What Google App Engine Needs is Version Control…

I’m very impressed by what the guys at Google have released so far. They’ve already addressed several obvious issues that made it an intriguing development platform in development, if you’ll pardon the expression, but useless for me. The biggest one is image resizing and manipulation.

Hearing this, I revisited it and am quite impressed. For ajax-based work (like custom coding an editor) it’s more complicated than straightforward PHP/Javascript development for small sites. This is mostly because of the need to tell at least two sets of files what’s handling a request for a web page before you even get to wiring up the python code to the template. What it gives you in return though is an absolutely stunning level of scalability, as well as a very rapid method for prototyping all of your changes.

The remaining headache is the need for some form of version control. You can have different “versions” of an app posted, and roll back to a prior version, but there’s no integrated access to a common file repository where people can independently work on different files and see the combined changes before deploying them to the server. Guess I’ll have to figure out how to set up my own repository and how to make it so my fellow developers and I can work on it, along with a workflow that won’t cause headaches in deploying to the Google apps site.

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