[rfc] what is 'merge tracking' means?

John A Meinel john at arbash-meinel.com
Tue Jun 27 14:19:44 BST 2006

Hash: SHA1

Alexander Belchenko wrote:
> My friend ask me recently is bzr has 'merge tracking'? He use svn and
> this term appear from their roadmap
> (http://subversion.tigris.org/roadmap.html). I say that bzr is
> decentralised version control system, so with merge is all right (only
> cherrypicking is not implemented). But my friend cannot describe in
> simple words what is 'merge tracking', so I'd like to hear from our wise
> men what this term should means and is bzr has this thing?
> -- 
> Alexander

Merge tracking is something that all distributed vcs do fairly well.
Mostly because they have to. While a centralized system can claim merges
aren't all that common, decentralized systems do it as their basic work

In SVN if you have 2 branches and you merge the changes between them,
svn doesn't record that it was a merge. Just that you updated the
working tree with some changes. (Which happen to match what was done on
another tree).

SVK is layered on top of SVN, and since it is decentralized, it uses
special revision properties to record merges.
Obviously since SVK is possible, SVN *could* be tracking merges. But the
developers didn't feel it was a high priority. Which is unfortunate,
because without good merge tracking, branching is a real PITA. And
integration branches are just horrible.


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