[REVIEW] Ch4. Branching and Merging - Advanced Merging

Arfrever Frehtes Taifersar Arahesis arfrever.fta at gmail.com
Thu Jun 12 12:53:12 CDT 2008

2008-06-12 19:39:55 Ben Collins-Sussman napisaƂ(a):
> Having read your article a month ago, Paul... I have to say, it made
> my head spin.  I know svn inside and out, though not the
> merge-tracking stuff -- and the amount of detail and edge-cases was
> bewildering.  I mean, the stuff is *interesting* and cool, but is this
> stuff an ordinary user is going to need to know?  Much of it felt like
> implementation details.  That's why I deliberately left the svnbook so
> simple.
> It's a hard call to make, really.  One of the goals of merge-tracking
> is to make branching and merging "automatically do the right thing".
> svn 1.5 is a first step in that direction, and we all know that
> there's a whole lot of ground to cover.  But my understanding is that
> as we begin to cover that ground, users *shouldn't* have to learn
> about inheritable vs. noninhertiable mergeinfo, or how mergeinfo is
> ellided, or what 'implicit' mergeinfo is -- heck, they shouldn't have
> to look at svn:mergeinfo at all!   So my worry is that chapter 4 is
> already overwhelming in terms of content, and adding this stuff would
> be (1) way TMI and (2) eventually become non-useful as merge-tracking
> improves.
> The tradeoff, of course, is that when users try to do something in 1.5
> and the merge-tracking feature bites them -- they have no
> documentation to turn to.  Well, not really -- they have your paper,
> and the users@ list.  But the book won't help them untangle themselves
> from edge-cases.  On the other hand, I somehow doubt that if all the
> implementation details of svn:mergeinfo *were* in the book, that
> they'd be able to untangle themselves either.  (Well, maybe only a
> teeny percentage of brainiac users might...)  So on the whole, I'm
> thinking it's better not to overwhelm the vast majority of users with
> details that aren't likely to help them, only intimidate them further.
> Perhaps the best compromise for now is to put a sidebar in chapter 4
> which alludes to the mega-complexity of svn:mergeinfo, and points
> people to the collab.net paper?

I would prefer a new "Mergeinfo Implementation Details" section :)

> On Thu, Jun 12, 2008 at 12:16 PM, Blair Zajac <blair at orcaware.com> wrote:
> > Paul Burba wrote:
> >>
> >> Hi All,
> >>
> >> Took a look at the advanced merging section of chapter 4.  Everything
> >> that's there looks good, my only concerns are what is not not
> >> mentioned:
> >>
> >> 1) The fact the svn:mergeinfo is inheritable (particularly the
> >> limitations of this in mixed-revision working copies).
> >>
> >> 2) Non-inheritable mergeinfo
> >>
> >> 3) Empty mergeinfo
> >>
> >> 4) Copy/move can produce svn:mergeinfo
> >>
> >> 5) Implicit mergeinfo (i.e. "natural history")
> >>
> >> 6) Mergeinfo elision
> >>
> >> Is it worth mentioning of these subjects or do these get into too much
> >> detail for the book?
> >
> > Not being an author on the book, I don't have much say, but I would like to
> > see these topics discussed.  Otherwise we'll have to forward people to read
> > your article :)
> >
> > http://blogs.open.collab.net/svn/2008/05/subversion-15-1.html

Arfrever Frehtes Taifersar Arahesis
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