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Re: Automatic merging

From: Frederic Brehm
Subject: Re: Automatic merging
Date: Tue, 08 Jun 2004 15:53:34 -0400

At 03:13 PM 6/8/2004, Carucci, Jason wrote:
My understanding is that even when CVS does the automatic merging of
changes, it does not commit them to the repository until you OK the changes
is that correct?

Yes, that is correct. The source is merged in your sandbox by the "cvs update" operation. The "cvs commit" operation puts changes from your sandbox into the repository. You get a chance to run regression tests before foisting the merged code on the rest of the team.

What has been the experience with this feature in CVS?

It's quite good for source code. Conflicts are pretty rare, at least for me. We try to partition our design and work so two people do not have to change the same portion of a file at the same time.

The only problem I have had is once when there was a project full of "cowboys" who did not bother to communicate with each other and wanted to fix everything themselves. The merge problems were a symptom of a dysfunctional team and no source code control system could fix that.

Early in my employment here, CVS was a big success because of the merge ability. The software was poorly engineered (it grew from very small to too big without refactoring) and lots of people were working on it. Many files had to be changed to fix a single bug or add a single feature. With SCCS locking, the team members work was effectively serialized. CVS broke the jam. Even with changes distributed over a large number of files on each checkin, merging never became an issue.


Frederic W. Brehm, Sarnoff Corporation,

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