Plastic 3.0 is out!

Friday, July 16, 2010 2 Comments

Hello PlastiKers of the world!

We’ve great news: Plastic SCM 3.0 is out!

3.0 is, of course, our greatest release so far, close to 400k LOC, and it comes fully packed with new exciting features, usability improvements and performance tweaks.

If you’re already using Plastic you’ll find many of the things you ever asked for are included here (we do listen to our users and react fast, as you all know) plus a full pack of new stuff (some of it never seen before in the SCM arena).

If you never used Plastic so far I strongly recommend you to take a look into 3.0. You’re probably using SVN, Git, Clearcase or Mercurial (if you’re using something as arcane as CVS or SourceSafe… simply drop it now! :-P ), which are much better known than Plastic but are several step behind us: look at our GUI, look at our branching model, look at our storage possibilities, look our new Xmerge or the new distributed code review system.

Ok, let’s see what’s new:

  • Built-in distributed code review: built-in code review system that tightly integrates with branches, changesets and labels. A review can easily be created from these three elements and then replicated, enabling a distributed review process.

  • Shell extension: Windows Explorer integration that allows developers to perform all the version control operations within Explorer. All the GUI views are accessible from the shell extension too.

  • New Subversion and Perforce importers: improved Subversion importer (both performance and usability) and a totally new Perforce importer.

  • New "pending changes view" on the GUI: now checkouts (checked for edit from the GUI, command line or the plugins), changed (modified outside Plastic control) and privates (potentially new files) can be checked in together from a single view.

  • Xmerge / Xdiff 2.0: the merge and diff tools get updated with "cross merging" technology capable of detecting moved (and modified) code within the same file. Xdiff can find code that you have moved between two revisions, even if it has been moved and then modified, and render it correctly so you can see it's been moved. Xmerge will help you merging together code that has been moved on one revision (and potentially modified) and also modified on a second revision. This is the first merge/diff tool supporting this feature on the market, so it's really worth taking a look into it! :-)

  • External data storage: it is possible to "extract" data from file revisions in a repository so they don't consume main database storage and save them on secondary devices (like DVDs, hard drives and so on). It is possible to plug the media to the server for transparent acccess or to access the "extracted" data directly from the client machine (Plastic will prompt to introduce the right media when accessing a "extracted" revision). It is useful for projects using really big files.

  • Annotate support on GUI: now annotate (cm annotate or cm blame) is also supported from the GUI on a graphical way.

  • SQLite backend support: Plastic servers can now use SQLite as backend. SQLite adds a new backend to the existing set of supported databases: Oracle, MySQL, SQL Server and Firebird. SQLite is very fast on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X environments, but it is better suited for distributed development (a developer running a small footprint server on his laptop or workstation). SQLite is the default on Linux and Mac OS X evaluations.

  • Selector explorer: it is possible to explore branches, labels and changesets without having to download them to a workspace. Advanced users can edit the selector to try more complex configurations.

  • Performance improvements: as usual every new Plastic release is faster than the previous one. We thoroughly tested Plastic with big workspaces (>250k files and 40k directories) and big repositories in several scenarios: from heavy load (hundreds of concurrent users (computer simulated) against a a single server) to single user operations (quickly adding a big workspace into a repository) where we can consistently beat all our major competitors.

    I'll be talking in more detail about all the new features in the coming days. Stay tuned!

    1. Congratulations! The new features are really great!

    2. Hmm... You should probably add Plastic to Wikipedia's site.
      That's the first place most ppl check.