Ranorex File Management makes using source control difficult

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carsonw
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Ranorex File Management makes using source control difficult

Post by carsonw » Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:42 pm

...this has always been a pet peeve of mine, but it's moving from being a nuisance to a real problem. As our solution gets bigger and more people work on it, having proper source control becomes more and more important.

Below I have a screenshot of an SVN check in. This check in is showing changed files. I have changed none of these files. I didn't even open them. However, the mere act of opening ranorex results in dozens of files being change. This makes checkins progressively more complex, especially if you have a large check in with many changes.

These changes, at least so far, have proven completely unnecessary. We revert them before checking in (or just don't check them in) with no detrimental effect. Many of us work almost exclusively in Visual Studio, which does not have this problem because it only touches files that you touch, and there are also no problems.

Can you help us understand why this is necessary? And better yet, is there something you can do to mitigate the problem? You can see I have nearly 50 files here without having made a single change.

A cursory glance shows that in some cases the issue is tabs vs spaces in the generated file. I know there are options for this in Ranorex, but do I really need to synchronize all settings for my (every growing) team for auto generated files that no one cares about or looks at? That's the case for the Repositories... as for the suite files I see references to certain executable files in debug directories that have nothing to do with the suite itself.

Anyway, any help or insights you could provide here would be much appreciated. Thanks so much!

Carson.
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krstcs
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Re: Ranorex File Management makes using source control difficult

Post by krstcs » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:05 pm

Carson, have you recently upgraded to a newer version of Ranorex? If so, Ranorex Studio updates some of the files with the new version number so that older versions of Ranorex give a warning about the project being created/edited with a newer version.
This is important in order to make sure that all Ranorex installs are kept at the same level, and to make sure the user understands that new functionality in the project may be broken if re-compiled/saved with the old version. Any generated code files from any source that must maintain version consistency must do the same thing.
There is some seemingly inconsistent behavior in Ranorex Studio when a file is updated. Sometimes it updates the version even if you haven't opened the file, but normally this is due to Ranorex re-parsing the files on solution/project load, so it should be expected.

As far as space/tab issues, this is not an issue with Ranorex specifically, but with the diff engine in SVN not being setup to handle different white-space characters. There is a way to tell SVN not to worry about tab versus space or trailing/multiple white-space, etc.

Also, if you want all installs to behave the same way, you will need to change them so that they are configured the same way. Unfortunately, this information is not stored with the solution, but is host-dependent.
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carsonw
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Re: Ranorex File Management makes using source control difficult

Post by carsonw » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:06 pm

Hi there - thanks for your response!

Yes, we are all using the same version of ranorex (am aware of storing the version number in the repository - it's how we track down people who are not up to date yet :)).

Yes, I have heard about the SVN feature with tab vs. whitespace. But I still wanted to make my case because I don't think you should have to change your SVN settings because some people's auto-generated files use tabs and other people use spaces.

They are auto-generated files... just let them be autogenerated in the same way for everyone because the contents within them is irrelevant to the coder.

What would be ideal is if we didn't have to check in the auto-generated files in the first place, but unfortunately ranorex doesn't have a command line build tool that will generate repository files from the xml repositories (we're stuck using MSN build - we asked for this feature but don't know if it will ever show up).

All that aside - it still doesn't address the rxtst files which have a bunch of references to them that (seemingly) aren't necessary (we remove them with no ill effect on revert).

How are other people dealing with this problem... do you just check in anyway? Did you change your SVN settings? (Do you use source control at all?) Just curious. Thanks!

krstcs
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Re: Ranorex File Management makes using source control difficult

Post by krstcs » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:37 pm

I don't know of any IDEs for strongly typed languages (.NET, Java, C/C++) that do what you are asking, the IDEs don't care (and I would say they shouldn't) because compilers don't care how a generated file is spaced. Visual Studio doesn't do it for WPF/Silverlight files. Eclipse/Netbeans/IntelliJ don't do it for Swing, etc. That's why I said it wasn't specific to Ranorex. This is handled through the versioning system's configuration. If you change your SVN diff options, you shouldn't have a problem.


