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Version Control Reliability & UX

Hi Everyone!

Kicking off a new thread to announce updates to the Version Control feature that we will be releasing over the coming months.

We realize the Version Control feature is really important for teams and products that are looking to scale on Bubble. While the feature has gone through some iterative improvements in the past, we also recognize that it is not reliable enough for production use. We hope to change this and turn the Version Control feature into another powerful tool in a Bubble developers toolkit.

To do this, we have a two-pronged approach. The first is to improve the reliability of the feature by improving the algorithm and test coverage. The second is to improve the overall user experience and feature set to make it even more powerful. As many of you know, most of the Bubble business is run on a Bubble app. As such, the north star for this Version Control feature is to create something that we are proud of and confident using in-house to manage the complexity of developing a very large production application.

The reliability work is well underway - @zoe1 has been spending a lot of time focused on this and has already tackled a number of known issues and bugs. Research into the next phase, improving the user experience, has started and we are very excited for some of the planned updates.

Thanks everyone and looking forward to future announcements!

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To kick things off, we recently updated the Version Control feature to automatically create a save point right before a version is merged. This new save point has been really helpful internally in terms of debugging bad merges, but now also allows you to easily revert a version to right before a merge in case things didn’t work out as expected.

You’ll find this new save point in the version history modal - example below.

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Nice. Very helpful!

Thanks @nickc for the update and @zoe1 for working on this! Can’t wait to see where it bring us :slight_smile:

Sure this is helpful. But with all the issues stemming from version control - including losing DAYS of work, multiple times, due to the undocumented ‘rules’ of hierarchy and version control - this first update just falls flat to be honest.

(To be clear, this update would not even help recover work that is lost to version hierarchy issues. And that’s just one of many problems.)

Version control is broken in many ways and has been broken for quite a while. We have to put WAY too much thought into over-managing versions so we don’t step on any known land mines - and we find new landmines in version control rather often.

And getting right to Emmanuel’s core value of getting as many people as possible building on Bubble, we simply cannot hire entry-level Bubble developers because version control is broken. It is simply impossible to manage contributions from less experienced devs with version control in its current state.

And we have had a LOT of applications from entry-level devs we just have to turn down. It’s heartbreaking.

It doens’t help y’all or us to stay quite, so I hope this is helpful. The value Bubble delivers still far, far outweighs this negative, but let me tell you, version control is just frustrating and really, really worrying right now.

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This is helpful feedback, and definitely hear your frustration. I think everything you said is spot on and we want to change that with the updates we plan to make in the near future. Version control should be an asset, not a liability.

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Thank you for your reply.
Could you please share what the known landmines are so rest of us do not “step” on those ones?

This one might be a handy tip:

Already used tons of times that tip and found no broken stuff.

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Thank you.

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Thanks. Can’t come soon enough.

@nickc I’ve heard you guys say many times that the bubble business is created within bubble itself, out of curiosity can you explain how far that extends?

Do you guys just have an internal CMS, bug tracking, support tracking, website, template store, and similar created using bubble or are parts of the core builder actually built with bubble as well? Would love an elaboration to cure the curiosity.

Great question! Essentially everything outside of the app editor itself is built on Bubble - ie internal cms, website, template store, academy page, and marketing pages (as you mentioned).

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