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26 <h3>MITgcm CVS policy</h3>
27 </center>
28
29 <h4>Introduction</h4>
30
31 This note describes policies that apply to the MITGCM CVS repository.
32
33 <h4>Why have a policy?</h4>
34
35 <p>CVS itself is a liberal free-for-all product that can be used in a
36 variety of ways. It is designed to provide a system for storing arbitrary
37 files in a way that allows the change history of the individual files to
38 be tracked. If CVS is used without any other policy the result can be a
39 collection of files each of which has complex, multiply branched set of
40 inter-related versions. This sort of CVS repository can be come like a
41 library where books are simply stored in a huge heap. Although nothing is
42 actually lost, the task of finding a coherent collection of material soon
43 becomes impossible.</p>
44
45 <p>The policies we employ address tree areas
46 <ol>
47
48 <li>Maintaining an orderly and easily identifiable, coherent set of
49 evolving "products".</li>
50
51 <li>Allowing concurrent, on-going development of product
52 components.</li>
53
54 <li>Making the integration of achieved developments easy, rapid,
55 organized and clear.</li>
56 </ol>
57 </p>
58
59 <h4>Development trees and checkpoint trees</h4>
60
61 <p>A directory within the MITGCM repository resides under either the development
62 branch or the checkpoint branch. Files within each branch follow different
63 policies.</p>
64
65 <h4>Development tree policies</h4>
66
67 <p>Development trees are intended to be flexible areas where arbitrary files
68 can be stored with multiple versions, many branches supporting multiple
69 ongoing streams of development. Development trees have no policies in
70 place to control complexity. Development trees might be associated with a
71 particular person, a certain project or a particular special piece of
72 work. These trees are intended to be useful areas for storing current work
73 and for archiving partially finished work so that it doesn't get mislaid
74 and so that some record of the development history can be easily
75 maintained. The only policy that applies to development trees is that this
76 style of tree is not intended to be used for providing a "checkpoint"
77 distribution. Tagged configurations of tools built from this style of tree
78 can be distributed, but because these trees do not have any policies
79 regarding testing of functionality, platform coverage or documentation
80 these trees are not allowed to form the basis of "checkpoint"
81 distributions or formal "releases". Other policies can be defined by
82 individuals users of these trees but there are no further global
83 policies. The MITGCM repository development_tree/ sub-directory is
84 reserved for holding development trees. Development trees also serve as
85 experimental areas for exploring new code management policies.</p>
86
87 <h4>Checkpoint tree policies</h4>
88
89 <p>Checkpoint trees are intended to provide structured storage areas for
90 holding code that is intended for open distribution and is to be readily
91 downloaded. There are policies governing the operation of these trees
92 which are designed to ensure that distributed codes are early identified
93 and meet certain levels of quality.
94 <ol>
95 <li><b>Check-out:</b> Just do it! Two mechanisms are available. cvsanon for
96 read only access and regular cvs co .... for read/write access.</li>
97
98 <li><b>Check-in</b>: The code check in procedure for a "checkpoint" tree
99 is as follows
100
101 <ol>
102 <li>Check out the latest main branch revision.</li>
103
104 <li>Merge your changes into that revision.</li>
105
106 <li>Build and validate new code.</li>
107
108 <li>Check that there have been no further changes to the
109 repository. Repeat from 2.1 if repository has changed.</li>
110
111 <li>Get clearance from other developers to check in your
112 changes.</li>
113
114 <li>Check in your changed main branch.</li>
115
116 <li>Build and validate the new changes.</li>
117
118 <li>Tag code as "checkpointNN". Add records to docs/tag-index.</li>
119
120 <li>Build and validate test cases (see testing).</li>
121
122 <li>Create and install checkpointNN.tar.gz</li>
123 </ol>
124
125 <li><b>Testing</b>: Things in a checkpoint tree require a test case
126 that can be used to validate the component.</li>
127
128 <li><b>Checkpoint tagging</b>: No code should be left in limbo
129 (un-tagged) for extended periods. On the other hand it's unnecessary
130 to create a checkpoint tag for every little change. Checkpoint tags
131 should be made after a particularly significant code modification or
132 otherwise on a regular basis, say bi-weekly. Very often we set a
133 list of goals to be reached by the next checkpoint which sometimes
134 takes more than two weeks to achieve. Obviously, in this case a
135 bi-weekly checkpoint would not be useful.</li>
136
137 <li><b>Release tagging</b>: Releases are only based on checkpoint tree
138 code. Maintenance fixes to releases are also maintained within the
139 checkpoint tree. Files within a release must have accompanying
140 documentation. The form of this documentation depends on the file
141 type.</li>
142
143 <li><b>Branches</b>: Branches are a useful tool for making changes
144 prior to checkpoints without breaking other working versions but it
145 must be understood that branches are short-lived and that releases
146 and checkpoints not be made from a branch. Branches are especially
147 useful for adding totally <br>new features. bug-fixes to checkpoints
148 are introduced by moving checkpoint levels forward. The only
149 historical code maintenance that s employed is for fixes and patches
150 to formal releases - not checkpoints.</li>
151 </ol>
152
153 <h4>Someone checked-in broken code so not my code doesn't work?</h4>
154
155 <p>You have several options:
156 <ol>
157 <li>Politely email everyone at support@mitgcm.org asking what has
158 happened and that it be fixed?</li>
159
160 <li>Figure out why the new code is broken, fix it, check it in and
161 proudly send a message to support@mitgcm.org to show how
162 constructive you are.</li>
163
164 <li>Complain that the quality of work is too low and then do nothing
165 to fix the code.</li>
166 </ol>
167 </p>
168
169 <p>We advise you to only use the third option if you are confident that
170 your own contributions to the code are bug-free, well written,
171 documented and fool proof.&nbsp; :)</p>
172
173 <h4>These policies are causing me a big problem, what can I do?</h4>
174
175 <p>The policies are not enforced by any mechanism other than mutual
176 agreement! If you think the policies are not appropriate then let us
177 know and we can discuss changing them. However, if you simply ignore the
178 policies regarding the checkpoint_release trees then your code may be
179 removed and/or your access revoked.</p>
180
181 <!--
182 <h4>What about bitkeeper</h4>
183
184 <p>We are looking at bitkeeper (www.bitkeeper.com). It looks cool, but
185 policies are still important. Any experience, suggestions let us
186 know. Watch this space!</p>
187 -->
188 <h4>Questions</h4>
189
190 <p>If you have any questions or suggestions please contact the MITgcm
191 developers at <a href="mailto:MITgcm-support@mitgcm.org">
192 MITgcm-support@mitgcm.org</a></p>
193
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