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development on a branch

From: dale a schouten
Subject: development on a branch
Date: 31 Oct 2001 17:59:20 -0800

I've been using CVS for a little over a year now, and while it's an
improvement over previous SC tools (don't ask) there are a couple of issues
that I expected to be addressed by CVS that I can't really seem to get working
right.  I don't know if my expectations are off, or I don't know what I'm
doing, or I just shouldn't try to develop this particular way.

Specifically, I would like to work off of a branch pretty much all the
time.  In order to do this, I would need to create a branch, then periodically
synch up with the mainline, either getting the latest changes from the mainline
or committing my branch changes to the mainline.  It's been a while since
I've tried to do this with CVS, so I may be misremembering some of the
problems, but here's what I remember.

Creating a branch - no problem

Committing changes to the branch - no problem

Committing branch changes to the mainline - not too bad, but I often found
bogus conflicts w.r.t. version numbers, i.e. if I had $Id$, it would report a
conflict sometimes, but not always, and it was always a meaningless conflict.

If that was all I wanted to do, i.e. change the branch then get those changes
back into the mainline, it's not too bad.  However, if I want to synch with
the mainline, then the next time I do a synch or check it into the mainline
then all the changes it got from the first synch seem to be treated as branch
changes and it seems to get really confused and comes up with loads and loads
of bogus conflicts.  Maybe I'm mis-analysing it, but the net effect is that I
swore off trying to do anything but simple dead-end branches.

Now that fall is here, I find myself longing to develop under a branch, so I'm
wondering if anyone else has solved this problem, or can perhaps point out
what I'm doing wrong.

Any input is appreciated, if you would like to contact me directly,
you should be able to reach me at address@hidden


Dale Schouten

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