[p4] Guidelines for codelines?

Matt Craighead matt.craighead at conifersystems.com
Thu Nov 20 10:49:25 PST 2008

My personal recommendation is to avoid development branches.  I've found
development branches to be a lot more trouble than they're worth.  One of
the biggest problems is "mass integrates".  I've written about this on my

'One common way people end up committing large changes is the dreaded "mass
integrate".  That is, you have two branches, and you want to catch up the
one branch with all the changes made to the other branch.  In a mass
integrate, rather than integrating each individual change over by itself,
you integrate all of the changes together in one big commit.  Mass
integrates may touch hundreds or thousands of files.'

Also, in Perforce you can undo a bad change, but you can't simultaneously
roll back the integration history -- if you undo the change, the integration
history will be wrong.  This makes these changes especially dangerous.

I would say you are better off having all development take place in the main

On Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 4:45 PM, steve at vance.com <steve at vance.com> wrote:

> The release codeline should only be for fixes to defects found in QA on the
> release. Fixes found in other releases that need to be ported to that
> release qualify through integration.
> Think of your use of development codelines (you're really talking multiple,
> not just one, right?) as ways to avoid risk to the ongoing releasability
> and productivity of your mainline. Some people only integrate to the
> mainline because the only want fully qualified and reviewed changes there
> and branches help them implement that process.
> Feature that may not be done before next release? Branch it. Project with
> significant architectural change? Branch it. Prototype or one-off
> development? Branch it. Want to be able to check in without necessarily
> following the code quality rules on main (with good justification, of
> course)? Branch it.
> Steve
> Original Message:
> -----------------
> From: Chris Helck Chris.Helck at us.icap.com
> Date:   Mon, 17 Nov 2008 15:58:26 -0500
>  To: perforce-user at perforce.com
> Subject: [p4] Guidelines for codelines?
> We are following the standard development, main, release model and I'm
> trying to create guidelines for our developers to help them figure out
> which codeline they should work on. My question is when can work be done
> directly on the main line? It seems to me the logic goes something like
> this:
> 1. If the change is for a specific release and the release codeline
> exists then the change goes on the release codeline.
> 2. If the change is an experiment, a large open ended change, or for an
> unscheduled release then it goes on a development codeline.
> 3. Everything else can go on the main.
> This isn't very crisp and it's bound to be confusing. Can someone
> suggest a clearer statement?
> Also, I understand some people use the main only for integrations.
> When/why is this recommended?
> Thanks,
> C. Helck
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Matt Craighead
Founder/CEO, Conifer Systems LLC

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