I am very happy to be able to report that the long awaited Collaboration update to mbed is now live. This update contains a huge number of changes to almost every part of the mbed experience. This is the first in a series of posts which will try and explain the new features and how you can make the most of them.
Publishing and sharing programs and libraries on mbed.org now uses version controlled repositories. This is similar to how github, bitbucket, etc work.
Why have we made this change? For details, see the Collaboration page, but in brief:
- It's easier to find libraries and example programs, and easier to see what recent development has been done on them. Getting updates of libraries you use is now more powerful - you can see exactly what changes have been made and you can easily switch between versions of libraries
- It's now a lot easier to contribute your fixes back to the original author. You would simply publish a fork of their library, and the author can pull your fixes directly into his compiler for review with a single click.
- Publishing your code gets a lot more powerful - with full diffs, commit logs, branches and more. You still have the same auto-generated documentation, but you now also have a complete wiki with unlimited pages for each published program or library.
- However, the single greatest area of improvement is in the area of more than one person working on a codebase. We now have two main ways to do this. You can choose to pull changes from forks or to give permission for someone else to commit to your public repository.
This is just the start!
Over the next few months we have planned many ongoing improvements, both in the area of collaboration as well as completely new areas.
Since this is such a big change, we have spent a lot of time ensuring that the transition is as smooth as possible.
The biggest changes relate to adding new functionality around collaboration. However, even if you never publish code, you might notice a few changes:
- Published projects now look different, with more features
- The URLs for published programs and libraries have changed, but the old ones will still work
- You will notice a conversion step happening when you open a program in the compiler for the first time
- You'll notice some different UI in the Compiler relating to publishing and importing code
If you need help
With a change as big as this there will need to be a period of adjustment and there might well be one or two bumps along the way for some of you.
We are here to help! If you encounter a problem which stops you doing your work, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will personally investigate your case.
If you have a suggestion/comment/question, please post on the bugs and suggestions forum.
Over to you
We believe mbed is unique in the amazing number and quality of the contributed embedded programs and libraries. This is thanks to you, the mbed community! We really hope the new features will allow you to go and create even more quality code and projects.