Version control

In Boomla, all your data is stored in a new kind of filesystem. This filesystem is version controlled. You already came across the undo/redo buttons on the toolbar. These features work because in Boomla, your filesystem is never modified. Every time you make a change, a new filesystem is created instead, allowing you to save snapshots of your website as you are pleased with them.

Commits

Saving changes made to your website is called commiting. It’s like saving a snapshot. You can commit any time there are unsaved changes to your website. Commits are not standalone things, the list of your website’s commits builds up a Story. That’s the Story of your website.

Go ahead and commit the changes you have made to your Story. In your toolbar, open the Version tab and click Commit to Story. You will land on the Boomla Control Panel and asked for a commit title, a short explanation of your changes. If you need a longer explanation, put a short version in the title, then a longer one in the textarea below.

Notice that at the bottom of the page, you will see a list of changes made since your latest commit. These are the changes you are saving into the new one.

Checkout

Commits of your website’s Story can be turned into websites later so that you can check out how they looked and worked. The act of turning a commit into a website is called checking out a commit. You will forever be able to check out old commits, but Boomla doesn’t guarantee they will forever be functional. As Boomla evolves, old commits may become outdated over time, you will need to update them first to make them functional again.

Checking out a commit typically happens on a subdomain of your original website. Checking out also creates a new Story: it will contain all commits of your website up to the one you checked out, but not those that happened after it. This way continuous changes to your website grow its Story, but you can always rewind and continue its Story in a different way.

Undo history

Your undo history is a list of uncommited snapshots of your website. It’s limited by 50 entries, so once you are happy with your changes, you should commit them. If you exceed the undo history of 50, the oldest ones will be dropped.

Redo history

If you undo changes, you restore a previous uncommited snapshot of your website. By undoing, you build a redo chain. You can later redo these. Once you make a new change to your website, your redo chain will be cleared.

Note that when you commit your changes, both your undo and redo history is cleared.

Branches

Each domain points to a branch. Or, to put it differently, branches live on domains. For example, if your live website may live at example.com. If you want to edit your website or try things, you would start a new branch first, from your live website. This clones your website. Say, you start your new branch under redesign.example.com. It is fully decoupled from your original branch example.com. If you make mistakes, no one will notice. Once you are happy with your changes, you can commit them, then publish your branch.

You should start a new branch every time you make changes to your website so that your visitors won’t notice your partially-complete edits.

Checking out an old commit of your Story also creates a new branch.

Publishing

Publishing is the act of overwriting one branch with another. The target branch is effectively replaced with the source branch. The source branch is thus removed. For example, once you are happy with your changes, you would publish redesign.example.com onto example.com. Then example.com would contain your redesign and redesign.example.com would not exist any more.

Deleting a branch

You can delete branches if you are not happy with your changes made to it. Note that you can’t delete your master branch. In the above example, that would be example.com.

Story

A Story is a list of commits, that tells how a website evolved into what it is. Each branch has an own Story.