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Re: Should I Branch Modules / Files or the Main Line?

From: Steve Greenland
Subject: Re: Should I Branch Modules / Files or the Main Line?
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 13:54:45 -0600
User-agent: Mutt/1.2.5i

On Thu, Feb 21, 2002 at 08:32:05AM -0800, Duncan wrote:
> Hello all,
> is it a better practice for said groups to:
> 1) Branch the whole main line[...]
> or 
> 2) Branch just the individual files / selections to be modified [...]

I've found that branching anything less than the entire sandbox (which
may be just a single directory, or a module, or whatever) to be
problematic. CVS gets *really* unhappy to have files from different
branches in the same directory tree. And even if it didn't, who wants to
remember which files have been branched and which haven't? Eventually,
someone will modify an unbranched file and not notice. Files that have
been branced but not modified are basically a no-op -- there's an extra
tag in the repository file, but no extra version is created on the
branch until you commit a modified file.

> ...the only drawback would seem that from an administrative view,
> you've tagged tons of files that aren't really representative of a
> change.

Branch tags (and indeed tags in general) don't represent change. Commits
(e.g. new file versions) represent change. Tags represent a (hopefully
consistent) snapshot of the repository at a particular moment in time.
Branch tags (additionally) represent a point where change might take
place along multiple paths.

> On the other hand, branching individual
> files seems to be a bit of a hassle if your project involves files
> found in many different modules.



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