Pop Quiz!

Which day did I move Vista Media Center from my very powerful 64 bit main box to a mostly dedicated 32 bit box?


Joel praises the Windows Branching and Quality gate model

Joel writes:

Of all the things broken at Microsoft, the way they use source control on the Windows team is not one of them.

When you’re working with source control on a huge team, the best way to organize things is to create branches and sub-branches that correspond to your individual feature teams, down to a high level of granularity. If your tools support it, you can even have private branches for every developer. So they can check in as often as they want, only merging up when they feel that their code is stable. Your QA department owns the “junction points” above each merge. That is, as soon as a developer merges their private branch with their team branch, QA gets to look at it and they only merge it up if it meets their quality bar.


So where does the branching model have issues in Windows?

First, we haven’t gone to a branch(s) per developer so there are semi redundant tools for managing checked in code and tools for managing potential changes not checked in. This causes friction in building and testing such changes. Also a branch implies a path for a change to get some main place or product, and managing the path can be annoying. You get emails of, “The old path is getting shut down, migrate your code to the new path”. At times there is no place to do your work and check it in. Another set of problems come via the quality gates on RIs. Constainsts around how many branches can be built a night and the velocity of change to the overall code base resulting in a need to meet the quality gates quickly and in a automated way. You see, if you take to long to RI, your test results may not be valid anymore becuase the OS has changed enough from other teams.

A lot of this system came as a result of the famed Longhorn Reset and thier was growing pains in such a huge change, so it’ll be intresting to see what system we come up for the next release.

Inline Search for IE (including 7 on Vista)

Dare was kind enough to point out that there is a nice non-modal inline search for IE, available right now. I haven’t told so many people to install a piece of software as a must have for a long time.

Vista Beta 2 Bugs

  • Nero 6 crashes on app startup
  • Burn to iso type cd prompts me to insert disk
  • Doesn’t auto refresh after cd or dvd burn so that the explorer looks empty.

C# 3.0 preview

I’m learning a bit about c# 3.0 over at a developer.com article. Following up from anonymous methods in v2 is anonymous types. Also there are extension methods, Lambda expressions and query expressions

WSJ writes about the Windows Quality Gates

WSJ has an article about how the Quality Gates came about. One of my personal beliefs (in addition to some that were stated in the WSJ peice) was that test in windows had a much heavier workload dealing with xpsp2 then most dev teams, which meant that developers focused on Longhorn while Test was focused on xpsp2. Code was getting checked in and the normal quality controls weren’t getting followed. Each new build of the old Longhorn, just kept getting worse and worse until eventually the decision to restart had to be taken. At the layer of the OS I work at, we more or less didn’t lose any work outside of proving that our code met the new quality gates and checking it back into the product.