Many development teams are used to making heavy use of branches in version control. Distributed version control systems make this even more convenient. Thus one of the more controversial statements in Continuous Delivery is that you can’t do continuous integration and use branches. By definition, if you have code sitting on a branch, it isn’t integrated. One common case when it seems obvious to use branches in version control is when making a large-scale change to your application. However there is an alternative to using branches: a technique called branch by abstraction.

If you are familiar with vcs software such as Subversion, you might think of boar as "version control for large binary files". But keep reading, because there is more to it.

Boar stores snapshots of directory trees in a local or remote repository and provides tools to ensure that your data is consistent and complete. You can keep just some or all of your data checked out for viewing and editing.

The repository has a simple layout to ensure that the data can easily be extracted even if the original software should be unavailable. This simplicity makes boar ideal for data that needs safe long-term storage.

You never develop code without version control, why do you develop your database without it?

LiquiBase is an open source (LGPL), database-independent library for tracking, managing and applying database changes. It is built on a simple premise: All database changes are stored in a human readable yet trackable form and checked into source control.

Software maintenance is not like hardware maintenance, which is the return of the item to its original state. Software maintenance involves moving an item away from its original state. It encompasses all activities associated with the process of changing software. That includes everything associated with "bug fixes," functional and performance enhancements, providing backward compatibility, updating its algorithm, covering up hardware errors, creating user-interface access methods, and other cosmetic changes.

In software, adding a six-lane automobile expressway to a railroad bridge is considered maintenance—and it would be particularly valuable if you could do it without stopping the train traffic.

Is it possible to design software so it can be maintained in this way? Yes, it is. So, why don't we?

AbiCollab.net is a collaboration service based around the free AbiWord word processor. It allows you to write documents together with your friends in real time.

Heechee is a transparent mercurial-as-subversion gateway. It serves a Mercurial repository as a Subversion WebDAV-based repository. It's still in the early stages, but at the moment it will serve its own mercurial repository to subversion in such a way that you can check out the repository, and update to various revisions within it.

This is also known in the vernacular as "second save loses". It may sound too harsh, but it is much better than "first save loses and user isn't notified", which is what you get if you have no currency checking at all. And it's also much more web friendly that your old desktop app (which uses an approach that is technically called "pessimistic locking").

svk is a decentralized version control system built with the robust Subversion filesystem. It supports repository mirroring, disconnected operation, history-sensitive merging, and integrates with other version control systems, as well as popular visual merge tools.

CVSDude makes web-based collaboration easy and affordable. Customers benefit from secure multi-site access to popular version control solutions, wiki, and bug-tracking software, including Subversion, CVS, Trac, and Bugzilla.

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