Rant from a very unhappy user

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Rant from a very unhappy user

Post by Lane » Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:47 pm

One of the users on my team sent this email:
For the second time in a month, my “supposedly” checked in files were apparently not actually checked in, and upon Get Latest all my local files were overwritten. I have Get Latest set to merge, and rarely change it unless I have a specific reason to do so.

The first time this happened was on [PROJECT ONE] and I lost maybe an hours worth of work. I knew exactly what my changes were and I was able to recreate them, so not too big of a deal, but not fun either. I wrote it off to “freak occurrence.”

Today, for [PROJECT TWO], I’ve lost 2-3 hours of work. Lots of random stuff, fixing things here there everywhere, not going to be easy to recreate. Freak occurrence or quirky and serious bug?

That is all, rant over, as you were.
And then this response came from a second user:
I have also lost changes which I was pretty sure I’d checked in. It’s happened 3 or so times now.
We are using the 4.1 Beta 2 release. Is this a known issue? When will it be fixed?

We are using this release because we are developing in VS 2008 and this release has the plug-in.

This is a very serious issue, even in a Beta release.

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Post by Lane » Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:01 pm

I have since heard from users who've had this problem with the VS 2005 plug in before we installed the 4.1 Beta 2 Release.

If this is an issue with a so-called official release of your product, I have some serious concerns that your quality control is deeply flawed.

We used to use Visual SourceSafe. We adopted Vault to avoid this kind of problem, not to make it worse.

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Post by jeremy_sg » Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:08 pm


This is the first report that I've seen about a reproducible loss of working file contents, so I have quite a few questions.

1. Can you verify that the missing file contents weren't backed up by Vault? In the stand-alone client, right click the file and choose Properties. There's a backup tab that lists all of the automatic backups that Vault makes when it replaces an edited file on get latest.

2. Can you give me any information at all about what was going on? Strictly IDE usage? What project type/file type? Were the changes there before the checkin, but then lost, or were they silently lost in the middle of work? Was the entire file lost, or just some changes? Was the user in CVS or VSS mode? Was there an automerge that occurred that might have gone haywire?

I agree that it's a serious issue. We take great pains to avoid losing data. I treat any report of data loss as a top priority.

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Post by gmagana » Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:06 am

Lane, just a suggestion, but I had several (too many, for my taste) instances of my developers ignoring what Fortress/Vault said and carelessly hitting buttons whose consequences they did not understand (ie, resolve merge without actually doing anything to resolve it). The results were disastrous because one person would resolve merge and in effect erase the changes someone else had made to the file.

Believe me, I understand your frustration, lost code sucks. In my case it turned out to be human error. I'd just suggest you double check that the users are aware of how to resolve merges and why hitting "resolve merge" is bad if you have done nothing to fix it beforehand.
gabriel magana-gonzalez

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Post by Lane » Thu Feb 21, 2008 1:48 pm

1. We did verify that the backup files are not present.

2. Here is exactly what happened.

The user edited the files in Visual Studio 2005. (He is using the SGV Visual Studio 2005 Client.) The checkmark icon for the files told him that the files were checked out. He had about 12-15 files checked out, primarily .aspx pages, one .css stylesheet, one .master.cs file.

He ctrl-clicked each folder to highlight, then right-clicked to bring up the context menu, and selected "Check In." He received an error, something like "Reference not set to an instance of an object." (He doesn't remember the exact wording.)

After he clicked OK on the dialog, all the checkmark icons were replaced with lock icons, except for the .master.cs file. He tried to check in that file individually and got the same error.

He switched to the Vault standalone client and was able to check in the .master.cs file there.

Then he did a Get Latest on the entire project. His settings were "Attempt automatic merge" and "Prompt for modified files." No errors or prompts appeared.

He switched back to VS2005 and opened one of the .aspx files he'd been working on, and his changes were not there.

We then examined the history on the files in question, and there was no check-in recorded on any of the files (other than the .master.cs which he'd checked in via the standalone client).

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