Today we released plasticnotifier, a small utility to monitor Plastic SCM repositories and notify about new changesets on the Windows Desktop using “toast notifications”.

We published the code and binaries on GitHub so feel free to download it, use it and of course modify it for your own needs :-).

Toast notifications are these small panels showing up on the right side of the screen, displaying useful tips about running apps.

Creating Toasts notification is straightforward if you are coding Universal apps, but it takes a little bit more when you are on desktop or console apps.

This blogpost shows how to create Toast notifications from a C# console application. The code is available on a GitHub repo (pushed from Plastic, btw) and it runs both on W10 and W8.x.

SemanticMerge just turned 2.0 and we’re all very proud of it. It is the first major release since we launched the product back in 2013.

2.0 features a totally redesigned user interface that makes it more suitable for daily use. Now it is not just the tool you use to handle tough merges. Thanks to the new design it is now the tool you can use on a daily basis for a wider range of scenarios. It is more intuitive and easier to use.

It happens quite often -- teams moving away from Git to Plastic ask me what happens with features like rebase and even commands like rerere. They normally jump to Plastic because of the big files, the GUIs, but they want to ensure that they won’t miss any of the things they love in Git.

This blogpost tries to answer these questions, and more specifically: why you won't miss Git-style rebase (or history rewriting entirely) nor rerere in Plastic.

And it all lies in how Plastic handles branching differently than Git...

Sideloading is the mechanism to install Windows Store apps without downloading from the Windows Store. This would occur if we want to distribute line of business (LOB) apps or for testing purposes.

For many Windows Store apps, the publishing flow is usually pretty basic and as easy as following this wizard:

Windows Store apps - Wizard

Using this wizard, we can generate our app packages, and upload them to the Windows Store in an easy way. But sometimes we face more complex scenarios beyond the scope of Visual Studio. Sometimes we don't want to publish our app but need a way to distribute it in our organization.

Some common scenarios that could cause this situation are:

  • Generating app packages within a Continuous Integration flow.
  • Automating a Sideloading scenario to distribute the app outside the Windows Store.
  • Installing on the same machine different versions of the app for different environments (Development, Release Candidate, Production, etc.)

This article will explain the mechanisms that will allow us to cover these three scenarios.

A few days ago the Plastic SCM crew (me included!) went to the dotNet Spain Conference 2016 in Madrid. It was an awesome experience. We had the chance to see the latest .NET technologies in motion and learn a lot from great Microsoft experts. We even got mentioned by Satya Nadella himself!

The next day the HackForGood hackathon took place in Valladolid (among many other places). Carlos and I were present as mentors, and we were impressed by the enthusiasm and the innovative ideas of the participants. While we were around talking with the developers, we took notice that all of them used some task system to organize their work. Most of them used Trello because it's simple and fast, it doesn't require setup and as a cloud application, it's accessible anytime, anywhere.

Seeing this, I realized that Plastic SCM could easily be extended to display tasks data from Trello, just as it already does for many other issue tracking systems. It could be a great option for small teams or individuals working in prototypes, side projects or just coding as a hobby! So, encouraged by the DIY spirit lived at the dotNet Conference I decided to implement that extension myself.

When I run a demo of our source code merge program, a developer occasionally raises a hand and asks, "What do you mean by 'three versions' of the file being merged?" To answer this and explain how three-way merges work and why they are important, let's start by taking a look at the traditional two-way merge.

This article was originally published at the Dr. Dobb's portal.