Exponent's 2.0 codeline now on Github
Over the last couple months, since the launch of Exponent 2.0pr2, Online Innovative Creations – the corporate backing for the Exponent CMS project - has turned its focus inward to improve efficiency for development. After a thorough internal audit to assess workflow, development cycles, the software, and of course, how that pertains to Exponent as a project. To summarize the results: Launchpad, Bazaar, and surrounding technologies aren't proving to be efficient solutions, while Git, Github and the available tools, technologies, and community support are flourishing.
OIC Group had been using bzr for two years, enjoying the decentralized approach to version control, setting up smart servers to handle the development process. As time progressed, managing a smart server internally became almost a full time job, as repositories would "break" because of "improper file names" or commits timing out. Launchpad, the open source interface for hosting bzr repositories, also allows for bug tracking and other tools that seemingly set out to make the development process easier. However, after hours spent with frustratingly poor sorting options for the bug tracker, and all around confusing dashboard and navigation throughout launchpad, it became clear that the "all in one" system that Launchpad and Bazaar aim to be, simply weren't going to work.
OIC's needs are simple: to work with a team of developers, manage code efficiently and securely, and deploy their sites effortlessly. With that need assessed, it became clear that Git as a Version Control Solution would be the way to go. With Exponent's core code needing to be available at all times, Github looked to be a very viable option for open source hosting. After initial usage, OIC found that Git's speed improvements over bzr were MUCH faster. Investigating further, Git has a much wider range of GUI tools, hosting service providers and all around community adoption.
Github also has an issue tracker, although not as robust (or confusing and difficult to navigate) as Launchpad's. However, Github makes up for this with a plethora of service hooks, which can be integrated in to dedicated systems like Basecamp or Lighthouse (currently under investigation for use with the project). Github is set up in such a way that is easy to navigate and find your way around in a very "social network" kind of way. Forking a projects code in to your own repository is a cinch, making it quick to hack on the code and issue a pull request to have your code integrated back in to the system.
In the end, the goals of OIC are to produce a turn-key, open source product, aimed at creating high quality websites. It's with that goal in mind that Exponent has made the migration to Git and Github, and continues to build out the tools that will best serve the Exponent Project, but also OIC as a business based on an open source product.
Join in on the fun and Fork Exponent on Github!