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From: Henrik Sundberg (storangen_at_[hidden])
Date: 2007-06-09 17:04:33

Thanks Troy!

(I'm top posting and keeping the original mail as reference below, is
this OK on this list?)

I've got some questions after reading the mail, and following the links.

Your (I
registered to see it) only contains 3 milestones. I would expect every
project to have its own milestones, but then the roadmap page would be
Should a few selected, big or unstable, Boost libraries get their own
milestones? Or should there be just one milestone per complete Boost

Release numbering:
I noticed release numbers like V00-01-02. Is the format mandated by
svn's/other tools' inability to sort lists numerically instead of
Is this the format Boost versions ought to have?

Are all releases releases, or would the more anonymous name tags be better?

> Meta-projects don't nest:
Would it be very cumbersome to have meta-meta-projects (this is what
we have in our system)? Is this related to the next point?

> Branching multiple projects can be tedious:
You seem to lack a tool here. Are you lacking other tools? Do you have
some tools that Boost would need? Which? Do you have special
hook-scripts for some purposes?

Do you have a private meta-project referencing the trunks of all
projects you (as a developer) are working on? Is it in such
directories you can use "svn commit *" to commit over externals
Could private meta-projects be avoided by having the
trunk/releases/branches at the svn root level instead of at the root
of each project? Or would this force you to check out all or just one
project to a local directory?

Is the structure inside the sandbox completely free? I.e. anyone can
have internal releases there, so checking out the complete sandbox
would cost a lot disk space?
Should at least the top directories in the sandbox follow some naming

There are several threads hinting at problems with svn and externals.
Have you seen more problems than tedious branching, the need for
Internals and non intuitive commit (and perhaps meta-meta-problems)?
Are you satisfied with the use of externals overall?

It's very encouraging to see that a proposed structure is actually
tested before.


2007/6/8, troy d straszheim <troy_at_[hidden]>:
> On Tue, Jun 05, 2007 at 10:43:48PM +0200, Henrik Sundberg wrote:
> >
> > I'm new to svn. And I'm trying to build a good structure for a family
> > of systems built on ~200 components with 1-20 subcomponents per
> > component.
> > Our current (pre-svn) method handles releases on subcomponent level.
> > Integration teams selects the subcomponents to build a system from,
> > builds it, and releases the resulting binaries/configurations.
> >
> > I'm trying to understand what the best svn-structure would be. Boost,
> > and KDE, seem to have the same problems as I. I don't understand KDE
> > (I did read their tutorial) enough to know how it can be compiled
> > without a clear (to me) structure of subreleases.
> >
> > I'm trying to understand when to use externals among other things.
> > They seemed to be useful for making higher order releases based on
> > lower ones. But I got discouraged.
> Thanks for your interest.... Since this (is/will become) part of a
> proposal for boost I guess this is on-topic. I can give you a
> tour/brain-dump of how we do it.
> Warning: this is an unedited rambling sprint through a lot of
> information.
> The jargon we use is 'projects' and 'meta-projects'. Meta-projects
> are just collections of projects. I assume the mapping would be
> meta-project => component, project => subcomponent.
> Our repository (recently outfitted with the slick new Trac browser) is
> here:
> you'll see projects/ and meta-projects/. Under projects/ there are a
> couple hundred projects, many of them have fallen out of use, or are
> maintained by people that haven't yet (or never intend to) submitted
> them for review.
> Each project directory (say, project icetray) looks like this:
> branches/
> somebranch/
> otherbranch/
> release/
> V01-00-00/
> V01-00-01/
> trunk/
> And each project is organized in a certain fashion:
> The toplevel directory contains a makefile, some cruft, and a public
> dir (headers), src dir (src and tests), and resources (misc).
> We have essentially three main distributions:
> offline-software (core stuff), icerec (core + some algorithms),
> simulation (core + other algorithms).
> offline-software
> / \
> icerec simulation
> One of the fundamental operations of our enterprise is to have the
> simulation group produce data that is used by the icerec group to test
> the performance of the components inside icerec. Looking at a release
> of the offline-software meta-project:
> you can see that the metaproject contains a little bit of boilerplate,
> some cruft (that 'mutineeer' thing), and a list of externals, like
> ithon
> which means that when you check out the metaproject, directory ithon/
> will be populated with what's on the other end of that URL.
> On a regular basis, releases of offline-software come out (this
> metaproject ought to be called 'core' or something), and the
> simulation and reconstruction groups merge, at their convenicence,
> this released code into their metaprojects. For instance this simulation
> metaproject:
> contains the same externals as offline-software version V01-07-05, as
> well as the 'trunks' of a bunch of simulation-specific projects that
> may or may not be dependent on offline-software projects.
> Similarly for icerec:
> As simulation stabilizes, they will tag up their various projects and
> when all of their components are 'stable' URLs, they copy off a
> release:
> Once nice thing about this is that it is easy assemble other
> meta-projects. For instance, I put together a visualization tool that
> is dependent only on a small subset of offline-software (it only needs
> to be able to read data, then it makes pictures) and therefore only
> needs to be rereleased when serialization methods change, or there are
> new gui features. To achieve this you simply copy off the
> offline-software metaproject and tweak the externals:
> and people can check this out and build it without having to build the
> entire world.
> You'll notice that in the meta-projects directory:
> there are lots of such compliations of code. I believe about 2/3rds
> are in active use.
> Another thing that happens very frequently in our world is that
> somebody has to do a specific analysis, which involves writing a lot
> of customized code and usually hacking everything to bits. Once you
> get started making graphs you do *not* want to have your code broken
> by somebody's release, and you do *not* want somebody to reject your
> changes pending code review. So they simply copy off a metaproject
> and make it their PhD. Here's one:
> You'll notice that:
> * Meta-projects don't nest.
> When the simulation group merges in changes from a new release of
> offline-software, they have to change all of the urls. This is
> dictated by the way svn:externals work. It seems like it isn't
> ideal, but having the dependencies of each metaproject laid out flat
> can be an advantage.
> * Branching multiple projects can be tedious.
> If you allow your individual projects to become coupled, you will
> need to branch many at once, and this you have to do by hand (svn
> copy, change external. svn copy, change external...) This can be
> tedious. Nobody has taken the time to develop tools to automate
> this, but SVN has good python bindings, it would probably be just an
> afternoon's work.
> Let me stop now. Is that clear? ;)
> -t

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