Saturday, 20 October 2012

The need to create forks/clones for TeamMentor.net website

(Here is an email I sent earlier today at SI, that covers a number of interesting challenges that we're now having with TeamMentor, and how Git/GitHub can help)

One of the scenarios/problems that is starting to happen is 'how to manage the specific requirements for deployed sites like Teammentor.net who need custom changes?'

So here is a description of 'the problem':

a) there is a master version of the code: https://github.com/TeamMentor/Master
b) there is a master version of the content: https://github.com/TeamMentor/Library_SI
c) there is a master version of the code+content (which is a 'virtual copy' of the two above): https://github.com/TeamMentor/TeamMentor_SI_Library (think of this as a copy of the code and master repositories in a way that keeps the git connections and commit history)
d) there is a website that is based on the code + content version (i.e. http://teammentor.net) , BUT has a number of specific requirements.
    * the content should not be publicly available (not TM default), ie require account creation
    * specific SI requirements (see this list: https://github.com/TeamMentor/Master/issues?milestone=3&page=1&state=open)
e) how to deal with changes to http://teammentor.net , that are only relevant to that site (i.e will not be propagated to the main Code+Content repo)
   * interestingly in the case of TeamMentor.net site, (at least at the moment), the only changes will be on the Code (where the content is the same as the one in  https://github.com/TeamMentor/Library_SI)
   * but I can see how as our content generation capabilities improves (and we start to have fresh and 'current/recent-events' articles)  we might want to push those into teammentor.net (since they will be the best advertisement for TM that we could ever get)
f) since teammentor.net is a 'read-only' website, there is also an argument (from a security point of view) that that site should not have the advanced editing capabilities that TeamMentor has (this is also a feature that I can see customers wanting)

So what is the solution?

At the moment, the solution that I see is to:
* create a (private) fork of https://github.com/TeamMentor/TeamMentor_SI_Library (the Code+Content) repository at TMClients organisation (technically it will be a clone not a fork).
* apply the Code changes (specific to SI) in that fork
* use that fork as the source repository of teammentor.net

Any other ideas on how to deal with this?

Note that we have the exact same issue (or a variation of this) on:

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