Thoughts about using Git for closed source projects

Git is getting a lot of press in the open source world lately, but hasn’t got much traction in the closed source corporate development world. There’s a reason for this, and it’s more than conservatism on the part of the corporate developers. Git (or any DVCS, really) embodies a development culture that isn’t very enterprise-y.
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Immature developer attitudes revealed in flames regarding CDBaby

Derek Sivers of CDBaby kicks ass. He got a sophisticated and very very user-friendly, efficient, straightforward e-commerce system (including the back-end systems) written in PHP. Based on what I’ve read, he’s up there with Phil Greenspun in my opinion; that is, he’s among those who understand strategy and customer service and low-level technology and are able to build systems that don’t suck, resisting the temptation to be distracted by technological panaceas and fads. I may disagree with their individual technology decisions, but their higher-level thinking is excellent, so they’re definitely in the class of people who I’ll give the benefit of the doubt.

So when I read 7 reasons I switched back to PHP after 2 years on Rails I was a bit surprised, but not much. He’s experienced with PHP (he says he’s written 90,000 lines of code for CDBaby!), and has a huge installed base of code he wrote and understands intimately. He tried Rails, it didn’t work the way he wanted, and he went back to PHP. It was immediately obvious to him that this was what he should continue using.

The most shrill and arrogant among the Rails community have been rather unkind, partly due to this rather poorly written Slashdot headline that misrepresents what Derek says in his article.
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I have a text file full of links and notes extracted from about a month of reading everything posted to the 2 dozen Ruby, Rails, Postgres, and web tech blogs that I subscribe to via RSS. There’s so much going on in Ruby and Rails in particular, especially when it comes to convenient shortcuts that save you work, that there’s something new and cool and slightly revolutionary on a daily basis that you could use to make your app prettier.

So I’ve been in a state of analysis paralysis for about a week.

I was trying so hard to be clever and state of the art that I forgot to get something working.
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Ad Hoc Software Planning with Graphviz

I’ve been playing around with Graphviz this weekend. I first used it a few years ago with a Perl script that sorta kinda knew Cold Fusion and JavaScript syntax and could output the Graphviz .dot file format, as a means of visualizing all the dependencies between source code files in a project with no compilation phase and no automated tests. It helped me answer a few questions that I had about the code: What should I write tests for first? What should I leave alone, because breaking it breaks a bunch of pages? What pages do I need to test in order to make sure that changes to a deeply-buried chunk of included code didn’t break anything? Having a simple tool that draws graphs of nodes in a fairly clean form can be really useful.
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HTML Wireframes vs. Wireframe Drawings

Related to Rapid Application Development vs. Big Design Up Front is the question of what exact format the UI design work should be done in.

This is more important than user stories vs. use cases, class diagrams vs. ERDs and other such decisions, because UI design artifacts are the most user-accessible artifacts. That means they’re probably the only ones you’re actually going to be able to get users to look at. Try emailing a CFO a 100-page Word doc full of use cases sometime, if you don’t believe me. Then sit that same CFO down in front of Excel and ask for a rundown of their least favorite Excel features. Big difference!
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