Distributed Source Control as a tool for Set-Based Design

I’m currently spending a fair amount of time on evaluating distributed version control systems (DVCS) such as git, bazaar and mercurial. Some things which were easy using a centralized version control system such as subversion or cvs seem more complicated, but I am now starting to find ways of using DVCS to do things which the old systems simply could not manage.

It took me a whole evening of fiddling, but I have now set up git to allow me to make chanches to a local version of one of my web sites and commit changes as I feel like it, then when I am happy, send the changes to the live web site with a single git push. This has been working well for a few days, so I plan to roll out a similar structure to the rest of my web sites soon.

Another interesting use for DVCS was pointed out by Francisco Trindade. Distributed version control can help to enable “set based design“. This is a technique where a team samples a wide range of possibilities to converge on a “sweet spot” where market need, business value and manufacturing efficiency are balanced.

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