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Collab and release branches

Discussion in 'Unity Collaborate' started by ckirby101, Oct 28, 2017.

  1. ckirby101

    ckirby101

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    Ok so we have a Large IOS title that's getting close to soft launch.

    The soft launch will launch in a single territory and have 75% of levels of the full launch.. So when we soft launch i would like to (in git terms) branch the versions so we can continue to work of full launch but also fix small bugs issues with soft launch version..

    How can we do this with Collab? We have our full team (30+ people) using it but i cannot see a way to do this.. Full release version may have extra features , level changes etc that we do not want to go into the soft launch versions..

    Chris Kirby
     
  2. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    Some form of branching was requested by a lot of people a while ago. The devs eventually agreed and said it was coming, but I don't believe we had any updates since.

    If a dev could chime in on the status of this it would be nice.
     
  3. dtakahas

    dtakahas

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    Hi all,

    Happy to provide an update:
    • Most of the server-side work for branching is completed. There will probably be things we find we need as the front end features are developed.
    • Most of the UI flows for it have a specification completed.
    • The actual in-editor UI design (where to put the buttons / menus / etc) has not been started.
    • The developer dashboard UI design has not been started.
    So I would guess it will not be ready for your soft launch, @ckirby101. One suggestion would be to split the two versions out as separate projects when you want to fork them. Whichever version becomes the new project will not have the history with it, however, if the history is something vital that you want to preserve on both sides, PM me and we may be able to help with that.
     
  4. ckirby101

    ckirby101

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    Two version was our first thought , so we will do that .. glad the branching system is coming soon though.. :)
     
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  5. OpticalOverride

    OpticalOverride

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    @dtakahas Any word or ETA on Collaborate getting branching support? Would be really nice to have the ability to branch built right into Unity.

    Thanks!
     
  6. Xype

    Xype

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    Use your IDE to manage the code via proper Git repos and you can have a lot more control over it. I would really rather Unity get back on the graphics/game logic and leave well enough alone theres plenty of collab tools attached to all the major IDEs

    Love Unity but it has been a long road. They spread too thin so bugs don't get fixed and things never get completed.
     
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  7. OpticalOverride

    OpticalOverride

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    @Xype It's not up to me, I'm simply asking for an ETA. According to dtakahas on October 30th of last year, "Most of the server-side work for branching is completed".

    In defense of Unity's previous decision to add branching; Git repos for Unity are notoriously a nightmare to setup and work with. Had a chance to use Collab over the weekend and it was a really nice feature (seamlessly works with all assets with little setup time, had a team of 9 syncing up in minutes). I agree it seems Unity spreads itself thin with adding too many features, but giving first party support for something that should exist in 100% of the projects created with their tool seems like a nice choice to me (and apparently to the Unity team as well).
     
  8. Xype

    Xype

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    nooo you dont do it using the Unity Github integration, you just set it up in your IDE, like Visual Studio or Rider, manage it through that, let it put and pull

    I mean do not get me wrong, would be cozy having it right in unity but they should be doing more game engine things, theres plenty of agile dev tools around
     
  9. OpticalOverride

    OpticalOverride

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    What about prefabs, materials, sounds, project settings, etc.? Does the IDE deal with all changes to all assets inside the project? I've never used any IDE's source control so I'm not sure. Either way, I'm sure Unity is seeing it as a necessity like adding networking to their API or sound. You're saying they should be doing "more game engine things", well easy and built-in source control sounds like a cornerstone to any good game engine. Just like everything else Unity supports, source control is something 100% of projects can use (not just some special piece of the graphics engine that 2% of projects will use). Sounds like a shoe-in for first party support to me.

    All of that aside, I didn't come here to debate why Unity made their decision, this is really off topic from my original ETA question. Maybe when dtakahas gets here you can ask him why Unity decided to add it.
     
