Friday, October 12, 2007

Publishing Workflows

The goal is to keep information in the loop as much as possible, so I'll tell you when I'm making changes and you can review them. We're just dealing with a big bag of files here, so there's no requirement that we use a publishing workflow, but it's going to result in a higher quality result and more opportunities for collaboration and improvement. To enforce something like a publishing workflow on myself I use TortoiseSVN. This tool integrates with a public database that I run called Subversion, that's designed to facilitate collaboration over a set of code or data files or programs. This program will work on any Windows XP or greater PC.

Subversion is an important part of the publishing process. WebSVN exposes information as RSS data, which is easy to track using external tools like mail and news. I don't want to waste your time or mine with unnecessary steps, and I'm already in the market for a better tool, but I haven't found anything that competes in that space or anything that's so easy to use as Subversion. Files are organized into directories, and changes are implemented in the form of commits, which are like releases, or episodes in a show. It's simple to ask a file or a directory for a history of all the changes that it has been put through, and very helpful to browse the comments on a file's change-sets, or to subscribe to a part of the tree and watch as it evolves.

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