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From "Nascif Abousalh-Neto" <Nascif.AbousalhN...@sas.com>
Subject RE: Best Practices for Version Convergence
Date Thu, 16 Aug 2007 13:09:47 GMT
Thanks for all the replies. I agree that in the end, technology can't
solve what is basically a human communication problem... but some of the
tips were very interesting. I don't know if centralizing the version
decisions by reviewing warnings or using variables will scale to the
size of our organization, but it is worth investigating.

Regards,
  /Nascif 

-----Original Message-----
From: Xavier Hanin [mailto:xavier.hanin@gmail.com] 
Sent: Thursday, August 16, 2007 3:09 AM
To: ivy-user@incubator.apache.org
Subject: Re: Best Practices for Version Convergence

On 8/15/07, Stephane Bailliez <sbailliez@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Nascif Abousalh-Neto wrote:
> > One of the features that attracted me to Ivy was the possibility to 
> > switch between dynamic and fixed versions. While dynamic versions 
> > can help you to keep your code always integrated with the latest and

> > greatest from your dependencies (specially if backed up by a 
> > Continuous Integration server), a static version can protect you 
> > from a buggy new version and allow you some stability to develop a 
> > new feature while your dependency is churning.
> >
> > But I got worried after a conversation with a friend from a large 
> > company, which told me that they gave up on using static versions 
> > because they would never converge. Complex products typically have 
> > many "diamond-shape" subgraphs embedded in their dependency graphs, 
> > which creates lateral dependencies that are hard if not impossible 
> > to catch locally. Even if you can detect them early by using tools 
> > that can pinpoint the affected areas in the dependency graph, they 
> > are still hard to solve if they cross team boundaries.
> >
> [...]
> > Has anybody working on a similar scenario faced this issue? Any 
> > advise or suggestion?
> >
> There is not one size fit all answer for this I'm afraid. It depends a

> lot on the team process. They type of products you are building 
> internally and if all these products obey the same type of deadline 
> and focus, team experience, etc...
>
> I have always found that the barrier to any dependency management is 
> not the tools in any way or any technical issue but it is mostly a 
> human process. You will spend a full year of frustration of people not

> listening and continuously doing weird things and complexify the 
> builds and processes in amazing way.
>
> I have experienced that several times and it is _always_ the same 
> story as frustrating as this is. (and large software companies doing 
> IT work are not any better, I have seen very very very very silly 
> things in 150+ developer projects)
>
> It all depends as well how much the team in question has had to 
> product development in comparison to short-term IT-type development. 
> The approach and mindset will be very different between all those
people.
> Sometimes you will have no choice than to let people do the wrong 
> thing until they are knee deep in a terrible mess and willing to 
> accept the obvious.
>
> Human is the most painful part to change management.


I agree with you, stephane.

To go a little bit further about your question, Nascif, I'd say that
there are some practices which may be interesting for you. For example,
you can use a flexible conflict manager like the default one, and add
warnings when a conflict occur, requiring someone to review the
decisions of the conflict manager. If you disagree with one of these
decisions, you can always use the conflict management section of your
ivy file to make a static choice instead of relying on the conflict
manager for this case. This requires some development on a custom
conflict manager, but can be interesting.

An easier way to do something pretty similar is to review Ivy
dependencies report regularly, or at least whenever you release a
product.

You can also use only static revisions but use variables for the actual
revisions to use. Then you can keep control over the versions you use
for a product in a single property file for instance.

That's only some ideas, as Stephane said, it really depends a lot on
your teams and processes.

HTH,

Xavier

-- stephane
>
>


--
Xavier Hanin - Independent Java Consultant http://xhab.blogspot.com/
http://incubator.apache.org/ivy/ http://www.xoocode.org/

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