Friday, 16 September 2016

Git, maybe one day you will be my friend

I have had a terrible week at work. I have basically done nothing for 4 days due to a whole raft of issues related to mostly Microsoft Technologies. Partly due to bugs and partly due to lack of understanding (or both). What people don't always realise is that bugs are annoying to experts but fatal to newbies because when you don't know what something is supposed to do, you cannot spot the bug.

My problems this week have included:


  1. Attempting to get a Load Balancer and Scale Set configured on Azure except the interface was allowing invalid configurations and there is no obvious feedback on healthcheck probes. Needed MS support.
  2. Trying to deploy directly from Visual Studio to Azure App Services except VS publish crashes due to a weird dll reference problem (its looking for an old method in a new DLL). If MS hadn't CHANGED the interface to the dll, there wouldn't be a problem. Spent a DAY removing old visual studio installs and installing VS 2015 again and still no dice. Broken out of the box.
  3. Trying to deploy to Azure instead via VSTS. This doesn't support TFVC, although the docs don't say this, you just wonder why your project is not listed in the portal. Roll on a few days and have finally worked out that you have to use Git on VSTS.
  4. Create a Git repo, check in all my code and get the system to auto deploy to Azure. Deployment error - nice and esoteric, basically means it can't access my private repos but this is not obvious. I can't even remember how I realised this.
  5. Tried to work out how to get Nuget working properly in my project. The project seemed to be OK according to the 10 different versions of documentation, decided I needed feed credentials that were not encrypted to use on App Services but the VSTS portal has changed and the Get Credentials button isn't there any more, despite the documentation being based on the old dialog which worked. So no credentials and no articles describing what must be App Services 101 - using custom NuGet packages. Decided I would have to copy the NuGet dlls into the project manually and reference them locally to the project for now.
  6. Finally get my app up on App Services and a big fat error. No site, just a random 500 error. Tried to remotely debug as per the helpful guide. Doesn't work, can't connect.
  7. DNS outage on Azure for about 4 hours affecting our production system!
  8. Decide the only way this is going to work is to start from a vanilla app in Visual Studio and add the stuff in bit-by-bit until something breaks. Of course, I can't use the Publish mechanism, that's still broken even on a new project.
  9. The vanilla app loads OK, I set up SSL and a public DNS so this should be good right? Add some files, try and do as few as possible but of course the references quickly spider and I end up with half the app in place. Deploy it - compile error. This time, the generously supplied gitignore file for Visual Studio excludes pfx files, which seems reasonable except my system uses them so I had to include them. The app still displays (it doesn't do anything but hey).
  10. Copy the rest of the app over and commit, error 500, 502, all kinds of stuff like that. Custom errors off (doesn't work) turn on all the supposedly wonderful diagnostics, none of them say anything useful. Try and upload debug version etc. eventually find that there is a duplicate web config entry. Why does this work locally? So it will work now? Nope, just more and more server errors and no way to debug them. Remote debugger still doesn't work and all attempts to enable logging and everything else is futile. I find a nice article about debugging errors using App Services SCM endpoint but these also don't match the reality. The "capture now" button simply doesn't exist.
  11. I decide there is only one thing to do. Revert back to the last good deployment that was still looking like the default MVC app (without CSS!) and add in items in much smaller stages, if possible. It's clearly a configuration type issue to make it 500 instead of getting an Application error so this should be doable.
And then there was GIT. I'd forgotten how much I hated it and locking horns at 8pm on Friday evening is not comforting to the soul! Subversion and even TFS are easy enough to revert but, remember, I HAD to use Git to deploy to Azure App Services so what do I do?

I'll show the log first (Tortoise Git) to see where to revert to. Choose the right point and "Reset master to this". OK, soft, medium or hard? No idea but let's copy the entire folder first - I have been burned before. OK, medium looks good.

Hmm, it says it's done something but all my files are still here - what a pile of crap. Why would I ever want to reset something and leave the files here? OK, let's try again. Reset hard right? OK, some things seem to have been reverted but I still have a load of files present that were not present when this was committed!! Why are they here? Copy the entire directory again, I know I am going to be loud swearing soon!

Try and open the project into Visual Studio to see what it is looking like and it won't open - some IIS config problem. Why? It was working fine when I committed this code. Fixed that and it looks OK but still has all these uncontrolled files. Why are they there? Git - I hate you.

Manually delete the files I don't need, commit the ones that should belong to this build. It looks like a pretty early cut but I can handle that, I have all the files elsewhere (please God, let me have the files elsewhere and Git not trying to also reset the other files since I copied a git folder!).

Now. Git push. FAIL. Oh for f**k sake. Pushed files were rejected because your branch is based on an earlier part of the remote branch. Oh really? Well I did f**king reset it so perhaps you could simply ask me, like a sane product, do you really want to overwrite everything with this. Nope. Talks about another load of crappy commands I might have to use to get this to work.

Git I hate you. After looking at the (futile) attempts at newbie Git tutorials, which still leave me utterly confused, even the ones with nice pictures, do you know what I am going to do (and this is VERY damming of the cult of Git and its contempt of people like me who don't get it): I am going to start again. That's right. I am going to delete the entire Git repo, create a new one and copy files in manually. Won't that take a while? I've already lost about 4 hours and have moved on precisely zero knowledge so why not burn 4 hours doing something manually that VCSs are supposed to automate.

Git, maybe one day you will be my friend - but I doubt it.
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