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Proposal for Repository System Utilization for Iterative Projects


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Proposal of a repository system to be implemented on campus to keep track on progress across annually iterative engineering projects, review past work, and for collaborative work. Presented at the department of aerospace engineering, Cairo University.

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Proposal for Repository System Utilization for Iterative Projects

  1. 1. Proposal  for  Repository  System   Utilization  for  Iterative  Projects   Aerospace  &  Aeronau-cs  Department   Faculty  of  Engineering,  Cairo  University   13/7/2014  
  2. 2. Problem  De:inition   •  The  department  is  known  for  itera-ve  approach  to  projects:   CubeSat,  N-­‐Copter,  Auto-­‐Pilot…etc.   •  Technical  aspects  (Codes  and  CAD  models)  are  not  usually   documented  or  shared.   •  No  one  way  solu-on  to  obtain  aforemen-oned  informa-on,   unless  contac-ng  supervisor  and  previous  project  members.   •  When  a  code  malfunc-ons,  not  easy  to  retrieve  old  versions   13/7/2014  
  3. 3. Actual  Case   •  3rd  Itera-on  CubeSat  project  faced  a  technical  difficulty  in  the   communica-ons  subsystem,  leading  to  resort  to  old  methods.   •  How-­‐to’s  and  codes  were  available  only  with  last  year’s  members.     •  Previous  year  members  were  called  to  advise,  assist  in   implementa-on  and  troubleshoot.     Observa-ons:   •  Crucial  informa-on  was  not  fully  documented/previously  shared  in   an  itera-ve  project,  thus  causing  delays.   •  Members  with  the  right  informa-on  might  not  have  been  free  to   provide  more  than  consulta-on.   13/7/2014  
  4. 4. Proposed  Solution:  Repository  Systems   An  IT  solu-on  to  store,  collaborate,  track  progress,  and  share  all   project  informa-on:  Codes,  models,  documenta-on…etc.  Not  to   be  confused  with  online  storage.  (i.e.  Dropbox,  Google  Drive)   Repository                   Documenta-on   Codes   Structure  Models   References   Professors   Thesis  &  Papers   Gradua-ng   Students   Undergraduate   Students   Other   Departments   Visitors   13/7/2014  
  5. 5. Features:  Collaboration   •  Collaborators  (Users)  upload  and  download  files  from  the   same  shared  space.  (Known  as  commit  and  check-­‐out).   •  All  files  have  revisions  to  track  changes,  merge  progress,  and   avoid  overwri-ng  issues.   Repository                   Documenta-on   Codes   Structure  Models   References   Collaborator   Workspace  1   Thesis  &  Papers  .   .   .   Check  in   Check  out   Check  in   Check  out   Check  in   Check  out   AutoPilot.c  :  #19   AutoPilot.c  :  #20   AutoPilot.c  :  #21   Collaborator   Workspace  2   Collaborator   Workspace  3   .   .   .   13/7/2014  
  6. 6. Example   13/7/2014  
  7. 7. Features:  Organization   •  Access  control  on  allowed  collaborators.   •  Access  control  on  file  edits  (Freeze  locks).   •  Tes-ng  new  code  on  a  separate  loca-on  (Branch)   •  Versioning  of  the  repository  itself  (Tags).   Current  Itera-on  Repo                   Documenta-on   Codes   Structure  Models   References   Thesis  &  Papers   Repository  of  1st  Itera-on   Repository  of  2nd  Itera-on   Repository  of  3rd  Itera-on   Trunk   Tags   Tag  out   Prototype  Repository   Branch  out   Merge   13/7/2014  
  8. 8. Features:  Sharing   Repositories  can  be  kept  private,  or  shared  globally  to  other   developers  to  view  and/or  collaborate  (Open-­‐source).   Repository  #1   Authorized   Collaborator   .   .   .   Authorized   Collaborator   Authorized   Collaborator   Repository  #2   Repository  #3   .   .   .   Private   Or  Public   External   Viewer   External   Collaborator   View/Edit   View  only   .   .   .   13/7/2014  
  9. 9. Use  Cases   •  Shared  workspace  for  collabora-ve  work  by  students.   •  Historical  review  of  past  itera-ons.   •  Progress  tracking  for  professors  and  supervisors.   •  Publishing  data  for  public  visitors  and/or  collaborators.   •  Collabora-on  area  for  different  departments/universi-es.   13/7/2014  
