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Understanding copying/replacing

From: Ian P. McCullough <ipm+_at_andrew.cmu.edu>
Date: 2004-01-16 19:26:13 CET

I've been kind of puzzled as to how I shoudl be mapping my particular
development situtaion to the subversion branch model. So far I've been
kind of flailing so I figured I'd poll the other users to see if there are
any "best practices" out there.

I develop a web application. There is a "core application" and then I also
make customized versions of the application for various clients. When I
start a new customization project, I make an "svn cp" of my core directory,
and then I proceed with the customization work from there.

The problem I have is that occasionally (read almost daily) I make bug
fixes to the core application which then need to be propagated to some or
all of the branches.

It appears to me that "svn merge" is NOT what I want to do here because I
dont want any of the custom stuff to be ported back into the core, nor do I
want the custom branch to be identical to the core because it may have
customizations. Often these changes include a small change to one file.

My next thought was that I should "svn rm" the custom version and then "svn
cp" the new, fixed version of the file from the core application directory
to the custom version directory. This is what I have been doing, however
when working with multiple files, this gets very tedious. Also it seems
that every time you execute an "svn rm" on a URL it wants to commit. So if
I want to delete 100 files (but not a whole directory), its going to end up
committing 100 times. I know that version numbers are arbitrary, but this
seems like a great way to make the history unusably large really quickly.

Next it seems that if I try to do the rm/cp solution in a working copy that
its going to take two commits. Is there no way to replace a file with
another file in one commit?

I also tried, for a while, "OS copying" the new version over the working
copy in the custom branch, which works great but then its not clear from
looking at the history that the file has been replaced by a version from
the main branch since the original creation of that custom branch.

Overall the best solution so far seems to be "svn rm; svn cp" procedure
along with all the commits that procedure entails... Am I missing something?


Ian P. McCullough
Sr. Information Systems Specialist
Center for Arts Management and Technology (CAMT)
H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
(412) 268-3748
FAX (412) 268-3590

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Received on Fri Jan 16 19:38:26 2004

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