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[Axiom-developer] GIT and Axiom

From: C Y
Subject: [Axiom-developer] GIT and Axiom
Date: Sun, 20 May 2007 17:44:29 -0700 (PDT)

I went ahead and started looking at the GIT tutorials.  First, my
original assertion was incorrect - if handled correctly, FAQ DID change
based on which branch was active.

Based on this tutorial
(, here
is what worked for me:

git branch experimental
git branch
git checkout experimental
edit FAQ
git commit -a (adds any modified files, but not new files)

At this point, looking in the FAQ file will still show changes, because
we are in the experimental branch.  If we then switch back:

git checkout master

and look at FAQ again, it is in its original form.  (SWEEEET!) No
directory changing, nothing - the same tree on the file system is now
in its original state.  That's NICE. The merge command can bring the
FAQ changes from the branch to the original.

If files are added in a branch and left untracked, they will remain
present when switching to another branch.  However, if they ARE tracked
switching branches will hide them.  (Makes sense, I guess - until git
knows better untracked files are just random junk in the tree.)  git
status lets you know what is present and untracked, and looks like it
might be a very handy way to look for mistakes in a "make clean" type
script :-).  Also, different build systems could be tested with the
same "base" code simply by turning one branch on or off, and clearing
out any untracked files.  Wow!

I'm impressed.  I can also see where this would get tough with very
large diffs, but that's a problem no revision control system can solve
because the differences ARE intrinsically major and must be resolved by
human beings.

Clearly there are details to learn, and perhaps a page detailing common
scenarios for Axiom developers would be helpful (say, for example,
pulling Waldek's change set into my git repository as "wh-sandbox"
branch without accidentally stomping on anything in mine) but I have to
say I find this very appealing.  The lack of duplication of file
storage is VERY impressive (my hard disk is not sufficiently large that
storing many trees of Axiom is a trivial matter) and the tools look
easy enough to use.

I'm convinced Tim - I'll sign up for Git as the way to go.


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