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RE: branch removal question

From: Jim.Hyslop
Subject: RE: branch removal question
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2004 09:39:39 -0400

Don Butts wrote:
> I asked this question last Friday but got no response.
> Was it poorly asked, not enough information, too ignorant for 
> words?
How about, this requires a few more brain cycles than were available at the
time? :=)

>       -----Original Message-----
>       We are using cvs in somewhat of a non-standard way. 
>       We have a production cut of our compiled source that 
>       we deploy via cvs using a production branch.  The 
>       application does not mind the fact the CVS control 
>       files co-exist within the source and the application 
>       runs fine. When we want to patch production we first 
>       patch the same branch in a different checkout area and 
>       then commit it.  When it comes time to upgrade the 
>       production area we bring down the application during a 
>       maintenance window and perform a cvs update in the 
>       production area.  This has worked great for more than a 
>       year so I am very happy with this process.  We were 
>       basically mimicking this process in a pre-production area 
>       for QA purposes and while this has worked OK we are 
>       having a bit of trouble keeping these two branches in 
>       sync.  So,  I know that I can remove a branch via the 
>       cvs admin -n command and I am wondering if a better 
>       process would be to remove the preprod branch every time 
>       I move a new patch to production and when it comes time 
>       to test the next patch just recreate the preprod branch 
>       off of the current prod branch.  I have performed some 
>       tests using this method and all seems to work fine but 
>       I thought that I would ask the opinion of those who have 
>       been using CVS a lot longer than I. 
I wouldn't remove the branches. I'm always reluctant to remove anything from
the history.

Instead of checking out branches, it might be easier to apply non-branch
tags instead. This means fewer branches to deal with. I'm guessing the
reason you're using a branch is because the update command remains the same,
e.g. cvs update -r PROD (where PROD is a branch tag).

Basically, what you would do is to create a non-branch tag indicating the
currently-tested and working version, e.g. cvs tag REL_2_0_2. Then, you can
move the PRODUCTION tag using the -F option to tag.

Let me know if I'm not being clear (I haven't had my morning coffee yet ;-)

Jim Hyslop
Senior Software Designer
Leitch Technology International Inc. (
Columnist, C/C++ Users Journal (

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