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'sync merges' between main and derived branch: feedback requested

From: Jochem Schulenklopper <j.schulenklopper_at_gmail.com>
Date: 2005-05-04 15:49:09 CEST

Hi,

here's a situation that I'm confronted with at work, and I'm curious
about the Subversion's community's advise and experience. In advance:
thanks for your feedback.

Next to a Maintenance branch, we have a main Development branch to
contain the next versions of our software product, on which 80+
engineers are working. From that Development branch, a number of
branches are derived in which development of bigger features can be
done. Such branches can be created for every development team (10+
p.), for release sprint(s), or for any applicable need.

Obviously, after the completion of such a feature or sprint, the code
needs to be merged 'down' into the main Development branch. In order
to make that final merge as smooth as possible, the derived branch
should be synchronized with it parent branch by merging 'up' the
intermediate changes that were committed to the Development branch.

The question/dilemma is about those 'sync merges' during the lifetime
of such a derived branch. Currently, there are two opinions within our
organization, which are:
1. Synchronization merges 'up' will be done automatically and daily.
Tooling will be made for this, and this will keep the derived branches
in sync with the parent branch.
2. Synchronization merges will be done (manually) regularly or at the
end of a phase, both at the discretion and responsibility of the
branch owner. Merging can happen daily, not as result of a obligatory
rule, but as result of judgement about the impact of the merge on the
work at hand.

My preferred option is (2) with some reasons for that, but a number of
people in my organization is striving for (1). I'm willing to change
my opinion, or I can use some actual field experience from the
community as pro-arguments on my side.

Your feedback is much appreciated:
* what is your advise on the two choices above? For what reasons?
* has anyone have experience with automatic merges? What were the
results? Problems, challenges, victories?
* what are experiences with 'forced' and/or daily merges?
* how to encourage that derived branches are kept in sync, when
merging is not done automatically regularly?

Many thanks, kind regards,

Jochem

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Received on Wed May 4 15:51:21 2005

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