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Patch/Diff

From: Jason Butlin <roguejay_at_hotmail.com>
Date: 2005-07-19 11:00:50 CEST

We have a set of circumstances at work that has made me look into ways of
providing an alternative form of remote working for our developers. I
thought I'd come up with a solution, but it would appear that the diff/patch
tools are not quite up to the task.

The situation is that the developers do not have any sort of access to our
network from outside the company. The basic approach was to supply a zip
file of an completely up to date working copy of the code every hour. To
begin working, the developer would download this working copy of and develop
against that.

Now the sticking point comes when it the developer is ready send their
changes into the office. Before they do this, it would make sense to merge
their changes into the latest copy of the code as provided by the latest zip
file. My initial idea was for the developer to create a patch of their
working copy, download the latest from the ftp site and apply their patch -
resolving any conflicts as necessary. However, as everyone is no doubt
aware, the major floor here is that file additions/deletion are not catered
for.

As an alternative, I thought of trying to use SVNs merge facility but I
can't seem to get that to work the way I want either. The nearest I've got
is as following.
- They download the latest zip
- They merge the difference between their copy @BASE and the new version
@BASE, into their working copy

Whilst this provides them with code that reflects the latest version, it
looks to SVN that they made all the changes on their working copy. This
obivously causes problems the more they perform these merges, and doesn't
help the person in the office trying to commit their changes for them.

What I really want to do is merge the difference between their working copy
in it's current state and their working copy @BASE with the latest copy
downloaded. Basically replicate the diff/patch approach but take advantage
of the fact that SVN merge understands file additions and deletions.

Does anyone have any solution to either of these problems, or even some
pointers on how I resolve this issue of basically allowing a remote worker
to send in either an up to date working copy or a patch that handles
directory structure changes?

Thanks
Jay

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Received on Tue Jul 19 11:02:32 2005

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