Given an iPad, iPhone, Playbook, or other mobile device, what SCM tasks make sense on these devices.

Code review? Change propagation between branches? Automated build results after check in? What else? Code generation? Debugging? Code editing in the cloud?

Or do you think all SCM tasks will always be performed on a desktop computer?

  • I count my laptop as a mobile device. Therefore, the answer is all. If you're not talking about a laptop, what kind of hair are you splitting between "mobile" and "desktop"?
    – S.Lott
    Jun 22, 2011 at 0:34
  • 5
    @S.Lott He does mention iPad, iPhone, and Playbook in the first sentence...
    – Adam Lear
    Jun 22, 2011 at 5:17
  • @Anna Lear♦: So what does "other mobile device" mean? If it means laptop, the line is very, very blurry and seemingly irrelevant. Perhaps the question could be improved. I know I get in trouble trying to clarify vague questions, so I will stop trying to clarify this.
    – S.Lott
    Jun 22, 2011 at 9:47
  • 1
    I did not intend to include laptops in the class of "mobile devices", which follows Wikipedia's definition, FWIW. Sorry for the confusion.
    – James C
    Jun 22, 2011 at 18:22

3 Answers 3


I'd say you want admin-style tasks:

  • commit notifications (with a link to see the changelog and perhaps diffs)
  • log viewing ("I can't log in")
  • user admin ("need to add a new user")
  • repo admin ("need to create/delete a branch")
  • server admin ("suspend/restart repo access")

A developer would want the actual SCM if he's developing directly on the mobile device, otherwise, I doubt he'd use it. Even items like notifications of build failures or checkin notifications can (and usually are already) handled by emails.

The only additional thing a dev might be interested in is the commit notifications, so he can see what changes his colleagues are making to his project as they make it.


Code Review. I think it would be great to be able to use a tablet for the following purpose: get all checkins from my coworker, browse through the code (the program should highlight the changes in the latest version) and add comments. This way, time spent in a 30' commute could be used for informal code reviews.


I do usually use my iPad to Monitor my build status on our CI Server (Teamcity). Even though I have 3 Screens, I find it useful to have a small screen I can carry around with me. Sometimes, I use it to review the changes I have made while running a private build too (Teamcity has a built in web based diff viewer).

Failing build notifications are pushed via E-Mail and my iPhone will ring whenever my build failed (all other inboxes are set to mute).

So to conclude this: Mobile devices can be really handy for a developer.

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