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Re: branching a lot a misuse?

From: William Nagel <bill_at_stagelogic.com>
Date: 2006-09-08 16:10:17 CEST

On Sep 7, 2006, at 10:14 PM, Davy Durham wrote:

> When I'm done with an implementation phase and want to go into beta
> testing phase (while still doing some development on the trunk) I
> create a branch called /branches/betatesting
> Then I may have several beta phases that restart on a weekly basis
> whereby I do the following:
> 1) work on trunk
> 2) beta testing phase begins, so I create /branches/betatesting
> copying the trunk to it
> 3) some work continues within trunk
> 4) small fixes are made to /branches/betatesting as bugs are reported
> 5) a week passes and it's time for the next beta phase
> 6) merge changes from /branches/betatesting back to trunk
> 7) svn delete branches/betatesting
> 8) recreate branches/betatesting (as in step 2)
> 9) goto step 3) (until release is ready)
> So, the gist of it is that I'm deleting and re-creating a branch
> with the same name repeatedly but merging changes from it back to
> trunk before deleting.
> My question is, is this an abuse/misuse of branches? Will it make
> history look funny after a long time? Will it degrade performance
> after a long time?

I wouldn't call it an abuse. It won't hurt the history of your trunk
at all, and it won't degrade performance one bit. The only real
problem is that it may make finding a particular beta version
difficult, since you'd have to know what revision the beta version
that you were looking for existed in (if you delete betatesting and
then recreate it, you have two different directories with different
histories, one of which has been deleted and doesn't exist in the
current revision). You can easily get around that problem though, by
tagging each betatesting branch before you delete it. That way old
beta testing versions will always still exist in the current revision.

> I wouldn't need steps 7 and 8 if merge tracking were implemented
> into svn because I would simply merge branch to trunk and trunk to
> branch at the start of each beta phase.
> The whole point of it is to be able to continue some work on the
> trunk while beta testing is going on, and being able to fix bugs in
> branch for beta users without them having to get any potentially
> broken changes from the trunk until the next beta phase starts.
> Is there a ETA on a merge tracking feature in svn? Will it help
> with this issue?

You might check out svnmerge.py in the contrib directory of the
Subversion source. I haven't personally used it, because I don't do
much merging, but it may help you out until full-fledged merge
tracking is implemented in SVN.


> If this is fine, just let me know. If this proceedure is silly and
> there is a better way, then I'd like to know that too.
> Thanks in advance,
> Davy
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Received on Fri Sep 8 16:12:54 2006

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