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Method 2: Shared Directory Plus Lock

In this method, you use a shared directory as before but add a lock so people aren't editing at the same time. (A lock ensures exclusive access to a resource; when someone has the lock, nobody else is allowed to use the resource.)

The lock may be virtual (such as renaming a file), or it can be a physical object (such as a stuffed animal held while the code is locked).

Each pair uses this approach:

  1. Wait until the lock is free.

  2. Lock.

  3. Make changes.

  4. Back up the system.

  5. Unlock.

This strategy has these effects:

  • Pairs no longer interfere with each other.

  • The team no longer works in parallel (trading speed for safety).

  • If all changes are successful, the mainline is in a good state after each release of the lock.

  • Changes can be transactional; if a set of changes is unsatisfactory, the pair can restore a previous version (abandoning the unwanted changes).

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