Team development

All except GUI problems
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adimetrius
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2019 1:02 pm

Team development

Post by adimetrius »

BlackBox is a big enough program to have been developed by a team of programmers.
I was wondering if Oberon Microsystems was using any team development tools, and how their process was organized. The current BlackBox lacks any such tools, save maybe for the Compare Texts command. Modern-day mainstream uses git, diffs, merges etc, and we in the Russian-speaking BB community always get a surprised reaction from people who 'peep into' BB from the mainstream.

Does anyone have any reminiscense about what was used in OmInc? Or maybe even in ETH when System 3 was in active development by a number of graduate and postgraduate students.
cfbsoftware
Posts: 54
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:06 pm
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Re: Team development

Post by cfbsoftware »

There was an extensive discussion on the use of Git for Oberon-based systems back in 2020 on the ETH Oberon Mailing list. It was titled [Oberon] all in one git tree and it starts here:

https://lists.inf.ethz.ch/pipermail/obe ... 15285.html

I only ever consider using a system like Git when working on an application that is bigger / more complex than Git itself.
Josef Templ
Posts: 261
Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:50 am

Re: Team development

Post by Josef Templ »

As far as I know, Oberon microsystems did not use such tools when developing Blackbox (Oberon/F), i.e. the versions, backups, releases etc. have been maintained manually. The work was split in very big chunks between highly talented individuals, one working on the i386 compiler, one on the Motorola compiler, one on the GUI with Windows/MaxOS integration, etc. There was certainly no fine grained split of work into user stories as is common in modern software development based on the SCRUM process. That would have constrained and slowed down the development process too much to ever be finished.
At that time some VCS systems where already available but they did not play well with the binary source code format of Oberon (which was considered a must have). Unfortunately the poor support of binary source code formats by VCS tools hasn't changed much since then.
The Blackbox framework center's repository uses git with binary source code, but this means that not all features of git can be used, e.g. automatic merge. For diff we have a work around that simplifies work, but it is certainly not perfect.

- Josef
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