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Branching Strategy and upcoming options.....

From: jason scott gessner <jason.gessner_at_gmail.com>
Date: 2005-07-06 04:45:29 CEST

Hello all.

I have been doing some researching on differences between cvs and svn
in terms of branching and merging. Thankfully, there is a ton of
information, but I haven't quite found what I am looking for yet. I
am hoping that the user community can give me some pointers for how we
would do what we want with SVN.

My development group runs a large project that has recently been split
into 3 projects in cvs.

Project A (unique)
Project B (unique)
common (stuff that is for neither A or B OR only for both A & B)

We have been using a branching strategy for a while that has pushed us
farther and farther away from our trunk. We have a production branch
that receives production bug fixes (rarely, right? When does a
production branch have bugs?!?!?!), plus one or more development

What we want to avoid is the common merge problem of changes being
applied more than once. Our plan ATM, is to do branches for "release"
or "feature", then merge into a branch for QA and release. The
wrinkle we keep running into is how to pull in production bug fixes
onto the development branches and figuring out where to do this.

In a message from May, Ben Collins-Sussman wrote:
> If anyone has any good advice on doing this type of process, I'd be
> happy to hear about it.

Here's some advice: merge in one direction, rather than two. Your
'production' branch is just like a software release branch. Many
projects (including Subversion itself) have a rule that new changes
-- whether they be features *or* bugfixes -- are only ever made on
trunk, and then selectively ported to the release branch. It makes
for much less headache.

Does this mean that the SVN team runs many branches and decides that
branches A, E, I, O & U will make it into the next release? This is
something that we were thinking about, but not used to from our
current CVS experience.

Sooooooooooooooooooo (to the two of you with the patience to sit
through this.....), my ultimate questions are this:
1) Are there examples of branching structures that are more
complicated than what is in the svn book that I could look to for some
2) Is a tool like svnmerge something reliable enough to help out with
this situation?
3) Are there SVN features on the road map for upcoming releases to
address these more complicated branching situations?

Many thanks for your time and sorry for the rambling nature of this message.

-jason scott gessner
ps - I have been interested in SVN for a while and Fitz's talk to
ChiPy in May (April?) really fired me up about the tool.  Thanks!
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Received on Wed Jul 6 04:47:44 2005

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