I use Git, which isn't integrated AT ALL with Ranorex. I prefer it to SVN, but it isn't integrated into Ranorex Studio. After using the system for a while I'm kind of glad I don't have the integration at this point. There are issues with the code generation and merges, but once I (and my team) got used to using it, the issues became secondary.



Also, please don't take anything I say as a slight against you personally, or how you do things. Every place has their own way (and some places have multiple ways, just ask any US govt. contractor, some of which I used to work for... ugh). My opinion on this issue differs from yours, but I do understand what you are wanting and why you want it. I sometimes go back and re-read some of my "recommendations" and find myself wonder what I was thinking given what I wrote... :D
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carsonw
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Re: Ranorex File Management makes using source control difficult

Post by carsonw » Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:32 pm

I didn't take anything personally at all! Tone is hard to get through text so I try to make the assumption that everything is said with a friendly smile :)

I didn't see any options in Tortoise SVN for ignoring whitespace. I guess my point with it being Ranorex specific is that Ranorex actually has an option to generate their auto-generated files with tabs or spaces. If those options get out of sync amongst the team... we have these problems.

What I'm getting at is rather than giving people a choice how their auto-generated files handle their spacing, just do it in one consistent way (spaces or tabs). I don't see why a need for a preference is necessary since these files should never be edited anyway.

The choice is causing a problem and has no value (that I can see at least)... that's what I'm trying to say.

Of course, none of this addresses the mystery references in the rxtst files which also causes conflicts... and no whitespace settings will solve those :P

carsonw
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Re: Ranorex File Management makes using source control difficult

Post by carsonw » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:52 pm

Is there any chance that this can be looked at / improved? I have two files that I changed specifically... and there are FIFTY FIVE files that show changes that I need to sift through. It's really not ok :evil:

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Re: Ranorex File Management makes using source control difficult

Post by Support Team » Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:46 am

Hi carsonw,

I am sorry to hear this setting causes problems on your side. As far as I can see it is not only the problem that this setting is available in Ranorex. It seems also to be an organisational issue.
However I will bring this topic up in our internal discussion, but at the moment I cannot promise that this setting will be removed from Ranorex in the future.

Regards,
Bernhard
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carsonw
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Re: Ranorex File Management makes using source control difficult

Post by carsonw » Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:46 pm

Thanks for bringing it up - but can clarify what benefit the setting brings (in other words, why the reluctance to remove it?).

However, that would only address the repository generated files... it wouldn't address the issue where all the suites are updated when changes in unrelated projects are changed. The changes don't seem to be necessary because if you stick with Visual Studio which does not make these changes it has not (noticeable) impact on the solution.

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Re: Ranorex File Management makes using source control difficult

Post by Support Team » Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:36 pm

Hi carsonw,
Thanks for bringing it up - but can clarify what benefit the setting brings (in other words, why the reluctance to remove it?).
The problem is that we do not know how many of our customers are using this feature and would be sad if we remove it. It is always dangerous to remove an existing feature.

Concerning to your other issue I am afraid that I don't understand the issue correctly. Is it possible to describe the steps in order to help us reproducing the issue?
Thank you for your help in advance.

Regards,
Bernhard
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carsonw
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Re: Ranorex File Management makes using source control difficult

Post by carsonw » Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:37 pm

If it's easier I can send you a copy of my solution (it's quite large though). All you have to do is open it in Visual Studio - you will see there are no changes.

Then if you open it in Ranorex, you will see every single .rxtst file has changed. That's it really - no other steps are necessary (Ranorex changes all files as soon as the solution is opened).

I understand your point about removing a feature other customer's might be using... that's fair. However, if the value of said feature can't readily be identified whereas the pain points can be - well maybe that will help in making the decision :)

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Re: Ranorex File Management makes using source control difficult

Post by Support Team » Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:01 pm

Hi carsonw,

Just to make sure that I understand the issue correctly. Are you creating your tests in Ranorex Studio or in Visual Studio or both?
I am not sure if you have already tried to disable the setting "Automatically update and synchronize code for all recording and repository changes" in the Ranorex Tool Options?
ToolOptions.jpg
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Please let me know if this also doesn't work, because I will send you the access details to our ftp server in order to upload your solution.

Regards,
Bernhard
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