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Merging changes between branches

From: Yuval Rotem
Subject: Merging changes between branches
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 2002 14:51:26 +0200

Hi all,
We want to employ branches as a relatively isolated development environment,
so that a small team can share a branch for a specific feature (or "task").
The branch is typically used for a few weeks, and when ready is merged to
the main trunk. This should be a classic use for a CVS branch, or so I
thought. I also used a very similar methodology in my previous company with
ClearCase as our CM tool, and it worked very well.

However, according to the docs, it seems that using CVS branches for this
purpose isn't that trivial, at least in one respect: It should be possible
to perform an update to merge changes from the main trunk into a branch (or
vice versa). In CVS this requires me to remember when the last update was,
and update with two -j flags, which is a bit awkward.

(In CC this was simpler. I guess the difference is that in CC you have a
real version graph for each file, and when you merge between versions you
add an edge to the graph, and you get a new common ancestor to be used in
your next merge operation).

We intend to write a set of scripts to make working with branches easier.
These scripts should also create the appropriate tags, handle the extra
book-keeping, handle locking, etc.

Has anyone else tried to do this or something similar? Is there a better


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