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Re: [XP] Things that scare me: private branches

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  • Brad Appleton
    ... Okay - now take _everything_ you wrote below and and replace it with XP or some XP practice (collective code ownership, as an example). Some of the
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 9, 2001
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      On Thu, Nov 08, 2001 at 10:18:13AM -0800, Robert Sartin wrote:
      > OK, I read something on the list that reminded me of something that
      > scares me: private developer branches scare me.

      Okay - now take _everything_ you wrote below and and replace
      it with "XP" or some "XP" practice (collective code ownership,
      as an example). Some of the sentences won't even make sense. But
      the fear of branches/XP/whatever is still there.

      How is your "fear of private branches" different from (or not
      so different from) many other people's fear of "collective
      code ownership".

      Now take all those things you try to tell people who are fearful
      of XP that it really does work and really isn't the nightmare
      they are afraid of. Take all those things, and whisper them
      to yourself.

      You clearly recognized that a "disciplined team" can do this
      successfully, and even recognized some of the benefits. A lot
      of your fears seem to be fear of developers doing something
      different from what "disciplined" developers can be trusted
      to do. Is this a matter of fear? or is it one of trust?

      Am I correct in sensing that part of your fear seems to be
      that instead of a "branch per discrete development task"
      you will instead witness a "branch per developer"?

      One can view each "branch" as a "view of the codebase" and
      if we have clear communication on a hyperfrequent basis,
      then we should all have the same view (especially if we have
      "collective code ownership").

      Sometimes it is a difference in personal meaning of terminology
      ... What does the term "checkin" mean to you - how do you use
      it with your own tools. Do you "checkin" only when everything
      is compiled and working? When you do so, are your changes
      immediately visible ("committed") to the rest of the code base
      for others on the same codeline?

      Or are you used to doing a checkin whenever you like, and it
      doesn't get seen by the rest of the "codebase" until you do an
      explicit "commit" of some kind?

      For some tools (and I don't claim CVS is one of them, maybe
      it is and maybe it isn't, or more likely, maybe it depends
      on how you use it) the branch serves the purpose of allowing
      them to checkin the intermediate (possibly non-working) code
      as a retrievable "checkpoint" without impacting others and
      the "merging" back to the mainline is the CVS-like "commit"
      operation.

      If you grasp that (and it seems you do), and if you see
      the value of that, then how is your fear of "diverging for
      too long" significantly different from non-XPerts fear of
      "collective code ownership"?

      Some folks working on large project split up into "feature
      teams" or "teams per subsystem". If each team is about 8-12
      people, how might they all work together as a larger group
      forming a larger overall system? It has been noted that XPs
      "continuous integration" can be difficult to scale in this
      kind of environment. Especially if each team is required by
      customers to be able to support multiple releases (maintenance,
      new development, and perhaps even customer-market variants)
      in the field.

      Do you feel a feature/subsystem-branch per-team per supported
      codeline might be one possible way of "synchronizing"
      communication and coordination among multiple XP-sized
      teams at larger-scaled intervals than typically applies
      for ContinuousIntegration? If so, does this "scale down"
      from teams to team-members and from "supported codelines"
      to individual short-lived tasks? (why? or why not?)

      --
      Brad Appleton <bradapp@...> http://www.bradapp.net/
      "And miles to go before I sleep." -- Robert Frost
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