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Nested Branches

From: Robert Cronk <rcronk_at_altiris.com>
Date: 2005-10-05 23:35:48 CEST

Recently, our company has decided to work with concurrent development in
a slightly different way than it has in the past. In the past, we have
had the following style of branching (1 level deep):

             +-------- branch 1 +------ branch 2
            / /
-----------+-----------------------+---------------------- trunk

And so the branches that appear in the branches directory are siblings
and not leveled or nested or anything. All changes made in branches are
merged directly to the trunk and are assumed to be branches of the

And now, they want to change it to this:

                     +--------- branch 1.1
             +-----+----------- branch 1 +----branch 2
            / /
-----------+---------------------------------+----------- trunk

So that I can't just put branch 1 and branch 1.1 into the branches
directory because they are nested and related so that I would want to
merge changes from branch 1.1 into branch 1 and then from branch 1 into
the trunk. This way, the developers only have to put their changes in
one time and it will cascade merge down from the furthest out branch
toward the trunk.

I have thought of a few ways to do this. I have thought of setting up
some kind of directory structure in the branches that would indicate
which branch came from which. I have also thought of just trying to
figure out which branch came from which programmatically by looking at
logs, etc.

I currently don't want to make it more complex than 2 levels deep, but
if I'm going to set it up for 2 levels deep, it would seem to be just as
easy to make it generic and make it n-levels deep.

I want feedback from anyone out there that has had success in
implementing this type of structure successfully or have run into
problems with certain methods of doing it. Please let me know what you
all think. Of course, we'll be throwing this new structure into a live
build system within the next week or two. ;-)


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Received on Wed Oct 5 23:35:49 2005

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