Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Checkin Comments for IronPython Source

Right from the start IronPython has been open source, and it was the first project to be licensed with the OSI Approved Microsoft Public License.

Despite having the source code available, IronPython and the DLR are actually developed internally at Microsoft and from time to time the latest sources are 'dropped over the wall' and synced with the public repositories on Codeplex.

Because some of the original checkin messages sometimes refer to secret projects (like the work to make IronPython compatible with Silverlight before Silverlight was released) the commit messages on the public repositories have always been the wonderfully descriptive “Latest IP sources migrated to CodePlex TFS”.

This 'open source project with secret commit messages' has long annoyed me, and it is great news that the IronPython team have finally capitulated to the nagging of me and others on the mailing list. Harry Pierson explains the new system:
Since mid-January, we’ve pushed out the latest source 131 times, which comes to about once a day on average since the start of the year. Big kudos to Dave Fugate, who’s primarily responsible for improving the frequency of our source code drops.

However, while we’ve been good about source code drop frequency, we haven’t been good about transparency. All those source drops have the same less-than-useful checkin comment “Latest IP sources migrated to CodePlex TFS”. If you wanted to know what was changed in a given changeset, you had to do the diff yourself.

But all that opaque code changes is a thing of the past now. Dave upgraded out source push script so that it emails a list of changes as well as the checkin comments whenever we update the source on CodePlex. For example, check out the source push announcement for our latest source drop. Now we publish added, deleted and modified sources as well as the comments for any checkins included in the source drop.

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