Change Control is Location Independence

code better • have fun

Brian Marick just blogged on Configuration Management. He talks about how he uses CM differently in work and personal contexts: in a work context he uses it as an audit and exploration tool, but at home it is basically a big UNDO button.

I’m guessing that Brian primarily uses a single computer at home, or that he has different computers dedicated to different tasks. Andy and I don’t. I have four desktops and two laptops I use pretty regularly (although the Powerbook has become my workhorse machine recently). And I migrate my development between them in a pretty ad-hoc way. If I happen to be in front of my big monitor when I realize how to add something to RDoc, I’ll start typing in to my Linux box. If half way through I have to take Zachary to his karate class, I’ll check in what I have, check it back out on the Powerbook, and carry on while I wait for him. I can work on articles, coding, books, or whatever on just about any of my machines. If I’m in a hotel and I need something, I can just check it out. Even this blog is stored under CVS (and served from it as well: all I have to do to post an article is check it in).

The are many other good reasons for using source control, but freedom from a particular hard drive is a significant one for me.