Delving into the new Version Control Guidance … what’s changed (1) and where is Git?

As mentioned in Version Control guidance v3.BETA flight has landed the team has done a great job re-organising and updating the guidance.  Other than the “cool” cover, what has really changed under the hood / bonnet?

separate guidesimage

The separate guides are all based on the crisp eBook template created by Michael Fourie a while ago for the Better Unit Testing with Microsoft Fakes eBook. It improves the consumption of the guide on multiple devices and by separating the comprehensive guidance into focused topics, allow the user to select the topic of interest and not be forced to download and be distracted by a lot of noise. Apart from the split, the guides also include updates to existing content for Team Foundation Server 2013 and new emerging best practices such as feature toggling and continuous delivery.

do not branch!

It may sound strange, but the branching scenarios guide recommends avoiding or minimising the use of branching to reduce complexity and maintenance costs.

The core message is:

  • Branching is cheap … Merging is expensive!
  • Start with no branching and branch when needed!

meaningful scenario names

In the past we had scenarios called Basic, Standard and Advanced. Some were even “branched” to Basic, Basic Single Branch and Basic Two Branch. Based on feedback from Rangers, the community and personal experience these names were confusing and often resulted in the incorrect scenario being considered. The new guidance introduces friendly scenario names, such as main only, development isolation, and development and release isolation.

For example, the following scenario used to be called Basic Single Branch and is now referred to as Development Isolation, which emphasises the use of a dev branch to isolate the development work:

That’s just three innovations you will find in the latest guidance. We used (1) as part of the blog title, allowing us to continue this thread if needed.

Comments … thoughts?

lastly, where is Git for TFVC user guide?

Based on feedback from reviewers and primarily our product owner (PO) we have decided to reset the guide to improve the guidance and introduce latest learnings from the field and internal dog-fooding environments. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the reset and associated delay. Rest assured that we are committed to the fourth guide and Rangers “always ship” when the quality bar is met. Watch the space!

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