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Re: Best Practices: Related but parallel versions

From: Jan Hendrik <list.jan.hendrik_at_gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 18:12:21 +0200

Concerning Best Practices: Related but paralle
Marshall Feldman wrote on 3 Sep 2008, 10:59, at least in part:

> Thanks for the idea, but I don't think this will work. Not only does
> one face the ice cream/Xmas tree issue, but one also faces the issue
> that entire parts of documents, programs, etc. will be similar but
> different. (In Fall for a given week we have Xmas tree, a list of
> ornaments, and a recipe for hot buttered rum, and in Spring we have
> ice cream one week and cake the next, but in both Fall and Spring we
> have instructions for upset stomachs for the weeks in question.)
> Essentially, the problem is a two-dimensional revision problem. The
> project evolves over time, as most SVN examples illustrate, and this
> is one dimension. The project also has parallel versions, and this is
> the other dimension.


that's what I thought. I face a similar problem and have not found a
solution either. For a bunch of web sub/domains a good deal of
stock graphics, style sheets, script function libraries is *almost*
identical, except for minor differences as adjustments to the
specific site, e.g. color of graphics, backgrounds, font size/style,
configuration values. So any time something in the actual
functions is changed I have to go through a dozen and more files.
With a graphic diff/merge tool like Winmerge it is not too bad, but

One other thing which might work for you or make things even
worse as the source becomes less readable and less easy to test
would be to employ some script language (e.g. PHP) to decide
which parts of the documents are displayed at a given time. PHP
could calculate this based on a date function or just by the value of
a variable stored in a central config file. I do something like this by
way of a function to display some web pages changing every
month and some images changing by the season. However, in the
former case completely different, separate files are pulled into kind
of a template, while in the latter case the images are just one short
list in the document, so there is little chance of confusion.

Jan Hendrik
Freedom quote:

    Giving money and power to government is like giving
    whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
               -- P. J. O'Rourke

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Received on 2008-09-03 18:11:17 CEST

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