How To Manage File Duplication with GitHub Automation

How To Manage File Duplication with GitHub Automation

In software development, in theory, we want to reduce duplicated information as much as possible and limit everything to a single source of truth to help improve maintainability. However, in practice, it’s almost impossible to completely eliminate duplication since systems/frameworks are always incompatible in some ways.

In software development, in theory, we want to reduce duplicated information as much as possible and limit everything to a single source of truth to help improve maintainability.

However, in practice, it’s almost impossible to completely eliminate duplication since systems/frameworks are always incompatible in some ways.

Potential situations for duplication

Example 1

Mobile app projects can have a client app and a server, sharing the version information. Since it’s likely that they are built with different technologies, the best we can do is limiting the client app’s version information to a single source of truth and the same for the server leaving the version information in 2 places.

Example 2

Another example would be the README files. It’s common for GitHub repository to have a top-level README file at the project root which is displayed on the repository homepage, another one inside the docs folder which is used for GitHub pages, and maybe a third one inside src for the generated API documentation. Normally we want all 3 to be the same, but due to the limitation of tooling, we can’t point all 3 to a single file, so we have to duplicate them.

programming software-engineering continuous-integration software-development github

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