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Is this feasible: Trunk files that update branches also

From: Tobias Frech
Subject: Is this feasible: Trunk files that update branches also
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001 08:42:36 +0100

How to implement our strategy with cvs (see below) ?
I searched through the archives but couldn't find any answer to my
question. Also my tests returned only negative results so far. This is
why I am trying to get an answer here:

What we want to do is have a main trunk of source code. The source code
consists of some documentation files (DocBook/XML) and a build system
for them (-> HTML,PDF). As we have different releases of the software we
would like to "split" the manual in different versions. The easy way
would be to branch and tag the whole stuff and have a totally separate
branch from the main trunk.

This is a bad idea for documentation and the build system in my eyes. We
have several occasional docu contributors. You can write it a dozen
times everywhere: "If you update the branch or the trunk, please check
if your change also applies to the other part". People won't notice or
read it. Improvemnts on one part get lost for the other part because
people don't apply it to both (or with two branches: all three) parts.
So the idea is to have the build system and all the docu files in the
main trunk. The branches ONLY contain some "older" versions, which may
be also be improved over time (but this time only in this branch). 

This way changes on the build system or general documentation files
would also be "altered" in the branches, too.  My idea was to have only
the "different" files for a version in this branch and use the -f option
on checkout/update to get all the other files from the main trunk.

Now I have this situation:

cvs checkout -r branch_1 -f docu

general-intro.xml        from trunk
first-steps.xml          from trunk
config.xml               from branch_1

If I edit config.xml and want to commit it (to branch_1) everything is
fine. But if I edited first-steps.xml and want to commit it (should go
to the trunk) then cvs complains about it, because the file is not part
of branch_1 and cvs "does not get it" that it should commit it to the

You could say, I need to update/co the trunk version then and update on
this. My experience is that people won't do it. This is why the branch
stuff is sticky. People don't want to bother about branches and stuff
all the time. I need some method to commit to the trunk from a branch

Perhaps you also have ideas for totally different strategies ?



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