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merging old document trees, many "conflicts"

From: Dan Yost <svn_at_sola5.com>
Date: 2007-09-04 18:03:48 CEST


I'd hate to ask a repeat question--I don't see one quite like this but
please refer me if you know of a good thread.

I am deploying Subversion for source code versioning and collaboration. It
is simply outstanding. We use it on our Linux development boxes.

So outstanding, in fact, that now I want to implement it to control
virtually ALL of my documents, even from Windoze.

What I want to do is to place "My Documents" (let's just use that as a
simple reference point) under Subversion control, for my PC.

That is very easy.

But, I also want to put "My Documents" on my laptop under Subversion

The problem is that My Documents here, and My Documents there, contain
many, many common subdirectories, files, junk, and so forth. This is
because, at random times and for random reasons, some folder here may have
been tarred up and scp'd over there, vice versa, and so on, over many
years, only "when needed." Very helter skelter, as you might expect.

But now that I can rule the world with Subversion, I want to have ONE big
repository that can then be used, with one simple command, to synchronize
(as well as version) back-and-forth between my laptop and PC. I love it!

So my challenge is how to "merge" these two big My Documents directories
together initially, though I hesitate to use the word "merge" because of
its obvious Subversion merge subcommand connotation. Maybe a merge IS part
of the solution, or maybe not.

Both machines may have files that the other machine now needs, to get
started, maybe named the same, common subdirs, etc. I'm having some kind
of mental block on the best way to "merge" these two initially.

I could create two separate repositories or branches within one repository
(e.g. a Machine A branch and Machine B), and somehow try to bring them
together and detect conflicts one by one (yikes) or something. Many of the
documents--in fact, almost all of them--are binary (OpenOffice docs,
images, zip files, whatever), by the way.

Do any of you experts have a suggestion for how to do this elegantly? I'd
sure think it to be a fairly common problem once folks get Subversion
fever and want to start truly using it "for everything" after years of
tossing files around between machines. What would you do?

Once it's set up, obviously it's nothing but a "svn update" on either
machine occasionally for the rest of my life. Fantastic!

I hope this makes at least a little sense.

I'm running Windoze XP Pro on both PCs (though I hate to admit it). My svn
server will be on a RHEL 2 box, so I'll just compile from source there,
which hasn't been a problem so far. My other sites are RHEL 4 so I've used
the CollabNet RPM with good success on those, but this is in-house.

Thanks very much,

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Received on Tue Sep 4 18:01:04 2007

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