  10. 10. Server  Usage  #1:  Bitbucket   An  online  repository  service  for  private  and  public  hos-ng.   Provides  free  and  paid  services.   Advantages   •  Has  a  free  online  service  plan  for  private  hos-ng   •  2  GB  Storage  /  Repository  (Unlimited  repositories)   Disadvantages   •  Free  service  offers  only  up  to  5  collaborators  maximum.   Upgrades  require  paid  service   Scenario   A  project  desired  to  be  private  and  has  5  or  less  collaborators.   Refer  to  hgps://  for  pricing   13/7/2014  
  11. 11. Server  Usage  #2:  Github   Also  an  online  repository  service,  with  private  and  public   offerings.   Advantages   •  Has  a  free  online  service  plan   •  Unlimited  collaborators   •  1  Gb  /  Repository  (Unlimited  repositories)   Disadvantages   •  Free  service  offers  only  public  hos-ng.  Upgrades  require   paid  service   Scenario   Best  for  projects  that  are  planned  to  be  open-­‐source  and   require  a  lot  of  collaborators.   Refer  to  hgps://  for  pricing   13/7/2014  
  12. 12. Server  Usage  #3:  Local  Server   Deploy  a  repository  service  (i.e.  svn  or  git)  on  a  local  networked   machine  on  campus.   Advantages   •  Free  usage   •  Virtually  unlimited  collaborators   •  No  storage  quota  (Unless  governed  by  admin)   Disadvantages   •  Installa-on  and  maintenance   •  Troubleshoo-ng  client-­‐side  issues   •  Demands  server  up-me   Scenario   If  a  server  machine  and  maintenance  are  provided,  this  is  very   well  suited  for  an  unrestricted  use  with  open  sharing  op-ons.   Refer  to  the  following  for  installa-ons  and  guides:   hgp://­‐guide/   hgp://     13/7/2014  
  13. 13. Client-­‐side  Usage   •  Use  Eclipse  IDE  with  plugins   •  Repository  clients   •  Scripts  that  communicate  with   servers  (Using  svn,  git…  etc)   Script  command  to  checkout   a  directory   13/7/2014  
  14. 14. Implementation  Plan   Phase   Involved  Peers  (Not  limited  to)   Agreement  on  repository  hos-ng  (Online   services  or  local  hos-ng)  and  usage  plans   •  Department  Members   •  Faculty  Administra-on   •  IT  Administrators   Training  and  ini-a-on  of  a  local  team   dedicated  for  teaching  usage,  tracking,  and   maintenance.   •  Department  Members   •  Students   •  IT  Administrators   Crea-ng  repository  infrastructures  for  usage   •  Specialized  Team   •  Collaborators   Ini-a-ve  for  past  itera-ons  to  upload  work   •  Department  Members   •  Past  Itera-ons   13/7/2014  
  15. 15. Key  Performance  Parameters   •  Dedica-on  from  professors  and  students  alike  towards  the   ac-ve  and  good  use  of  a  repository.   •  To  save  -me,  collaborators  must  be  fully  aware  of  how  the   system  works  and  how  to  use  it.   •  Forma-on  of  an  ac-ve  community  that  handles  users  training,   troubleshoo-ng  issues,  and  researching  newer  and  beger   methods.   •  The  department  should  keep  track  on  ac-ve  repositories,   especially  for  publica-ons.   13/7/2014  
  16. 16. Proposed  Good  Practices   •  Always  check  out  (download)  the  files  at  least  once  every   week  to  stay  up-­‐to-­‐date.   •  Checking  in  files  (upload)  allows  you  to  add  a  comment  for   what  changes  were  made.  Make  construc-ve  comments.   •  For  CAD  models  of  big  size,  resort  to  use  pictures  instead.   Keep  also  a  note  on  where  the  actual  file  can  be  found.   13/7/2014  
  17. 17. Conclusion   The  proposed  system  shows  its  compa-bility  to  provide:     •  Easy  method  to  obtain  previous  itera-ons  work   •  Collabora-ve  working  environment   •  Progress  tracking  and  revisions   •  Capacity  building  in  usage  of  popular  development  systems   13/7/2014  
  18. 18. Thank  you.   Presenta4on  by  Ahmed  Farid   CDH  Engineer  in  2nd  Itera-on  Cube-­‐Satellite  Project   ahmed@farid-­‐     13/7/2014