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Re: Question about applying patches

From: Duncan Murdoch <murdoch.duncan_at_gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2014 10:59:12 +0200

On 24/06/2014, 5:08 PM, Ben Fritz wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 23, 2014 at 10:37 PM, Duncan Murdoch
> <murdoch.duncan_at_gmail.com> wrote:
>> I think the official svn way to do it is by branching, but the trouble
>> with that is that merging other people's trunk changes into the branch
>> can be tricky unless done very frequently, and it's a lot of work if
>> done frequently.
> I really think this is the best method for you to use anyway.

You are probably right. There's one other reason I don't do this, which
I hadn't mentioned before, because it's not a great reason: If I use a
branch, the whole world can see my incomplete work. If I keep them
local they're only visible to me. This is mainly a matter of vanity
(I'd rather not let the world see how stupid I can be), and partly that
I feel that log messages that are visible to everyone, should be
understandable by everyone: and those are harder to write.

> You're worried about merging trunk changes into your branch being
> tricky. But if this merge is tricky, then applying your patch onto
> trunk will be equally as tricky.

You missed the "unless" clause. It's only a problem if I don't merge
frequently. If I let my patch sit around for a long time without
working on it, it's just as hard as merging a branch at the end. But if
I'm working on it I don't have a patch file, the changes are in the
working copy, so the merge is as simple as "svn up" several times a day,
and those usually work fine. (This project gets about 5 commits per day
to the trunk, mostly not by me.)

> If you don't want to merge from trunk to your branch, then don't. The
> only real reason to do that, is to make your final merge from branch
> back to trunk easier. If it makes your life harder, then don't do it.

I do like to have current sources in front of me, so some kind of
merging/updating is important.

> Your final merge from your branch back to trunk will be no more
> difficult than trying to re-apply your patch from some earlier point
> on trunk. And it should be far less error-prone. With a real merge,
> you get the benefit of using the history in a 3-way merge. You retain
> the ability to revert your changes and start over. You gain the
> ability to merge one or two revisions at a time, rather than one giant
> merge, if it makes the merge easier. With branching, you can commit
> any and all of your changes as soon as you are at a stopping point,
> regardless of whether or not it works, then you can "svn switch" your
> working copy to take a look at an unmodified trunk.

Those are all good points.

> I really cannot think of any advantages of using a patch if branching
> is a possibility. The only reason I know of for using patches is if
> you do not have write access, or if some change management process
> prevents you from committing anything right now.

Thanks for your comments.

Duncan Murdoch

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Received on 2014-06-25 17:40:26 CEST

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