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RE: Merging trunk changes into a branch

From: Cameron, Steve
Subject: RE: Merging trunk changes into a branch
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2001 10:04:59 -0500

Scott (address@hidden) wrote:

> I've read a couple of times now that "HEAD" does not work consistantly
> "cvs diff".  However, I have yet to hear anyone describe when it works,
> it doesn't and what behavior it exhibits when it doesn't work.  Can you
> elaborate?

I've described it before.

>From my ".trunk + .origin" patch
found at

+CAUTION: the special tag `HEAD' is interpreted by
+the `cvs diff' command in a different way than it
+is interpreted by any other cvs command.  `cvs diff'
+takes `-r HEAD' to mean the following, as nearly as
+I can tell:
+For `cvs diff', `HEAD' means the most recent revision
+on the `current branch' (taking into account whatever
+sticky tags are active in your working directory) unless
+a particular file has not had a revision committed to the
+branch, in which case the head revision of the trunk is
+taken.  This is clearly wrong in most cases.  You 
+should use either `.trunk' or the branch tag name rather 
+than `HEAD', unless you specifically want the strange
+behavior of `HEAD'.  (The `.trunk' tag acts as a branch tag 
+name for the trunk.)

There is at least 1 test case in that makes sure that 
diff behaves this way, I've never understood the rationale,
but comments in there claim there are people depending on this
behavior.  This was part of my motivation for creating the

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