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RE: Is SVN ready for use?

From: Noel Yap <yap_noel_at_yahoo.com>
Date: 2002-12-10 03:51:22 CET

--- John Barstow <John_Barstow@gfsg.co.nz> wrote:
> > It sounds to me that there's a very large chance
> that
> > peoples' builds break due to the "Checkin Often"
> and
> > the "Update Often" policies. How do you resolve
> this?
>
> "Test Often". We use NUnit for automated testing
> during development; it's
> amazing how being able to test after every change
> eliminates build breaks.
> The really cool thing about working with .NET on
> Windows is that you can
> keep the test environment running and still compile
> a new version of the
> DLL, then switch to the test environment and rerun
> the tests without
> restarting.

A good portion of the build breakage is due to
developers forgetting to checkin a file, most likely a
new file they forgot to add to begin with. So, the
tests will work within their environment, but will
still break others' builds. I guess this doesn't
happen too often where you are?

> Of course, on large-scale projects, this is harder
> to do. In those cases,
> though, the stigma of being the one to break the
> build is usually enough to
> get people to at least double-check their compile
> results. You can also
> handle this by controlling the number of committers
> (ala svn) or adopting a
> more rigorous process with branches.

We have enough developers that accidental breakage
occurs fairly often no matter how careful everyone is.
 I'm hoping once Subversion is up-to-par, we can
switch from using CVS to take advantage of the quick
branch creation times. BTW, last I heard, this wasn't
quite constant time; has this been fixed?

> I should also point out that updating often actually
> reduces the *scope* of
> build breaks, if not the actual number. Almost all
> build breaks are trivial
> in this case.

Part of our problem is that the code base is so large
that any build break is a large build break (eg I
don't even want to attempt to find a fix for it
fearing that my "fix" will really break something
badly).

> FWIW, we have had zero build breaks since we started
> using svn.

I'm curious, how many developers work on your project?
 Where I am, having seventy-some-odd developers almost
guarantees broken builds fairly often.

Thanks,
Noel

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Received on Tue Dec 10 03:52:01 2002

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