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We've RI'ed!!!

We've RI'ed!!!

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We've RI'ed!

??  What on earth is he talking about ??

An RI is a "Reverse Integration".  The NT source system is built as a series of branches off of a main tree, and there are two sets of operations that occur - when a change is made to the trunk, the changes are "forward integrated" to be branches.  New feature development goes on in the branches, and when the feature is ready for "prime time", the work is "reverse integrated" back into the main tree, and those changes are subsequently forward integrated into the various other branches.

The primary reason for structure is to ensure that the trunk always has a high level of quality - the branches may be of varying quality levels, but the main trunk always remains defect free.

Well, yesterday afternoon, our feature RI'ed into the main multimedia branch, this is the first step towards having our code in the main Windows product (which should happen fairly soon).

When a feature is RI'ed into any of the main Windows branches, code has to go through a series of what are called "Quality Gates".  The quality gates are in place to ensure a consistent level of engineering quality across the product - among other things, it ensures that the feature has up-to-date test and development specifications, an accurate and complete threat model, that the tests for the feature have a certain level of code coverage.  There are a bunch of other gates beyond these, but they're related to internal processes that aren't relevant.

The quality gates may seem like a huge amount of bureaucracy to go through, and they can be difficult, but their purpose is really worthwhile - the quality gates are what ensures that no code is checked into the trunk that doesn't meet the quality bar for being a part of Windows.

Our team's been working on this feature (no, I can't say what it is, yet :() for over three years, it's been a truly heroic effort on the part of everyone involved, but especially on the part of the group's development leads, Noel Cross and Alper Selcuk, who were at work at 2AM every day for most of the past three weeks ensuring that all the I's were dotted and the T's were crossed.

This is SO cool.

Edit: Cut&Paste error led to typo in Noel's name


  • Hmm, well Happy Birthday Larry,

    Also I will take a wild guess stab in the dark at something you made.

    Most people talk about the media side of you. But there is also a networking side as well so I am guessing it had something to do with the network protocol that runs on the power lines. Can't remember the name of it off the top of my head. With the inovations on home networking and appliances with computers on them and things along that nature this would be my guess at a feature in windows being able to detect other devices pluged in to the sockets in your home.
  • Jeff, SCP's long dead, I'm 100% windows media and devices these days.
  • Hmm well the only other thing I could even think of. Since it must be down the media line. Would finally be something along the lines of sound in the .net framework. That is one of the things that has always been missing since it's release. (Yeah I know I can interop but native .net sound) Then I am guessing that is going into all the next version of windows.

    This would require a lot of testing with a lot of sounds and a lot of formats. This would also require many modifications to every app under Start > Accessories > Entertainment along with everywhere else sound is at.
    Control Panel > Sounds Etc.

    I haven't really seen you talk much about anything like XAML or anything. So I am guessing nothing to much to do with that. But you have me looking back over all your blog entries. Looking for something that is a common theme, something that stands out somewhere I remember you saying somewhere you were working on the ability for MP3s to be system sounds. but I can't find that I just remember it because I was kind of aposed to it. Since even system start up sounds sometimes can be annoying to me. Even though one of my co workers the other day run a test lab of a bunch of machines noticed just at a glance I could recognize all the operating systems by thier default screens. She then texted me with all the windows Start up waves to see if I knew those as well. And I passed I could recognize every OS from win 95 by its startup sound as well. I could probably recognise the 3.X sounds as well but I havent heard them in a long time. But I rand across the floppys to install it again the other day when cleaning out some old floppy's burning to CD. I wonder if those floppy's still work.
  • Jeff, it's got to do with multimedia on Windows, and I just can't answer what it is (or is not).

    A number of people guessing here have come close, and it's not worth more speculation.

    Any MS employees who care can send me email asking, but...
  • Oh I know you can't answer. I can only guess. Sometimes the guessing is more fun. I really doubt any of us other than you or your wife know all the things you have done to change our lives as well. In refering to your David Weise post.

    I am betting I could rattle off some API's to do with media or some dll's I have used in the past and somewhere in there is Larry's hands. Also somewhere in some API's I have used as well is Raymond's hands as well. But I highly doubt anywhere in there in the documentation on when I am looking up an api class library or method somewhere to use that I will ever see Larry's name, but I also know you worked with a team as well. So it is just fun to speculate when I hit something like that to think hmm Larry's code, beware the beard. ;-)
  • Is NT still a supported platform?
  • The PPT slides by Mark Lucovsky (who is also a distinguished engineer) discuss SourceDepot - Microsofts source control system. This is based on Perforce, which I believe Microsoft bought a license to the source code and modified the base Perforce product to more suit their style.

    Larry, it would make a great blog post to list the distinguished engineers and why they are distinguished. The most famous are Hejlsberg, Cutler and Gray - but the others aren't very well known outside of Microsoft.

    I may as well guess at the RI feature....Now, both lead devs have a history of developing audio products - so the feature must be related to audio in Longhorn. We're at the limit of what can be done with sound coming out of a computer - so I expect this must be a sound input system. Perhaps the ability to index movie files by performing speech recognition on the audio track and implementing an IFilter interface for Index server along the lines of
  • I understand the issues with using VSS on such a large scale project as Windows. But out of curiousity would you move to the new Team System if you didn't have to worry about legacy issues of an existing source control system.
  • RichB: You can find some info about the DEs at this site Btw. Dave Cutler is the only Senior Distinguised Engineer in that list...
  • Larry, how do you figure Microsoft is 30? The archives I look at show it being established in April 1975. Just curious.

    Oh, and Happy Birthday :)
  • The track list for WinHEC 2005 came online today ( I am sure Larry is working on one of the things mentioned there! Maybe you can at least mention the broad topic, now that this is on the web anyway?
  • The track list for WinHEC 2005 came online today ( I am sure Larry is working on one of the things mentioned there! Maybe you can at least mention the broad topic, now that this is on the web anyway?
  • One of the tracks is focused almost entirely on our stuff :)

  • Microspeak.
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