  10. dtakahas

    dtakahas

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    @OpticalOverride The soonest you'll see it is 2018.3, more likely 2019.1 (beta probably available late 2018). The client-side team is working on under-the-hood changes that need to be in place to make branching and Collab source control in general more stable, plus working on enabling it to be distributed as a package so we can update more frequently than the 3 releases a year Unity as a whole is targeting.

    As for why Collab is a thing at all: the goal is for Collaborate to be more than just source sharing and that it should allow you to pick and choose which parts of it you want. For example, the soft-locks feature we have could work even without you using Collaborate source control. Same with other planned features like in-scene commenting and visual scene merging.

    However, when we started, we found that there was an overwhelming need for users to be able to easily and sanely share projects. We had / have a large percentage of users who were working together via methods such as passing around a USB drive or using Dropbox because normal source control tools were intimidating for certain members of their team, weren't working well with Unity's project structure or were too much of a hassle to set up. Those are the users Collaborate source control was originally targeting, with the idea that we would expand on it to support more complex workflows.
     
  11. OpticalOverride

    OpticalOverride

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    Awesome, thanks for the update @dtakahas ! Sounds like it might be available around the start of my next project, I'll check back on Collaborate then.

    Just to add my experience to your data: I've been developing with Unity for around 5 years. Every time I've used Git, it either gives me such a pain on setup or breaks so often that I usually don't even bother and just do the backups myself with zip files. As a programmer of 14 years I've wrestled with a lot of clunky technical issues, but getting Git to play nicely with Unity has taken up so much of my time in the past I'm forced to drop it from the workflow. Collaborate would be a god-send of a feature if it gets stable source control features such as branching.
     
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  12. JimmyCushnie

    JimmyCushnie

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  13. dtakahas

    dtakahas

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    @Iamsodarncool It's possible, but probably not at the outset of 2018.3. In 2018.3, Collaborate is becoming a package available via the Package Manager. That means that we can update out-of-band, not having to wait for a major release to update Collaborate features. So it would be sometime after 2018.3 comes out, but maybe not as late as I said previously since we don't necessarily have to wait for 2019.1.
     
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  14. JimmyCushnie

    JimmyCushnie

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    @dtakahas good to hear! I'm really looking forwards to the package manager. Thanks for the info :)
     
  15. Athalos

    Athalos

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    Bump @dtakahas ... any update on branching!?!
     
  16. dtakahas

    dtakahas

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    No further updates yet, sorry!
     
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  17. UDN_984a6a41-7efc-499d-836d-6707af862f13

    UDN_984a6a41-7efc-499d-836d-6707af862f13

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    As someone who does not use git with unity because its a nightmare; branches will be amazing. Even if it ends up being a subscription or part of plus/pro having a full version control system in unity would be fantastic.
     
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  18. JimmyCushnie

    JimmyCushnie

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  19. Nieles_GH

    Nieles_GH

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    Any news on the branching feature? We are currently in need of branching and are waiting for the update since it was estimated for release soon. But if it's going to take a while we might need to find a different solution.
     
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  20. Marc-Saubion

    Marc-Saubion

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    I don't have high hopes about it. There are many pressing issues with collaborate that are not being taken care of even though they would be an easy fix, like adding a confirmation button before forcing check for changes on the user.

    I'm starting to suspect unity don't have the resources or the control on collaborate's maintenance.
     
  21. ScarabDevs

    ScarabDevs

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    I'm also very interested in this feature!
     
  22. NateReese77

    NateReese77

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    Would love to see this in 2019 - we love collaborate but hard to use for serious production with no branch support!
     
  23. jBowers900lbs

    jBowers900lbs

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    Same for our studio as well, are there any updates that you guys can share?
     
  24. Sanginius

    Sanginius

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    I just want to bump that post, because I also would love that feature. I often want to try some radical code refactorings and just see how far I can get, how much effort it is and if the concept works out. This is what I usually do on separate branches, which I then either merge when it's successful, or close if not, without worrying of breaking the actual development branch, or having to revert things. Also I usually branch out from the development branch per feature and merge it later back to the development branch, when the feature is ready to be integrated with the rest of the product.
     
