[p4] Guidelines for codelines?

Looney, James B james.b.looney at ulalaunch.com
Thu Nov 20 11:34:34 PST 2008


I'd disagree with developing in the main codeline.  My opinion follows with what Steve said.  With more than one developer at a time, you'll likely get into a mess where you step all over each other (such as when trying to compile).

Yes, mass integrates can be confusing and misleading at times, but remember you can always make your development codelines as fine grained as you like.  We have some software in production.  It has several releases, sometimes bug fixes are required, and sometimes new features are added.  We create a new codeline for each bug fix and new feature.  Later on, when deciding what fixes/features are wanted in the next release, we integrate the changes from each of the appropriate development codelines to the mainline.  From the mainline, we then create a release.

The above does require that mainline changes be tightly controlled.  So we have one guy who performs the appropriate integrations.  It works well for us.  Also, codelines are pretty cheap to create since it's mostly just a database entry.  As I understand it, files aren't created in the repository until changes are committed.

We also have development on software products that aren't in production.  For those products, we usually have one development codeline per developer.  With that sort of software development, we generally aren't as concerned with mass integrations since most of what the developers create is probably useful for the overall product.  But we definitely communicate, and strongly suggest to the developers to integrate back to mainline on a fairly frequent basis to help avoid getting confused.

That's my 2 cents,
-JB

> -----Original Message-----
> From: perforce-user-bounces at perforce.com
> [mailto:perforce-user-bounces at perforce.com] On Behalf Of Matt
> Craighead
> Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2008 11:49 AM
> To: steve at vance.com
> Cc: perforce-user at perforce.com
> Subject: Re: [p4] Guidelines for codelines?
>
> 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
> blog:
> http://www.conifersystems.com/2008/11/05/the-benefits-of-small
> -commits/
> http://www.conifersystems.com/2008/11/12/when-are-small-commits-bad/
>
> '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
> branch.
>
> 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
> http://www.conifersystems.com
> 512-772-1834
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