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Beautiful Teams by Jennifer Greene, Andrew Stellman

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Commit Emails and Gumption Sinks

This next example shows what can happen when a team doesn't pay enough attention to tool usage. It's about how a seemingly trivial interface decision can have large effects on how people behave. First, some background.

Most open source projects have a commit email list. The list receives an email every time a change enters the master repository, and the mail is generated automatically by the repository. Typically, each one shows the author of the change, the time the change was made, the associated log message, and the line-by-line change itself (expressed in the "patch" format mentioned earlier, except that for historical reasons, in this context the patch is called a "diff"). The email may also include URLs to provide a permanent reference for the change or for some of its subparts.

Here's a commit email from the Subversion project:

From: dionisos@tigris.org Subject: svn commit: r30009 - trunk/subversion/libsvn_wc To: svn@subversion.tigris.org Date: Sat, 22 Mar 2008 13:54:38 -0700 Author: dionisos Date: Sat Mar 22 13:54:37 2008 New Revision: 30009 Log: Fix issue #3135 (property update on locally deleted file breaks WC). * subversion/libsvn_wc/update_editor.c (merge_file): Only fill WC file related entry cache-fields if the cache will serve any use (ie when the entry is schedule-normal). Modified: trunk/subversion/libsvn_wc/update_editor.c Modified: trunk/subversion/libsvn_wc/update_editor.c URL: http://svn.collab.net/viewvc/svn/trunk/subversion/libsvn_wc/update_editor. ...

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