Published by: Kage, on 12:06 am Friday June 14th, 2013 - Source:
It's been a long and rough road, but HackThisSite is finally back in development! If you look at the bottom of each page, you'll a line that says something like:
Current Code Revision: v3.1.2 (Mon, 10 Jun 2013 05:24:46 +0000)
For v3 (the current code revision that runs HackThisSite), we are now using a rather sophisticated development routine. Engineered by our own Kage, fas, and spaux, the system revolves around Git and Phabricator. It employs a three step process:
First, changes are never actually pushed by developers. Instead, changes are submitted to Phabricator via the Arcanist differential system. Those changes are then tested and reviewed, and, if approved, applied by a team lead. This then issues changes to our Development environment for real-time testing and review.
Next, once a "code freeze" has been reached, a final commit is made, changing our version markers and changelog -- big changes increment 3.X.n and set n to 0, small changes increment 3.x.N and leave x alone. This then issues changes to our Staging environment, a mirror of Production, to ensure the entire process is well-documented and, when applied to Production, will not break anything.
Finally, the Staging branch is tagged and marked for Production. This then issues changes to our Production environment, and changes go live immediately, seamless and unnoticed by the average user.
This grants us the ability to rapidly roll out changes to HackThisSite with a strong peer-review process to ensure good collaboration and multiple points of contingency control. While it has proven to be a rather tricky process to get used to, thus far it's been been rather useful. It has, unfortunately, introduced some bugs to the site (eg. Articles not really working properly right now), but these are things we are working to fix.
As always, we are looking for intelligent and capable developers to give us a hand. If you're interested, hop in our #comdev channel on our IRC network (irc.hackthissite.org) and speak with a developer or administrator.