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Merging With Concurrent Development

From: Peter Kahn <citizenkahn_at_gmail.com>
Date: 2006-10-18 17:27:27 CEST

What pattern works best for handling merging of code between active
branches when concurrent development is going on?

Merge as changes are made?
Merge when branch reaches milestone?
Merge when branch releases?

I have a project with a mainline that has spawned a few versions. At
present, I have V1 and V2 out in the field and have developers working
on a V3 on the mainline. I also have a V2 service release branch and
a V1_hotfix branch where active work is on going.

I want to be sure that all HOTFIX1 changes go to SR1 and Main as well
I want to be sure that all SR1 changes go to Main as well
I want to balance effort for testing with that of developing

Repository Layout:
  Project\Main\ **
  Project\Branches\V2_SR1 **
  Project\Branches\V1_HOTFIX1 **

Merge-at-Milestone and Merge-at-release offer the least amount of
effort for the day to day developer, but result in the merge being
done by someone who is distant from the changes being merge both in
time and place. Also, these will allow the branches to drift further
apart making the merges more complex.

Merge-at-change will mean that person who is close to the change
mentally will be merging it, but it will take up time of the
developer. Also, I'd still want to perform a sanity check to make
sure that all changes were merged from a branch to Main, so I'd need
to do a Merger-at-release anyway.

So, I'm left with several paths that all have costs and all seem not
that great. Is there another strategy out there that is better?

Peter Kahn
citizenkahn@jabber80.com, pkahnpie1@AIM, skype: citizenkahn
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Received on Wed Oct 18 17:29:22 2006

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