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Join us in the Sandbox- Firefly Software Project Management with Komodo IDE
by Troy Topnik

Troy Topnik, January 12, 2010

Sometimes the best way to learn how to use a new software tool is to just play with it. We've set up the Sandbox project in ActiveState Firefly for people to get to know the system and try things out.

Looking at our usage stats, we've noticed that most new users are setting up their own test projects and exploring Firefly that way. This is fine, but a single user project doesn't really show off the collaborative aspects of the system. When we were testing Firefly (then called Workspace) internally a while back, we set up a project called Bizarro and amused ourselves by re-posting funny things in the blog, flaming each other in the forums, posting ridiculous bugs, submitting hilariously bad code, and generally trying to break the system in ways that would surprise and annoy the Firefly developers. It made QA a lot more fun.

I created a public project called Sandbox to let everyone else join in the fun, but so far I've been the only one playing in it. Very boring.

So, here's a screencast that shows you how to use Komodo IDE with a Firefly project.

You can follow along, try out some of the features, and hopefully help make the Sandbox a bit less dull. If you haven't got a Firefly account, you can sign up for one. You'll need Komodo IDE for the source code control integration, but Komodo Edit will work with the macros presented later in the screencast (available in a Komodo toolbox package).

First, one quick caveat about source code control in Komodo IDE. The SCC Checkout Wizard does not (yet) handle authentication with repositories. This isn't a problem for the Sanbox repo because it's public, but if you're working with your own private project, do the initial checkout on the command line or using a tool like Tortoise SVN/HG. Likewise, if you'd like to commit something to the Sandbox repo, do the first one at the command line to authenticate, and you'll be able to do any subsequent ones right from Komodo (as in the screencast).

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Troy Topnik is ActiveState's technical writer. After joining ActiveState in 2001 as a "Customer Relationship Representative" (AKA Tech Support), Troy went on to lead the PureMessage Enterprise Support team before moving on to a technical writing role in 2004. His talent for describing software for new users stems from his difficulty understanding things that developers find obvious. He has a Bachelor of Music from the University of Victoria.