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Re: Merging insanity

From: Dale R. Worley <dworley_at_pingtel.com>
Date: 2005-09-03 01:35:26 CEST

On Thu, 2005-09-01 at 13:57 -0700, Ian Eure wrote:
> Hi. I'm a new SVN user, and I'm having an incredibly hard time
> getting merging working right. It's vastly different from how CVS
> handles branching and merging,

That is correct.

> and there's no documentation covering
> the differences and how it's supposed to work.

It itself is fairly well documented in the Subversion book ("Version
Control with Subversion", published by O'Reilly). AFAIK, there is no
documentation "Introduction to Merging with Subversion for CVS Users".

> It seems that SVN's merging requires you to know the revision at
> which a file was branched, as well as the latest revision in order to
> merge.

Yes.

> This seems like a lot of work, and I can't believe there isn't
> an easier way to say "copy all changes made to this file in branch X
> to this file."
>
> Suggestions?

Merging is inherently a complex topic. If you have a fairly simple
source library and only do a few operations, it seems simple to you.
But the whole universe of possible merge operations that people might
want is very large and messy.

It's like a suit of clothes. If you get a tuxedo made by a tailor, it
fits you perfectly and requires no thought. But a rental tuxedo has
many buckles and adjustments, because it will be called on to work for
many people with different requirements. The general solution is more
complicated, and requires more knowledge to use.

IMHO, in the face of this conflict, the Subversion people have made the
right choice, which is to make a tool which can be used for many things,
at the cost of making it harder for any one user. But the reality is
that for any particular "easy way" you could name, somebody on this list
has a situation which it could not be made to serve.

In practice, most of what one wants to do with Subversion merges can be
handled by the "svnmerge" script, which handles most of the details you
are complaining about. You almost certainly want to learn how to use
it.

In addition, I can see by what you write that you haven't thought
merging through, as what you want is "copy all changes made to these
files that were made in branch X *but have not been merged in
before*".

Oops, but not the temporary fix in rev 249!

Dale

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Received on Sat Sep 3 01:37:13 2005

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