Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Working on Branches and the Stable Trunk

I used to work on the trunk because for all the projects I worked on, it's either I was the sole developer or the team ensured that everyone code check-in has passed the local tests. Otherwise, we created (we still) branches for bug fixes, large code for new features, etc.

About 2 months ago, I had a short git session with Kamal and he shared with me the idea of story/branch. And as my team started to grow with more dev guys, I feel the need of encouraging more branching and now this has become a rule. For a project with automated tests defined with CI set up, a stable trunk is guaranteed and this practice can fit very well into it.

We don't use git but Subversion because that's how we started and we are still comfortable with it now (most of the time).

If you have a working copy on trunk, here're some simple steps to switch to a branch (svn switch won't work):

svn cp https://repo/trunk https://repo/branches/module-version-storyname
cd /path/to/trunk/working/copy
svn diff > /tmp/diff
svn co https://repo/branches/module-version-storyname
cd module-version-storyname
patch -p0 < /tmp/diff


cheeming said...

If you have time, try out git-svn gives you a bit of git and you can still stick to SVN as your main centralised repo.

It adds a bit more complexity to your normal work flow but I find its worth it.

Yuen-Chi Lian said...

Will do! Thanks for the sharing.