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Tags and branches are NOT the same

From: John Calcote <jcalcote_at_novell.com>
Date: 2006-03-18 19:24:00 CET

Okay, I've done the research, and I'm back to talk about this issue
intelligently now. Thanks to Greg and others for setting me strait on
mailing list etiquette.
 
One thing that strikes me from the email archives that I've read is
that several people have independently discovered the same issue with
subversion with respect to tags * tags are fundamentally NOT branches.
They are bookmarks, plain and simple. This comes not from the way CVS
defines a tag, but rather from the base concept of a tag, and the way
it's used.
 
What's even more interesting is that several people have independently
presented the same solution. But no one on the subversion design team
seems to be able to see the logic in these presentations. They seem to
be so focused on the tags-as-branches philosophy, that they can't see
the problems with this approach. They continually taut the strengths of
the approach, while discounting the problems as irrelevant.
 
Frankly, my perspective on it is that it's a missing feature with a
canonized work-around.
 
I too have a work-around for this missing feature: In my projects, I
keep a file at the root of the trunk called TAGS. The format of this
text file is very simple. Each line contains a revision number followed
by a unique TAG name. When I want to switch to a particular tag, I cat
this file to the console, note the revision number associated with the
tag name, and then type "svn update -rxx" where xx is the noted revision
number.
 
There are even unixy little ways of "automating" this process:
 
    svn update -r`grep TAG1 TAGS | sed -e 's/TAG1//'`
 
I'd hate to have to type this every time I want to switch tags, and it
won't work on Windows, so it sucks that we can't just have what we want
from the SVN team, but such is life.
 
Hope this is useful...
 
John
Received on Sat Mar 18 19:24:50 2006

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