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  1. #1
    Zero Point Zero Siebird's Avatar
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    Organizing Work Flow

    Hi All,

    I'm in the process of completely changing my work flow. Over the past two years I have kind of arbitrarily saved files/folders within directories of that specific client. Currently I have a "Work" directory which contains folders (client named) which has files/folders saved within (ie. PSD, client supplied, photos, logos, etc.). I also have a 'Sites' folder which contains all of our clients sites (some .ASP and .PHP) which was how the previous designer had it setup, this directory also includes source files (PSD, photos, logos etc.) To add to it, I also run a local server for development, which has its own directory, so as you can see everything has slowly got out of hand.

    Today I have gone through and archived my work folder as is, and then removed all the unnecessary files/folders that I currently don't need or haven't worked on in a while. The "Sites" and "Localhost" folder still remains the same.

    Moving forward I would like to try to standardize my work flow and keep everything nicely organized. How do you organize your work? Do you follow a naming convention? How do you organize running local sites? For instance of working with WordPress or ExpressionEngine, do you have one local install of each and then just create custom themes or do you install it by project? Are all your client files within one directory that has a nice folder hierarchy or do you also have a separate LocalHost directory?

    To start off, I recently created an account with DropBox so I could sync all my projects between work and home. Not only is it nice for synchronizing between computers, but also for version control (nice compromise if not familiar w/SVN). Before I upload and sync files, I want to get organized and follow a standard moving forward.

    I would like to be as efficient as possible, please share your thoughts? Thanks!

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy kyberfabrikken's Avatar
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    Good to hear that you're starting to use version control. Once you get used to it, you won't ever run any project without it. You'd do your self a favour and learn how to use SVN though. Not only does it have a lot of features, that are very useful for software development, but it's also more or less the de facto standard for open source software. You don't need to learn all features from the outset - The basics pretty much resembles standard file operations you would do from a shell. Eg. svn copy foo bar copies file foo to bar. svn delete foo deletes the file foo.

    Here's a nice guide, with pretty diagrams and all, that does a good job of explaining how svn works:
    http://betterexplained.com/articles/...rsion-control/

    If you prefer a more entertaining guide, try this:
    http://www.codingwithoutcomments.com/tag/visual-svn/

  3. #3
    Zero Point Zero Siebird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyberfabrikken View Post
    Good to hear that you're starting to use version control. Once you get used to it, you won't ever run any project without it. You'd do your self a favour and learn how to use SVN though. Not only does it have a lot of features, that are very useful for software development, but it's also more or less the de facto standard for open source software.
    Thanks! SVN seems a little scary for me at this point as I am a one man team at the agency and don't have enough time at the moment to learn and implement. I'm curious though, are SVN usually outside servers hosted elsewhere, or they normally in-house?

    Quote Originally Posted by kyberfabrikken View Post
    Here's a nice guide, with pretty diagrams and all, that does a good job of explaining how svn works...
    Thanks for the guides

    Any advice on organization of work/projects?

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy kyberfabrikken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siebird View Post
    I'm curious though, are SVN usually outside servers hosted elsewhere, or they normally in-house?
    That depends. A professional shop, would usually host their svn them selves, but for a one-man outfit, it's fine to use a hosted service. There are lots of free and cheap places where you can get svn hosting, for example springloops. Springloops also has a handy deployment feature, that you might find useful.

    If you are allergic to the command line, you can use TortoiseSVN. It integrates nicely into Windows, much like DropBox does.

    Quote Originally Posted by Siebird View Post
    Any advice on organization of work/projects?
    I think it's hard to suggest a standard for anything here. That would depend a lot on your workflow. It would probably be a good idea to have just one standard, that you adhere to. Since you have a lot of existing projects, the best would be to analyse these and figure out a scheme that would work for all of them. This is a much better approach than starting from scratch, because it ensures that you create a standard that actually matches real world requirements.

  5. #5
    Zero Point Zero Siebird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyberfabrikken View Post
    That depends. A professional shop, would usually host their svn them selves, but for a one-man outfit, it's fine to use a hosted service. There are lots of free and cheap places where you can get svn hosting, for example springloops. Springloops also has a handy deployment feature, that you might find useful.

    If you are allergic to the command line, you can use TortoiseSVN. It integrates nicely into Windows, much like DropBox does.
    I'll keep these in mind. Possibly after the new year I'll have more time to look these over. I have also dabbled once with Github on RoR project where I just did a little bit of the design work, but still wasn't really sure how everything worked with forks, pull, monitor, etc. Not sure if Springloops is similar?
    Quote Originally Posted by kyberfabrikken View Post
    I think it's hard to suggest a standard for anything here. That would depend a lot on your workflow. It would probably be a good idea to have just one standard, that you adhere to. Since you have a lot of existing projects, the best would be to analyse these and figure out a scheme that would work for all of them. This is a much better approach than starting from scratch, because it ensures that you create a standard that actually matches real world requirements.
    I think I have a solution down, I have been organizing everything the past couple days and figure I'm going to leave all the existing projects as is, and start from here on out following the new system. Thanks for the tips & advice

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy kyberfabrikken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siebird View Post
    I have also dabbled once with Github on RoR project where I just did a little bit of the design work, but still wasn't really sure how everything worked with forks, pull, monitor, etc.
    Git is a great tool, but it's more complex than SVN, and it isn't as much of a standard. I would recommend learning at least the basics of SVN, before diving in to Git.

    Quote Originally Posted by Siebird View Post
    Not sure if Springloops is similar?
    Yes, it's quite similar, but it's based on SVN. It's slightly more geared towards small business, than open source development.


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