Patches in the commercial world

time to read 2 min | 258 words

I mentioned before that I am now in the final testing and deployment stage. The process for getting stuff to the staging server is long, twisted and painful. It involve a USB key, hours of prayers and maybe the soul of a flightless bird.

The problem is that some of the things that the application is doing is infrastructure stuff (routing requests), which means that such thing as routers, firewalls, etc are of great meaning to the application. It is a given that I can't install Visual Studio or a real debugger there, so I mostly goes by the logs, fix the problem on the spot, rebuild (thanks god that msbuild is part of the .net 2.0 runtime, and not sdk), and test again.

This raised the issues of how am I going to get the changes back? Getting something off the server is just as hard as getting something on it. In this case, I made sure to put the Subvesion command line tools in the box as well as the freshly checked out source code. Then I just created a patch and sent it to myself.

In the office, it was a matter of a couple of clicks to merge it back into the tree, and merge it with changes that has been occuring when I was deploying.

Completely offline development is something that you often see in the OSS world, but it is something to consider in many commercial scenarios.