[p4] Codelines and Components

Matt Craighead matt.craighead at conifersystems.com
Thu Nov 20 10:57:34 PST 2008

This is the "//depot/component/main/..." vs. "//depot/main/component/..."

I favor the latter approach -- put all components under a shared "main".
The key advantages:

- You can use relative paths to find one component from another.
- You can modify the interfaces between components in a single atomic commit
to the depot.
- Bug fixes and other enhancements to components are picked up immediately,
without need to cut a new release.
- Changes don't affect other branches.  Changing //depot/releaseX will not
affect *anything* in //depot/main.

The biggest downside is that new bugs in components are also picked up
immediately.  But discovering a bug sooner (and being forced to fix it
sooner) is usually a good thing, not a bad thing.  And if you have good
regression tests, you can prevent most breaks from happening in the first
place using a product such as my company's Cascade, which will not only
automate your builds and regression tests, but will also refuse to allow
people to commit changes that haven't passed those build and regression

On Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 4:27 PM, Chris Helck <Chris.Helck at us.icap.com>wrote:

> I'm looking for tips and references on how to work with multiple
> components and codelines. We're a small Java shop and we use Maven to
> build components (jar files). We're having problems when a single
> functional change involves changes to multiple components. Issues of
> which codelines to modify, when to propagate changes, and who should
> compile against what are always popping up.
> For example, should an application's mainline always compile/link
> against its dependent component mainlines? Or should dependencies be
> always to release lines?
> Another example: if while doing a large change in a development codeline
> I discover a small, but nasty, bug in another component. Should I create
> a development branch for the component and fix the bug, or should I fix
> the bug on its mainline (or even in a release line)?
> While we're enchanted by the promise of components we're finding it to
> be a very confusing landscape to navigate through.
> Regards,
> Christopher Helck
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Matt Craighead
Founder/CEO, Conifer Systems LLC

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