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From Stephen Butler <>
Subject Re: Merge and record-only question
Date Wed, 16 May 2012 11:57:45 GMT

On May 16, 2012, at 12:42 , Asher Stern wrote:

> Hi.
> I have a question about merge, reintegrate and record-only.
> We use SVN version 1.6
> I am working on trunk, let's call it T.
> My colleague works on a branch (branched from trunk), let's call it B.
> We want to merge back, i.e., merge --reintegrate from B to T.

Assuming that B is a "feature branch" that should be kept consistent with T,
your colleague should merge all changes from T to B (early and often).

I see you mention this in step 6, below.

> However, there are some changes in B that we do NOT want to be copied to T.

Then you don't want to use --reintegrate.  See the description of the
reintegrate merge in the SVN book.

I'd recommend doing cherrypicking merges from B to T.  But you don't have
to trust me. ;-)  Just create a temporary local repository, create branches
in it, and see how the merges turn out.  Create a shell or batch script to
automate the repetitive steps, and try many alternatives.  There are handy
script templates in the "Write a reproduction script" section at

If you have more specific questions, or find a bug, it's much easier for us to 
help if you attach your reproduction script.


> We considered the following steps:
> 1. merge --reintegrate 
> 2. Then, manually, in the working copy of T, revert all unnecessary changes in B that
we don't want to be merged into T.
> 3. Then, in the working copy of T: svn commit.
> 4. Then, keeping the branch B alive, by merge --record-only.
> 5. Now we have T and B, but they are NOT identical.
> 6. Continue working separately on T and B, making merges from T to B from time to time,
and eventually, after several months, making again merge --reintegrate from B to T.
> The question is whether it is possible. Is it OK that T and B will not be identical after
the reintegrate, and continue working on B?
> Might such a scenario cause problems in future merges (from T to B and from B to T)?
> Thanking you all in advance,
> Asher Stern

Stephen Butler

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