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Need info about merging / conflicts

From: Preston Landers
Subject: Need info about merging / conflicts
Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2007 15:21:17 -0600
User-agent: mutt-ng/devel-r804 (Linux)

Does anyone know a good resource for information about how CVS (or any
version control system for that matter) handles merging and
identifying merge conficts?

At my organization we are looking at adopting a new version control
system (well, ideally an overall CM / defect tracking / workflow
system).  Most of the developers here are used to working only with a
system (CMVC) that requires exclusive locks on file checkouts, and
requires manually merging in all changes from side branches.

I've brought up the benefits of working CVS style but I've run into
considerable resistance, or lack of understanding of the benefits.
I've been told that it's "stupid" to think that software can possibly
safely merge code changes and safely identify conflicts, that it is
"brittle", language dependent, somehow causes problems with
compliation, etc, etc.  I'm poorly equipped to counter these arguments
at the moment because I have so little understanding of the topic
myself.  I just know from experience at a previous CVS-using
organization that in CVS it is infinitely easier to deal with
concurrent access and merging changes.

BTW, when I asked one vendor why his product didn't support
auto-merging, he suggested open source projects like CVS only use
auto-merging because they're too poor to afford a nice, shiny
Diff-Editor like this product had.  I was flabbergasted but didn't
know what to say.  I'm pretty sure there are commercial products
(Bitkeeper, Perforce?) which auto-merge because it makes sense and is
easier... am I right?


Preston Landers

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