Building on my previous article “The Branch Not Taken”, I’d like to convince you of the importance of code ownership. In Garret Hardin’s essay “Tragedy of the Commons”, he describes the burden that communal freedoms place upon a finite resource.
Protecting your release branch
If you consider stable, production ready code as a finite resource, it naturally follows that granting everyone write access will slowly, but surely, degrade its worth. So, in the interest of keeping your release branch in a pristine state, you’re going to have to remove write access to the release branch (or trunk) from your developers. Pretend you’re putting up a fence around your codebase. But it’s not just any fence, I’m talking about a six-foot high, chain-link fence with a locked gate.