of the most quoted papers in SCM. She brings an engaging writing style and tone to the explanation of a variety of subjects ranging from the arcana of merging through to the care and feeding of codeline management.
Chapter 7 is available from the O'Reilly web site as an example chapter from the book, and is a very lucid explanation of codeline policies and "the flow of change". These principles apply to any SCM product, not just Perforce. It introduces concepts such as The Tofu Scale (from soft to firm codelines!), and nicely explains the conventions of releasing code via a mainline as "why you don't drive through hedges".
The ideas presented are of course mainly directed at Perforce usage, but some of the principles apply to tools using similar "path space" branching mechanisms (what Perforce calls "inter-file branching") such as Subversion and Microsoft Team Foundation.
My main quibble with the book is the focus on the command line - understandable as it is much easier to present examples than via screen shots which are more difficult to maintain - which might put some people off, but this is a "must have" for any site using Perforce.
Robert reviews David Allen's Getting Things Done
This book (GTD) has created something of a cult following in technological circles. From its author's website :
Sophisticated without being confining, the subtle effectiveness of GTD lies in its radically common sense notion that with a complete and current inventory of all your commitments, organized and reviewed in a systematic way, you can focus clearly, view your world from optimal angles and make trusted choices about what to do (and not do) at any moment. GTD embodies an easy, step-by-step and highly efficient method for achieving this relaxed, productive state. [...]
Implementing GTD alleviates the feeling of overwhelm, instills confidence, and releases a flood of creative energy. It provides structure without constraint, managing details with maximum flexibility. The system rigorously adheres to the core principles of productivity, while allowing tremendous freedom in the "how." The only "right" way to do GTD is getting meaningful things done with truly the least amount of invested attention and energy.
I have had some good experience personally with using this method to get to grips with my inbox in particular - reducing hundreds of messages to only a few on a regular basis together with generating appropriate lists of tasks to complete!
The principles of tracking and managing items and co-ordinating them into "done" have direct relevance to SCM. The feeling of being more in control is also something that I feel with a well implemented SCM process - it reduces worry and frees energy for being productive with a relative lack of risk.
There are a flood of web sites and resources discussing GTD but the book is a relatively easy read and very quickly gives you the idea. One of the big attractions is how easy it is to implement using a wide variety of different technologies ranging from pencil and paper (Hipster PDA ) to an Outlook plugin .
Happy Holidays and Hopeful New Years
That's our Agile SCM Librarian's retrospective of 2005. We hope you all have a Very Happy Merry ChristmaHannaValiRamaKwanzaakah (or non-denominational solstice celebration) in 2005 and look forward to what 2006 will bring to all of us in the coming year!