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Advanced Rails by Brad Ediger

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Chapter 10. Large Projects

Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it.

—Alan Perlis

This chapter introduces several concepts that are related to deploying large applications in general, and Rails applications in particular. These are valuable concepts for any project, regardless of the framework being used.

Version Control

For all but the tiniest of projects, version control is non-negotiable. Version control is like a time machine for a project; it aids in collaboration, troubleshooting, release management, and even systems administration. Even for a solo developer working on a small project on one workstation, the ability to go back in time across a codebase is one of the most valuable things to have.

There are two primary models for version control systems: centralized and decentralized. Though the former is the most widely known, the latter is steadily gaining in popularity and has some amazing capabilities.

Centralized Version Control

Centralized version control is the most popular model, and perhaps the easiest to understand. In this model, there is a central repository, operated by the project administrators. This repository keeps a virtual filesystem and a history of the changes made to that filesystem over time.

Figure 10-1 illustrates the typical working model used for centralized development.

Centralized version control
Figure 10-1. Centralized version control

A developer ...

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