  25. ryanc-unity

    ryanc-unity

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    Thanks for all the great interest in this feature. We're still working on this and a tentative release window for it would be sometime later this year.
     
  26. HeathC

    HeathC

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    What's the latest on branching?
     
  27. Aetheros

    Aetheros

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    I would like to second this question. Any updates on the branch feature?
     
  28. FrozenLazer

    FrozenLazer

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    @ryanc-unity What is the status on branching capabilities? It is the main reason we are still using Git instead of Collaborate.
     
  29. taku_pl

    taku_pl

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    We started with collaborate (with storage upgrades), but we're at a point where we need to fork the project. Any way to do this with current collab status?

    Even manually, as in copying the project and assigning it a separate repo in collab (just copying obviously doesn't work since it syncs to the same repo)?
     
  30. ryanc-unity

    ryanc-unity

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    @DSR_TCLange, branching is still a priority feature for us and the new Collab UI that we are working on will incorporate it. You can learn more about it, and offer feedback on how to further improve it, here.

    @taku_pl, if you don't mind losing access to your project's original Collab history or to any other Cloud Services that you might be using, then with the project open in Unity you can go to the Settings tab of the Services window and click on Unlink project. After doing that, you can choose to either re-link to your existing project, if you change your mind, or create a new project to link to. After you publish your project then you can resume from that point as essentially its own branch and it won't affect your original project.

    We'll be incorporating branches into our new design and we should have more details around July on how that will look.
     
  31. taku_pl

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    Did not think about going this way, sounds doable. Thank you!
     
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  32. IOU_RAY

    IOU_RAY

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    Not to be a pest, but if most of the features were ready over 1.5 years ago, why are we still waiting for this? We migrated from Flash to Unity and I really expected less frustrations given how big and popular Unity is, but the tone of our team with Unity is certainly far from positive, and as I've noticed with many other developers out there, primarily because of how ugly collab is.

    Will we get more details around July then wait another year before getting news of more details in another month?
     
  33. ryanc-unity

    ryanc-unity

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    Hi @IOU_RAY, I'm sorry you're feeling frustrated with the pace of Collab's progress. You have to keep in mind that initially Collaborate was never meant to be a full blown alternative to other source control options out on the market, but instead an easier-to-use option that provided just enough project sharing functionality for your team to get started working together. Over time we've been listening to customer feedback asking for more of the same features as Git/Perforce and the like and that's why we're redesigning our UI/UX to address them, allowing Collab to still be a great option for non-technical devs while offering some of the features that more advanced users want, like branching.

    We'd love to get your feedback on our current plans for our new UX when you have the time to help us make sure we're addressing all of your needs. You can learn more about it at https://forum.unity.com/threads/looking-for-feedback-on-the-new-ui-for-collaborate.664549/.
     
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  34. taku_pl

    taku_pl

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    Collaborate is already fantastic, never knew it would be so easy to sync with non-technical people when I first tried it earlier this year. And it definitely beats trying to get someone to use git for the first time :D

    Hope we'll get the advanced features and Collab grows, for now unlinking and making a new repository did the trick for us. Cheers!
     
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  35. Rajivrocks

    Rajivrocks

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  36. ryanc-unity

    ryanc-unity

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    Hi @Rajivrocks, no new updates yet. We're working hard on the new redesign of the UX, which will provide an intuitive way to switch between branches. Thank you for your patience.
     
  37. Pilltech101

    Pilltech101

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    I Love all the new updates but !!!! But I would really like a way to branch my projects. Something Like Source Tree would be great.
     
  38. Rich_A

    Rich_A

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    It has been over two years since Branching was raised by devs here, and nothing has been released. The entire software stack is being rebuilt and probably won't be out for another year.

    Meanwhile Plastic SCM supports that feature just fine and is an industry standard piece of software. Just use that.
     
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