Quote from rom https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/library/a-devops6/index.html

The key prerequisite to versioning everything is that all source artifacts must be in a scripted form. This goes for the infrastructure, the data, configuration, and the application code. The only exception is for libraries and packages — JAR files and RPM packages, for example — that you use but never modify. After all source artifacts are scripted, you can easily version them.

What do they mean by "source artifacts must be in a scripted form"?

1 Answer 1


IMO these could be possible synonyms for scripted, in the context of your question here:

  • in a textual format, which you can edit in some editor, like YAML, XML, JSON, PHP, etc.
  • NOT in a binary format, the result of some build process (like a .EXE file, etc).

And I bet the reason for the "key prerequisite" (as in your quopted text), is that in the end you want to be able to perform some sort of comparison between 2 versions of such files. E.g. like a patch file (if usig GIT). Think about how a compare of 2 versions of a binary looks like, pretty sure every line is updated (or: all old lines are deleted, and all new lines are inserted).

This applies to pretty much any operating system, be it Linux, Windows, ..., or even zOS (aka good old mainframes).

  • Exactly what they are referring to. I would say that this rule can be applied most compiled artifacts.
    – Preston Martin
    Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 15:07
  • @PrestonM merci for the (nice) comment ... May I say "what else did you expect?" ... knowing that these kinds of things is what I (and my company) are working on since most of my career? PS: and what about "interpreted" artifacts (executables that don't have to be compiled, you just run them from the source)?
    – Pierre.Vriens
    Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 15:11
  • 1
    Yes, I am 100% agreeing with your answer. My second statement was simply to clarify your mentioning of binaries generated from a build process, which would include most compiled artifacts.
    – Preston Martin
    Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 15:21

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