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Re: status of "merge tracking"

From: <kfogel_at_collab.net>
Date: 2006-01-18 20:06:17 CET

Vincent Starre <vstarre@comcast.net> writes:
> What is the status of various things discussed in
> http://svn.collab.net/repos/svn/trunk/notes/merge-tracking.txt ?
> Specifically, the "Ancestry-sensitive line-based-merge"
>
> There are things in notes/ which speak in future-tense of what I
> thought were already-implemented features, so I wonder how far along
> this particular item is. It seems very useful and I seem to have run
> straight into a slew of conflicts which it might resolve.
>
> Of course, that's not to entirely exclude the other items on the list,
> which I'm also curious about, this one was simply the most interesting
> to me.

Funny you should ask :-).

First, Subversion has no merge-tracking right now. Sorry if the verb
tenses in that file or elsewhere misled you.

However: as some of you already know from IRC, over here at CollabNet
headquarters, we yesterday had a long-anticipated "Merge Tracking
Summit" with representatives from several of our customers who use
Subversion and want merge-tracking features. The purpose of the
meeting was to get an overview of requirements and use cases, from a
perspective that is sometimes underrepresented in the usual open
source design process. For various reasons we couldn't open the
meeting to the public, though we would have liked to. However, we
have permission from those customers to post the detailed notes we
took about their needs; they also filled in surveys about how they use
version control, and they're okay with us posting the survey results
(after anonymizing them, of course).

I'm working on consolidating those notes right now, with dlr, djames,
cmpilato, and rooneg. We should be checking them in in the next
couple of days. We'll also consolidate the existing notes on merge
tracking, which are currently kept in a few different files in the
Subversion repository.

Our idea in having this summit was to use CollabNet's customers as a
data source: what branching/merging do enterprise-level VC users have,
and are they in any way different from needs likely to be
well-represented on open source discussion lists? We wanted to get a
sense of their needs, *without* considering particular merge
algorithms or how Subversion would implement them.

The short answer, somewhat to my surprise, was that their needs were
both similar to each other and to what we've heard requested in open
source land. There was less variety than I (at least) expected; this
may turn out to be a good thing as we all design Subversion's merge
tracking here.

It should go without saying, but just in case: of course I'm not
proposing that Subversion's merge tracking should be designed around
the needs of CollabNet's customers. They're just one constituent in a
very wide user universe. But they're important as a source of
information about how large organizations do branching and merging,
and I think that can only help Subversion.

More soon,
-Karl

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Received on Thu Jan 19 00:16:15 2006

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