This article is part of our series where users speak about their experiences with RhodeCode (Enterprise) and how they use it in their day-to-day work. Today’s interview is with Michael "Searge" Stoyke (MS) from MCP, answering question asked by Sebastian Kreutzberger (SK), CEO at RhodeCode.
SK: Tell me a little bit about you and your project.
MS: I was a game developer from 2001 to 2010 and since 2011 I'm a Sharepoint developer. But I never left games behind completely. Since 2010 I'm maintaining a tool called MCP. It's basically the main tool that is used by a huge community of developers to make modifications for the very successful game Minecraft. We used Mercurial for all our repositories since the project was started.
MCP is a completely free to use toolkit and, at the current rate, we will pass 2 million downloads before the end of this year. That number is impressive, especially if you keep in mind that our tools are only needed by developers, not by the players.
SK: Wow, 2 million is great, congratulations! And you use RhodeCode to manage the development?
MS: Yes. Having a lot of Mercurial repositories to manage made it actually necessary for us to look for an easier tool that did not require manual changes in config files for every little change, such as adding a new developer or creating more repositories. After having used Bitbucket for a short time, we saw what Rhodecode has to offer and we tried it. So, approximately for the past 2 years, we are using Rhodecode on our repository servers.
My favorite feature is the easy user and group management for repositories. We started with an Apache hosted repository using the scripts that are coming with a standard Mercurial distribution, but soon we had a directory filling up with config files and it was hard to keep track which users had access to the repositories.
SK: How many developers are using RhodeCode at MCP?
MS: We have a core team of 6 people and contributions to our database from more than 100 community members. We mostly use Rhodecode to manage access to our internal repositories. Usually everyone just works on random things that they feel need improvements. Everyone in the team has one or more tools that they started writing or, in case of existing tools that we extend, started changing.
Rhodecode makes it easy to let everyone manage access to "their" projects individually, so if anyone feels they want help from more people in the community, they can just add account for them and set up permissions for them to certain projects.
SK: What are your learnings since you started using RhodeCode?
MS: It has many advantages to be able to host the repositories on our own servers instead of services like Github or Bitbucket. Rhodecode also allows us to have any amount of repositories and any number of developers assigned to them without the necessity to buy licenses or pay for the service in any other way. Besides your support for Git AND Mercurial, your new free-for-open-source-projects policy for RhodeCode Enterprise is especially important for us. We have a "no money involved" policy for our project, so that we don't even accept donations or other forms of "payments" from our community.
But the main lessons we learned are about working on projects with a team of people from all over the world. A tool like Rhodecode has many features that make it easier to collaborate even when some people sleep while others are up :)
SK: What would you add or change at RhodeCode?
MS: It would be nice to have some kind of repository templates that can be used to create new repositories, with presets of users and groups with permissions already set and some common files that we have in all our repositories, like .hgignore and a readme file.
We often create new repositories to prototype tools or test ideas and in many cases the first few commits are very similar on their purpose is just to set up a basic project structure in the new repository.
SK: Yes, that sounds really practical for teams like you who have a lot of repositories and users to manage. I will put it on our mid-term roadmap.
Michael, thank you for your time. I already learned that RhodeCode Enterprise is really strong in the gaming industry and you guys seem to have built something with a large userbase where RhodeCode can really show its muscles. I wish you and your team all the best with your project!