[cvsnt] Mergepoint issues on b2382

Harrison, Andy andy.harrison at anite.com
Mon Jan 15 13:03:10 GMT 2007

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> I wish Tony H or Arthur would explain better the situation(s) they
> seen that lead to data loss. IIRC, so far it was only a "trust me on
> or something the like...  I think it would be extremely helpful if the
> situations that lead to data loss were described somewhere in a way
> allows them to be reproduced. 


Although the example given by Tony does not infact lead to data loss, I
do believe there is still a possibility for data loss during merges. I
can think of two ways in which data could be lost during a merge, there
may be more. I have not investigated this as fully as I expect the CVS
team has, so please let mw know if I've misunderstood anything.

The first scenario is when a user does a merge, but then does a lot of
manual editing of files (beyond resolving conflicts) before the commit.
This is something that has been mentioned by Tony, Arthur et al in this
discussion. My opinion is that if during the course of a merge the user
edits files (including undoing parts of the merge), then these changes
should be considered as part of the merge. Therefore any loss of data
that comes about as a result of this is only perceived loss of data, not
actual loss of data. I realise others disagree with this point of view
and so won't push the point.

The second scenario is to do with how and when mergepoints are created
in the first place, as I have mentioned in a previous post. This would
result in actual loss of data. The possibility of this happening is
unrelated to bi-directional merging, or to the patched code that is
under discussion. I think this scenario is a possibility in the current
release of CVS ( It can however be detected programmatically
within CVS and corrected for. As I have said previously, I don't
personally have the expertise with the CVS source code to be able to
make any realistic attempt at producing a patch for this, but am willing
to work with the CVS team or other users in the production of such a


Andy Harrison - Platform Software Engineer 
Anite Telecoms Ltd. Ancells Business Park, Fleet, Hampshire, GU51 2UZ,
"No matter how bad things seem... 
...nothing could be worse than being used as a towel rail." - A.A. Milne

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