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Implemented: Discontinue use of DEVELOP Branch

Decision made and implemented.

  • All code development is done in twiki/trunk/core of the TWiki SVN repository
  • All plugin development is done in the twiki/trunk
  • Access the twiki/trunk at http://svn.twiki.org/svn/twiki/trunk
  • All major and minor releases are tagged and branched off the truk
  • After each major or minor release a TWikiRelease##x## branch is created from which patch releases are tagged. Very urgent bugfixes for core and default plugins are merged from the trunk to Release branch.
  • The DEVELOP and TWikiRelease04x00 branches are discontinued and blocked for further checkins
  • Report bugs using create new Bug report - DEVELOP Bug system
  • TWiki's Subversion requires all changes to be logged against Items in the Bugs system above. see SubversionReadme

Changes were fully implemented 08 Oct 2006. See SubversionReadme and MainBranch.

-- Contributors: CrawfordCurrie, PeterThoeny, KennethLavrsen - 08 Oct 2006


I have been going through the bug database trying to catch up on stuff - or at least to try and help out by adding unit tests for some of the many problems that someone else ought to be fixing - and it's become clear that multibranch development just isn't working any more.

There have been too many changes on DEVELOP that have pulled it out of line with TWikiRelease04x00, and the authors of those changes haven't merged them to TWikiRelease04x00. Unfortunately, at the same time, those changes have made it almost impossible to merge some updates from TWikiRelease04x00 over to DEVELOP without major mental gymnastics. Other changes on TWikiRelease04x00 have never been merged across, for whatever reason (laziness, probably, at least in my case). Extensions of course have never been developed on DEVELOP branch, so their status is moot.

AFAICT no-one is actively working on DEVELOP since I merged the new configure stuff to TWikiRelease04x00. I believe there is no longer sufficient activity on TWiki development to justify a DEVELOP branch, so I think we should stop trying to pretend it is maintained. Of course it may come back to life at some point when someone who has the time to merge the bugfixes from TWikiRelease04x00 wants to use it.

I propose that we:

  1. Shut down the ~develop gateway to the bug DB (update links on t.o.)
  2. Remove ~develop as a codebase from the bug DB


-- CrawfordCurrie - 10 Sep 2006 - (via twiki-dev mailing list)

I support anything that helps simplify the development process, especially for casual developers. I think Crawford has a sensible proposal. It also simplifies documentation. With the new TWikiRelease04x01Process we have a community driven way to work on the TWiki 4 branch, so there is less need for a DEVELOP branch. BTW, I already changed the Bugs Interwiki link from ~develop to ~twiki4 a while ago.

I suggest that web give developers one week time to comment on this proposal. If someone feels like it, we can discuss this in the next EdinburghRelease meeting, otherwise we simply handle and decide on the proposal in this topic.

If we decide to discontinue the use of the DEVELOP branch we need to update many topics in the Codev web to reflect the process change.

-- PeterThoeny - 11 Sep 2006

I agree with Crawford too. There IS a need for a "DEVELOP" branch when someone needs to implement a very new feature that may need some public concept testing before being applied to the stable tree.

But such a need is better fulfilled by creating a temporary branch in the scratch area which is a copy of the current stable version. And then merge back the new feature when it has proven its worth or discard it if it has not. Such scratch branches will only live a few weeks or months. DEVELOP served its purpose well when it was created and now its time is up. As a tester I would rather have tested the new configure feature in a much more stable scratch branch then in the currently rather buggy DEVELOP branch.

Going to a single branch should be done also as we agreed by renaming the TWikiRelease04x00 to MAIN as it was decided in SingleBranchPluginDevelopment. There is very little activity at the moment so now must be the perfect time to implement the change.

One obstacle was that we needed some infrastructure to make it possible to check out DEVELOP and use the Plugins from MAIN. But since DEVELOP now seems to die this is not a huge issue then.

-- KennethLavrsen - 11 Sep 2006

We need multiple branches to deal with security patches properly.

I'd opt to have a single MAIN branch but create patch branches for every minor release for maintenance and experimental/temporary branches.

This actually has been the reason a DEVELOP branch was invented. But the branches have been missused IMHO. The current TWikiRelease04x00 branch is where the next 4.1 release will be build from; DEVELOP has been used for experimental stuff.

So things need to be renamed properly now:

  • TWikiRelease04x00 -> MAIN (or DEVELOP I don't care)
  • DEVELOP -> TWikiFnBranch
  • currently downloadable stable release and all of its patch releases and hotfixes -> TWikiRelease04x00

The only thing that really should be single-branched is the plugins! Let's keep them outside of the core branches, please.

-- MichaelDaum - 11 Sep 2006

I don't really understand your last comment. Are you suggesting moving plugins out of MAIN branch?

Anyway, we have to face realities; no-one is going to put the effort in to do that much reorganisation. I think we are challlenged enough by killing off DEVELOP branch. To start renaming other branches - however sensible that may be - is more work than anyone is going to be prepared to put in.

-- CrawfordCurrie - 15 Sep 2006

Agreed, one step at a time.

-- PeterThoeny - 15 Sep 2006

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Topic revision: r7 - 2006-10-09 - PeterThoeny
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