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Thu, 11 Mar 2004

This is an archived blog post. I've switched to using WordPress as my blogging software and have not migrated all my old posts. I believe strongly in not letting an old link die, so this page continues to work. Please do visit mikemason.ca/blog to read newer posts.

SCM Best Practices

The people behind Perforce, pretty much my favourite version control system, have come up with a set of Software Configuation Management Best Practices. It’s an interesting paper, written by two Perforce employees with considerable experience helping their clients implement and support SCM. The advice is simple, but often overlooked. Here’s a rundown of the points they make:

Don’t share workspaces, stay in sync with the codeline, check in often. Give each codeline a policy and an owner, and have a mainline (trunk). Branch only when you have to, don’t copy when you should branch, and branch late. Get the right person to do merges. Use common build tools, build often, and keep build logs and output (use CruiseControl). Give everything an owner, and use living documents.

Interestingly the latter half of what they describe, which might be referred to as “build engineering”, is already advocated by XP. Proper SCM can make a tremendous difference to a project, and it’s worth thinking about upfront before things like deadlines rear up and scupper your efforts.

Posted 13:24, 11 Mar 2004.  

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