Monday, September 26, 2011

Instant Thoughtlessness in the Cloud

I don't want to be thoughtless in an inconsiderate way.  Just the "don't make me think" or "thoughtless acts" kind of thoughtless.  I hate thinking about my tool when I'm trying to do something, so I like it when I have thoughtless experiences. I'm hoping to help bring more of the good kind of thoughtlessness into Orion.

Last week, I returned from a summer-long leave of absence from IBM, where I work on Orion and Eclipse.  As I left, we were just finishing up our first Orion release, 0.2, and some of the workflows were pretty new designs and just being wrapped up.  I had this rather strange workflow for releasing code into our git repository, which involved a combination of msysgit, both command line and git gui, combined with Orion's rapidly evolving git interface. I didn't like the workflow, but it had grown up from the time that we had no git UI in Orion, slowly moving workflows into Orion, and also working around bugs by jumping to the command line or git GUI when I didn't quite trust a build. 

Last Monday I was ready to get familiar with the code again, see how Orion had evolved while I was gone, and try to contribute something to our 0.3 release.  I could barely remember my odd workflows, where I had installed msysgit, what was in my Eclipse workspace, or what build of Eclipse I was using to run the Orion server before I left.  In the old days, I would have searched around for the current I-build Eclipse update repos and decided whether to download a new SDK or just update my Eclipse (depending on what might have changed since I was gone).  I might have started to re-synch my workspace, before realizing that I needed to build a new one since the Orion code repository had moved while I was gone.

But Monday was different.  I fortunately remembered my login.  I logged in, deleted my old folders, and cloned the Orion client repository.  I searched through the Orion bugs to find a simple feature I could implement.  I added the feature, tested it on an Orion site, committed it, and pushed to the repository.  I had one slight hiccup because I had pasted the wrong git repository URL (with an http protocol rather than ssh).  So I had to ping a coworker to help figure out where to change that.  He was surprised I was already pushing code so soon.

It was a sweet reentry.  No downloading, no upgrading, no re-synching.  Just jump right into the cloud and produce something.

It's been a week now and I have yet to explicitly download a tool to do my work. Nice....and thoughtless.