Fear of merging

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 2 Comments

Yes, at the end it is all about merging ;-)

Well, now I have the opportunity to talk with people all around the globe who start using Plastic SCM for their development, and from time to time (more often than not) I find developers who are totally scared about branching.

Did I say branching? Ok, as Linus mentioned the problem is not branching but... yes, merging!

-Are you crazy? If both of us start making changes on separate branches we will end up in big trouble? How is Plastic going to reconcile changes together? Does Plastic understand the code?

-Well, no, it doesn't -I say- but there are algorithms to merge block of lines together: if you change one block and I change other block, they will be merged, no problem, if we both change the same line... Plastic will ask you which one is the right one...

-Uhm... I still remember my old days with CVS when I took several hours to put changes together and...

-Gotcha!

Yes, the good old CVS merging problems... once you suffer it you won't ever forget... or at least it seems. Well, and if you replace CVS by SourceSafe you get the same story... (I won't talk about any other system, although I could put more names... :-P)

Well, then I show them how Plastic manages the merge process, how merge tracking works, how they can be sure they can repeat merges without any problem, how refactoring is also supported, and they their faces change... hey, but then I can do this and that and.... Yes, you can. There was only one reason you were not doing parallel development before... your tool couldn't afford it! (which reminds me: there is only one reason you would by CAR X: you can buy CAR Z :-P)

Watch the following screen-cast and see a simple example merging a WinForms window being modified by two developers at the same time (one puts a button, the other one puts a menu).



And if you prefer full-screen mode you better click here.

2 comments:

  1. Hi,

    from what I've seen plastic scm has neither Intellij IDEA support nor JIRA support. Is it true? if so, how do you think to attract java developers to your scm??? If I see no tooling support such scm doesn't worth even downloading. :)

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  2. Well, I have good news: we're already working on the Jira integration... :-P

    ReplyDelete