While a little off topic, I feel that it is worth our having a discussion on project management. Source control, and the like ...

Current discussion on 'git' highlights the fact that there is no clear solution to source control. The switch TO SVN was pushed through even though a few problems with that were then coming to light and now that move is probably questionable. Projects that had not jumped have now put that on hold since DVCS is obviously the next step, but none of the current solutions are ideal and each have as many minus as plus points.

The real problem that I am finding is that all of these 'systems' work on the basis that we are handling source code which will then be compiled. Managing code that is not compiled becomes something of a mess especially when it would be nice to maintain file versions in those script files, and running a 'build' process to restore the tidy CVS type headers then makes things difficult between different DVCS systems. Many core DVCS developers simply do not understand that there is NOT a final binary distribution?

Personally I've been getting into something of a mess trying to manage distributing PHP projects that are version controlled via hg since the only real way is to install hg on all the target machines ... something which is not really practical? I do get told to just use rsync to clone the files to other machines, which is a little impractical when the target machines are windows or don't have internet access. Fortunatly the CVS original is still running and back porting is sorting out the distribution problem!

On top of that managing the release process to combine updates from other distributed code bases has already created the situation where there are 'sub-projects' which it is now difficult to integrate back with the original main project.

I think we need to start a more integrated discussion on the whole of this project management process so that we can come up with a usable approach that works more generally for scripted language projects? Add IDE's like Eclipse and to some extent Zend framework, and there is another layer of complexity that further fragments the overall requirements. I've never had a problem with 'merging' simply because Eclipse/BC handles that and is currently allowing me to untangle the current niggles!

Lester Caine - G8HFL
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