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Branch with moving base

From: Ben Bucksch <ben.bucksch.news_at_beonex.com>
Date: 2001-09-17 12:59:13 CEST

Hi,

there's a feature I'd really need in an VCS. I don't know (neither did I
check), if this has been discussed before, please excuse (and tell me),
if you did already. Please also excuse my lacking knowledge about VCS.

I'm running Beonex, which creates an open-source browser based on
Mozilla. We don't just use Mozilla, but modify portions of the code.
Also, we don't wait until a release is out, but try to release
simultaneously, which means that we have to work based on a changing source.

The latter means that an import doesn't really work for us. What I
envision is a branch that is based on another moving branch. I.e. there
are 3 sources: The Mozilla source, our confirmed changes to it (i.e. the
full source for Beonex Communicator) and the working directory of the
developer. (Maybe, there could also be a branch based on the Beonex
Communicator source, i.e. 4 and more sources.) We need to comfortably
create diffs between each of these. Also, it would be nice, if the base
source could not only change itself, but the pointer to be base source
could also be changed manually. I.e. the base is HEAD first, but then
changed to a Mozilla release branch and later back to the HEAD.

It is correct that conflicts in the repository might arise when the base
source changes and it conflicts with the changes in a branch based on
that. But I see no problem in that, at least no larger problem than that
what exists already. In the case of a conflict, the repository could
change the branch file to contain the output of a conflicting diff, with
all the ">>>"s and "<<<"s. When the developer updates his local copy of
the branch, he would get a note that conflicts were in that file and be
fed with the file containing the conflict. He would resolve it manually
and commit the merged file to the branch. That's exactly as much work as
it is today (just that it will be more easy to share the work of manual
merging).

If I was unclear in any part, please ask.

BTW: I am glad that someone works on an improved open-source VCS. It is
desperately needed.

Ben

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Received on Sat Oct 21 14:36:41 2006

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