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Re: Rules or best practices for branching/merging scenarios

From: Ben Collins-Sussman <sussman_at_collab.net>
Date: 2004-12-14 17:17:29 CET

On Dec 14, 2004, at 6:04 AM, Jonas Rathert wrote:

> Hi there,
> (and sorry, if this mail is sent twice - I *think* my mail client
> crashed while sending the firest mail...)
> we are about to switch from Ration ClearC*se to a new SCM. As I used
> CVS a lot, I want to switch to something "similar, but better". Right
> now we are discussing just two options:
> - Subversion (SVN)
> - Perforce (P4)

My .02, regarding Subversion vs. Perforce:

Perforce, I hear, has incredible merge-tracking. It remembers exactly
what has been merged where, and this is a great boon for avoiding
repeated merges, tracking what bugfixes are where, and so on. All the
scenarios you describe will be a joy to manage with Perforce.

Subversion has none of this yet. The 'svn merge' command is basically
a fancy version of "diff & patch", albeit one that handles tree
changes, not just file changes. But the main problem is that once the
patch is applied to a working copy and committed, the repository has no
clue that the change was the result of a merge; all the responsibility
of tracking merges falls upon the users, and their ability to write
clear commit log-messages ("this change was a port of changeset N from
this branch to this other branch"). It's definitely *doable*, but not
nearly as convenient as Perforce.

Perforce, I also hear, is optimized for LAN. Like Clearcase, you need
to tell the server that you're about to edit a file. As a result, it's
lightning-quick to see which files you've edited: the server already
knows. But on the other hand, you need to be 'constantly connected' to
get work done. Subversion is designed more for a WAN and disconnected

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Received on Tue Dec 14 17:20:01 2004

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