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Re: Branching/Merging Best Practices

From: Marc Haisenko <haisenko_at_comdasys.com>
Date: 2006-07-12 12:48:18 CEST

On Wednesday 12 July 2006 12:36, Rob Wilkerson wrote:
> Sorry, I accidentally sent this directly to Nick. Hopefully this time
> it will go to the entire list.
> ==================================
> Thanks, Nick. That makes a lot of sense and is the exact opposite of
> how I was thinking of things. I'm glad I asked. If I understand
> correctly, then at any given time there may be development actively
> ongoing against the trunk and one or more branches. For some reason I
> was thinking that the trunk was sacred. I have no idea why.

There are a few ways of working with branches. One is "trunk is dirty" which
means that the trunk always contains the latest changes and you branch off
stable branches from it.

Another is "trunk is stable" which means that development takes places in
branches and you then merge your stuff to trunk when you think it's stable.
In this type trunk IS sacred ;-)

You can do both with SubVersion, pick the one that suits you best.

We do it like Nick here, and only do branches for bigger changes where we know
it'll take a few commits until stuff will work and in the meantime our system
would be broken. By making a "working branch" we can break as much as we want
without interfering with the developers working on trunk. But it's not
necessarily the best development method for you as well, you need to decide
for yourself.

> Let me ask one follow up question to see how you'd handle the scenario
> I'm about to face...once I import my current stable version and create
> a branch for that version my trunk will look exactly the same as that
> branch. For the next version, though, the code base will be entirely
> reorganized - new folder structure, pathing, etc. Should I do that
> work directly on the trunk or is that something so massive that it's
> better handled on a branch? How are major overhauls like this handled
> in other shops?

I've done things like this in trunk so far, but just because I was the only
one to do such things and was the only developer working that day (we were
small back then) so I knew I wouldn't interfere with others.

Doing a branch for such things may be a good idea, but be prepared for some
conflicts when merging if others changed stuff on trunk while you reorganized
in your branch. Hard to say for me which is the best method for you...


Marc Haisenko
Comdasys AG
Rüdesheimer Straße 7
D-80686 München
Tel:   +49 (0)89 - 548 43 33 0
Fax:   +49 (0)89 - 548 43 33 29
e-mail: haisenko@comdasys.com
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Received on Wed Jul 12 12:49:42 2006

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