Apr 14, 2011

Settling in at code.google.com

Tungsten Replicator code is now fully open source and published on code.google.com.  Here is our new home in case you do not yet know it:  http://code.google.com/p/tungsten-replicator.  I hope you will visit our new digs and admire the furniture.

The fact that the replicator is now fully open source under GPL V2 is kind of old news, so I would instead like to talk about something else:  our initial experience setting up the replicator project at code.google.com.  In a nutshell, it has been excellent.   There are several things that stand out.
  1. The site is incredibly easy to use.   You can customize the home page, add members, add external links, etc. quickly and without having to resort to help. 
  2. It has everything we need.  The front page is excellent--clean but also all the information users need to get started.  Useful features like issue trackers and Google Groups are cleanly integrated.   
  3. It is very fast.  
  4. So far it seems to have just the right mix of open and closed for our project.  Anybody can post to the groups or log issues, but only committers on the project have write access to code and ability to move bugs through issue status. 
The only problems I have run into personally involve SVN code access.  For example, say you check out using the http rather than https URL as in:
svn co http://tungsten-replicator.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/builder
If you edit something and try to check in you get a message like the following: 
$ svn commit -m "This does not work"
svn: Commit failed (details follow):
svn: Server sent unexpected return value (405 Method Not Allowed) in response to MKACTIVITY request for '/svn/!svn/act/8d94e398-83ba-46f3-aae2-bd10cb707c4b'
svn: Your commit message was left in a temporary file:
svn:    '/home/rhodges/google/tungsten-replicator/builder/svn-commit.tmp'
This message is definitely in the "not helpful" category.  Perhaps it is some sort of defense against evildoers.  However, this might be subversion behavior and nothing to do with Google.  If you receive such a message, run svn info to check the SVN URL.  If you see http instead of https you have found the cause.   Unfortunately the cure seems to be to check out again properly in another location, copy in your changes, and then commit.

Site credentials are a more insidious problem.  Android phone users need to have a Google GMail account to access updates and download apps.  (At least that's true for my provider.)  Browsers like Firefox do not keep accounts separated properly, so you may run into account confusion when you first get started.  On Mac OS X you can get the wrong account in your keychain, which in turn leads to more confusing error messages.  This is a Google problem.  There is a creeping form of web single-signon using Google, Facebook, and other accounts as identifiers with unintended side-effects for work and personal interactions.  It makes you wonder what other problems are out there.

But I digress. As far as the project is concerned the issues look pretty minor.  At this point I would recommend code.google.com wholeheartedly for open source projects.

p.s., Tungsten Replicator 2.0.2 is on the way.  More on that in another post.


Chris said...

You don't need to check it out again, you can use svn switch. From the base of the checkout:

svn switch --relocate https://url http://url .

If you pull in svn externals you'll need to do it for each one of those too, which if you have a lot, may end up meaning a re-checkout will be faster, but if it's just one repository that should work.

Robert Hodges said...

Thanks for the tip! SVN sometimes does not make this type of information very easy to find.

Justin Swanhart said...

Great news!