re: why branching on git is wrong VIEW POST

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I really cannot agree with this approach at all. It is dangerous to suggest this for new programmers looking for guidance. This defies the whole point of Git which is to decentralize development so that only working, tested code gets put on the main line. Adding logic switches creates complexity, untested pathways (even only 4 logic switches is 24 possible execution pathways), and requires cleanup work and refactoring once completed and agreed upon by the team.

If you want to work like this proposal suggests, just use SVN. However, reflect on the fact that there is no such thing as svnhub for a reason.

 

This defies the whole point of Git which is to decentralize development so that only working, tested code gets put on the main line. Adding logic switches creates complexity, untested pathways (even only 4 logic switches is 24 possible execution pathways), and requires cleanup work and refactoring once completed and agreed upon by the team.

If you have a good CI system (it's 2018 we all should have one) nothing untested nor unclean code enters the repo.

 

I'm not sure what kind of CI setup you're using (maybe some kind of server hook?), but every CI system I've used (Travis, GitLab, Jenkins) would require code to enter the repo in order for the CI process to run. The CI process isn't going to prevent bad code from entering master; you just end up with a red build on master. Unless of course you use feature branches and use your CI build outcome as a quality gate. But you're advocating the opposite.

 

I am not going to try to convince you against your thesis. However, I believe you have missed the point of Git (and other decentralized version control tools). Branches are not meant to be lived in for ever, in fact we enforce strict rebasing or develop merge commits into branches throughout their lifecycle. The CI is run on each branch, each mainline, and each bugfix line for every commit. I encourage you to check out my project to see how branching can be very successful: github.com/keepassxreboot/keepassxc

The develop line stays absolutely pristine such that we can post "nightly" snapshots without worry. Nothing is merged in until it passes the branch CI and a merge CI.

I'd say he does understand git, but simply chooses to use it differently. In my company we do not use feature branches, unless absolutely necessary, which would mean a big rewrite of a considerable part of the system, where you just can't roll out changes progressively. It happened like 3-4 times in my 3 years of working here.

The issue he brought up with feature branches, where people work in separation from each other, is pretty substantial (not unsolvable, but still). Imagine you need something from another feature branch, but it will not be merged until a couple of days, because there something else needs finishing on that branch. And also, that required thing is based on lots of other changes made on that specific branch, so you can't just cherrypick it. Now what, rebase on a partially finished feature branch? Manually copy paste the code? Now, what if you need things from more than one feature branch?

In my experience, it is best to simply compartmentalize changes in a way, where a PR to master branch contains a small subset of changes that does not break anything. That way the changes are incorporated by the rest of the team and they can provide you with an actual feedback and vice versa. I know that is not always possible, but I would advocate for this approach in most cases where it is applicable.

I'd say he does understand git, but simply chooses to use it differently.

I cannot agree more with the notion that there are many 'correct' ways to use git.

Imagine you need something from another feature branch, but it will not be merged until a couple of days, because there something else needs finishing on that branch. And also, that required thing is based on lots of other changes made on that specific branch, so you can't just cherrypick it. Now what, rebase on a partially finished feature branch? Manually copy paste the code? Now, what if you need things from more than one feature branch?

In the scenario you're talking about, where Developer A needs some code from Developer B, but that code has dependencies on unfinished code that is not ready to be incorporated with master, I would argue that having that code on master instead does not improve the situation. If the unfinished code were on master, it would imply one of two things; Master is broken, or you're using feature flags. If you're using feature flags, you would have been able to cherry-pick the necessary code onto a separate branch and merge to master.

I would argue, however, that it's the development process that matters here, not the git workflow. If you're consistently finding that you need work from other features in order to complete your features, there are probably other things you should consider: Are your features broken down enough? It could be the case that the work needed by both features should have been done and released in a previous task, as a prerequisite for the two tasks that need it.

The team I'm working on uses feature branches, and also deploys to production multiple times a day. There are other teams who do not use feature branches, but still have many of the issues feature branches are suggested to create. At the end of the day, I think most of the problems brought up in this article and in this comment section are not caused by feature branches.

 

Sure. How does a feature toggle work when a feature requires a change to the build process?

Do you feature toggle the build instructions too?

Build steps:

  • execute unit tests.
  • execute sonarqube analysis and coverage.
  • deploy it on a testing environment.
  • execute integration tests.
  • execute system tests.

If all green then build the artifacts and ship it.

What feature can require to change that?

What if something is red and I need to ship a bugfix?

If you use trunk based development and have a decent continuous deployment process, you don't ship a bugfix. You rollback production to the previous release version, revert changes in git, then add a regression test that fails due to the bug, fix the bug and then commit.

My bug is not in the latest release so "You rollback production to the previous release version, revert changes in git" won't help.

"Fix the bug and then commit" is exactly what I was referring to as ship a bugfix.

The problem here is not how to ship a bugfix or how to revert/rollback changes. The problem here is what if I need to send code to production if the trunk is unstable.

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