So a few weeks back Seapine released Surround SCM 5.0, the first ever SCM system that not only tracks code but also washes your car, cooks you lunch, and if you buy the premium support that goes with it, will hunt down and kill telemarketers just like a Terminator.
All right, that’s not entirely true. Actually, it isn’t even mostly true. Surround SCM does keep track of your source code though. And to that end there is a cool new feature in Surround 5.0 that doesn’t get as much love as the fancy schmancy configurable workflow, the Address bar. Here is a practical demonstration of this new functionality.
So let’s say Yan sends me an instant message that goes something like this:
Yan: d00d, u need to c this l33t code i jst chekD n.
Me: What the hell are you talking about? And where are your capital letters? Back in my day we had shift keys and we liked them.
Yan: wutevA grandpa, jst chek out d code
Me: *Sigh* Alright. What do you want me to see?
Funny side bar to all this IM speak, on my birthday last year we were meeting up with a friend of mine at an outdoor festival that had a local band playing. I get there and my cell phone gets a text message asking where I was. Thinking I’ll be all cool like the kids these days I decide to text back and use the fancy T9 interface.
I figure saying something like “I’ll be right there” would suffice so I start typing away only to send the following:
Nothing confuses a text message recipient faster than replying to a question with a type a breakfast pastry. And yes, it was my 30th birthday and my wife made me promise to never try to T9 text again lest I embarrass myself further. Back to the IM’s…
I fire up the Surround client, paste that line into the address bar, and it shows me the file in question:
This takes me straight to the file’s location in the system, the branch, the repository, everything. It’s a little pointer to where we are right now without the confusion of where we’ve been. It’s us and the file looking into the future that is unwritten, just like the end of Terminator 2 taught us. That is until Terminator 3 came along and said, “Yeah, about that unwritten future business, sorry, we lied. You’re basically hosed, enjoy the nuclear winter.” Darn killer robots.
A quick view of the file let’s me see his changes:
if (autobots.transform() && rollout())
Nodding, I send a message back to Yan…
Me: I like it. It’s subtle, but there is more to it than meets the eye.