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 Post subject: Branching in the customwars project
PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:51 am
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Kevin mcdonagh Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2008 at 10:45am

Hi there, I see that Ben has started a branch to work on the menu appearing in the location of the mouse click. This is fine if it is the way you feel most comfortable working in but I would warn caution and ask that you merge your changes in as regularly as possible(after every feature).
If I continue to move classes into sperate packages you can bet there will be a mountain load of frustrating conflicts.
On Branching
Branching and merging is a real pain in subversion and ideally we should try and keep it to a minimum. Sometimes projects insist on creating a branch for each new piece of work that will be done by members citing the fact that it is easier for a developer to work in a controlled branch until they are ready to reintegrate into the chaotic main trunk. I take a contrary view to this and believe that since the trunk is so chaotic developers should be made to all work off of the same trunk and continually reintegrate their efforts into the trunk. This way everyone is taking the hit immedietly and no one can develop the mother of all bugs in seclusion which will inevitably slow the whole team down for much more time when it eventually takes a week to merge back in. There are of course case in which branching is unavoidable, like when you are both working on the same feature. If you do have someone on a branch they should then be made to regularly merge in their changes to the trunk so they don’t go too far down a far away path. What are everyone else feelings on branching?

Ben Burt Wed, 17 Dec at 11:23am

I made the branch for Menu_Location for the exact reason that there will be menu annoying breaks from one or other developers that have made a thing that should work but doesn’t if that was on trunk we wouldn;t be allowed to commit until we had figured it out on our own.
However, with the branch as long as the commit message says about the problem then another, maybe more experienced, dev can look at it and see why it is not working and/or then get in contact with the orignal coder and assist them if they have managed to fix it on the branch.

And i do agree that we should merge often. I will merge each weekend unless the menu_location branch is non-working then it will be merged as soon as it is fixed to working. Since the rules on commits to trunk state “If you break it, you fix it, otherwise do not commit”. Therefore it stands to reason that if the menu_location branch is not working on its own base it will not work within the trunk and as such it shouldn’t be merged until a time that it is.

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