With today's announcement of Visual Studio 2005 Beta 1 (aka “Whidbey“), I figured now was as good a time as any to start my blog. I'm one of the testers on the Hatteras project, which will deliver an enterprise-grade source control solution as part of Whidbey.


While Visual SourceSafe has its merits, virtually everyone I've spoken to or worked with over the last few years has wanted something more - most of them were members of teams with many developers, and SourceSafe just couldn't meet their needs. I'm confident that Hatteras will effectively step up to the plate, and I'm excited to be a part of it.


The parts of Hatteras that I'm most directly involved with are the diff, merge, and resolve features - so, in a nutshell, computing and presenting file differences, processing branch / merge operations, and resolving the various conflicts that can arise when attempting a get, checkin, or merge. So, if you want to know more about the branch model that Hatteras has chosen (there are notable differences than SourceSafe, and for good reasons), or about conflict resolution, ask away.


I'm also testing the “shelve / unshelve” feature - the ability to safely and reliably put a set of pending changes “on hold”. Imagine you're working on some feature work, and have to 'drop everything' to work on a critical bugfix; or you want to have a coworker test your changes before you check in; or you want to move your work-in-progress from your desktop to a laptop to take home for the night or the weekend. These are among the scenarios that shelve is designed to robustly solve, compared to the various alternatives people find themselves using (such as checking in changes that break the build, or even might break the build; or zipping up your local files but still only having them on a local machine or two, instead of in source control where they'll be backed up).


My job as a tester is to make sure these features work for the user. So, tell me how you use source control. Tell me how your current solution fails to meet your needs, or forces you to bend over backwards to get the job done. Together, we'll make sure Hatteras, Burton, and the rest of Visual Studio 2005 make it easier for you.