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Re: Subversion Doesn't Have Branches aka Crossing the Streams aka Branches as First Class Objects?

From: Les Mikesell <lesmikesell_at_gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 21 May 2013 10:41:03 -0500

On Tue, May 21, 2013 at 9:23 AM, Bob Archer <Bob.Archer_at_amsi.com> wrote:
>> You are confused. This discussion is about how subversion lacks any support for
>> branching, which is quite obvious to anyone who understands and
>> acknowledges that all subversion does is track revision changes to a file system.
>> What you are insistingly referring to as branches is nothing more than a copy of
>> a particular subdirectory (i.e., the trunk) into another subdirectory (i.e.,
>> branches), which is nothing more than a plain recursive directory copy
>> operation on a file system. The operation doesn't change its name or nature
>> (tag, trunk, simple server-side directory copy) depending on the directories
>> which are copied around the repository. Is that so hard for you to understand?
> You keep saying "svn doesn't support branches" yet I use branches every day. While there is no way to "list branches" it would be possible. I think the current implementation records the parent path in the branch, but not vice versa...

Of course you can 'list branches' as long as you follow and remember
_your_ convention for where they are. You can also delete them to the
extent that they don't show up in this list (even though they can
still be accessed with peg revision syntax and the actions show in the
log history of the parent directory). This is nicer in many ways
than just having one special-case 'branch' namespace, especially when
you have many projects in the same repository and/or you like to
separate your release, QA, and experimental branches so different
groups don't have to deal with the clutter from the others.
Subversion doesn't force you to follow good conventions (and I think
this thread started because someone didn't and the rename of a
directory above where they put a branch was recorded as a change in
both the branch and its parent), but you can if you want.

> I assume svn doesn't do this because it would be a change to the parent path and the svn design avoids modifying the repository on its own.

Subversion always tracks 'copy from', but not 'copy-to'. In one way
it is correct to say that subversion doesn't have a special concept
for branches, but it is equally correct to say that every copy is
handled like a branch.

  Les Mikesell
Received on 2013-05-21 17:41:36 CEST

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