[cvsnt] Re: Branch merging - this seems wrong...

Michael Wojcik Michael.Wojcik at microfocus.com
Wed Jun 7 16:48:14 BST 2006

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> From: cvsnt-bounces at cvsnt.org 
> [mailto:cvsnt-bounces at cvsnt.org] On Behalf Of Tony Hoyle
> Sent: Wednesday, 07 June, 2006 10:38
> OTOH most SCM's don't have the branch/merge capability that CVS has 
> (hence the whole reserved/locking paradigm that still sticks around so

> much - they can't merge so you have to stop other people working on
> files).

While I'm generally in agreement with you in this thread, I don't think
this is accurate.  Certainly RCS and its descendants and clones (such as
PVCS) all offer branching and merging.  RCS used (but did not enforce) a
locking paradigm because Walter Tichy was trying to build a better SCCS,
and SCCS used a locking paradigm.

But it's certainly possible to use RCS with a merge paradigm (concurrent
updates) rather than a lock paradigm (serialized updates).  Of course
that's just what CVS originally was: RCS without bothering to lock
files, and merging when more than one set of changes was applied to a
given revision.

In other words, it wasn't the introduction of branch/merge capability
that changed the paradigm from locking and exclusive updates to lockless
concurrent ones.  That capability already existed; what changed was that
people realized that merging was sufficiently robust and conflicts (and
hence manual intervention) sufficiently rare to make concurrent updates

Michael Wojcik
Principal Software Systems Developer, Micro Focus

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