see it catching on. Every Flash & Flex developer I’ve ever talked to doesn’t use branches. Sam Robbins mentioned over Twitter they might start adopting this workflow at their place of work, and that’s great, but again, it seems to me most developers feel trunk is good enough and branches are just an unnecessary complication.
Stay tuned for #4 in the Agile Chronicles series where I talk about the POC (Proof of Concept), business strategy, and design challenges.
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
Aug. 27, 2016 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,288
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.
Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
Aug. 27, 2016 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,082
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
Aug. 27, 2016 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,569
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
Aug. 27, 2016 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,875
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps.
In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications.
In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
Aug. 27, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 567
SYS-CON Events announced today Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
Aug. 27, 2016 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 758
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
Aug. 27, 2016 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,341
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
Aug. 27, 2016 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 3,613
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location.
With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Aug. 27, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,976
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.
The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Aug. 27, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,363
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value.
In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Aug. 27, 2016 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,910
Pulzze Systems was happy to participate in such a premier event and thankful to be receiving the winning investment and global network support from G-Startup Worldwide. It is an exciting time for Pulzze to showcase the effectiveness of innovative technologies and enable them to make the world smarter and better.
The reputable contest is held to identify promising startups around the globe that are assured to change the world through their innovative products and disruptive technologies. There w...
Aug. 27, 2016 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 685
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
Aug. 27, 2016 03:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,798
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abil...
Aug. 27, 2016 02:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,017
With so much going on in this space you could be forgiven for thinking you were always working with yesterday’s technologies. So much change, so quickly. What do you do if you have to build a solution from the ground up that is expected to live in the field for at least 5-10 years?
This is the challenge we faced when we looked to refresh our existing 10-year-old custom hardware stack to measure the fullness of trash cans and compactors.
Aug. 27, 2016 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,748
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions wi...
Aug. 27, 2016 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,034
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things.
And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
Aug. 27, 2016 12:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,948
Is the ongoing quest for agility in the data center forcing you to evaluate how to be a part of infrastructure automation efforts?
As organizations evolve toward bimodal IT operations, they are embracing new service delivery models and leveraging virtualization to increase infrastructure agility. Therefore, the network must evolve in parallel to become equally agile. Read this essential piece of Gartner research for recommendations on achieving greater agility.
Aug. 25, 2016 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 823
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
Aug. 25, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,652
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
Aug. 25, 2016 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,178