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Re: Filtering changes to svn:mergeinfo properties

From: Mike Dixon <michael.dixon_at_denovosoftware.com>
Date: Tue, 21 Apr 2009 15:45:05 -0700

Martin Bischoff wrote:
> For me this is also the biggest problem that we have with subversion.
> When we do a merge, then often more than 80% of the modified files
> have no changes in their content, but only in their mergeinfo
> properties.
> I'm not sure if this behaviour is viewed as a bug (by the subversion
> developers) or if it's "by design".

Changing mergeinfo when it needs to be changed is by design. What is
viewed as a bug (I believe; I'm not a one of the svn developers) is the
way that excessive mergeinfo is created with certain old versions of svn.

> This topic appears regularly in the mailing lists, but it seems it's
> difficult to get answers to questions such as:
>
> - is it required to commit the mergeinfo changes after a merge
> - will this be better with subversion 1.6.x (I'm still on 1.5.6)
> - can/should we remove any mergeinfo on all folders/files in trunk
> once all feature branches were reintegrated
> - how can excessive mergeinfo be prevented (what exactly causes it)
>
> Maybe these things are even documented somewhere and I haven't found it yet.

It's possible that most of the people who know the answers have gotten
tired of regularly answering the same questions. But to answer yours
directly:

- It's not required, but it's a Good Idea. If you revert the mergeinfo
changes instead of committing them, then the stored information about
merging will be wrong. This means that anything that relies on the
mergeinfo will be relying on wrong information and may do the wrong thing.
- 1.5.6 and later (including 1.6.x) don't generate as much new
mergeinfo. However, this does nothing for the mergeinfo that you have
already committed to your repository.
- The mergeinfo is the history of what has been merged. You can delete
it if you like, but then you are deleting that history. It depends on
how much you value history in your VCS.
- Most of the excessive mergeinfo is only created when using svn
1.5.0-1.5.5, and it happens any time you do a repo-to-repo copy. (This
naturally also happens if you rename or move a file, since those
operations are performed with a copy+delete.)

An excellent in-depth article about mergeinfo can be found here:
http://www.collab.net/community/subversion/articles/merge-info.html

-Mike

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Received on 2009-04-22 00:46:00 CEST

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