Mail Archives: cygwin-developers/2001/10/04/20:42:09

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Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2001 20:42:56 -0400
From: Christopher Faylor <cgf AT redhat DOT com>
To: cygwin-developers AT cygwin DOT Com
Subject: Re: CVS branches RFC
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On Thu, Oct 04, 2001 at 06:28:02PM -0400, Earnie Boyd wrote:
>Robert Collins wrote:
>> Also, Cygwin is your baby, I have no intention of suggesting you alter
>> the way the cygwin dev community work on it - the branch scripts where
>> for my convenience after all - and I really do appreciate your allowing
>> me to work on a CVS branch.
>Ditto.  I was just exploring differing avenues and picked a bad example.

Ok.  Now that I've overreacted and you guys have calmed me down, let me
mention some stuff that I'm sure that you know already.

Branches are not a panacea.  They complicate the development process in
at least three ways.  1) You almost always spend a lot of time merging
where you could have been spending time coding.  2) There is a
psychological barrier to merging your own code back into the trunk which
sometimes means that code lives on a branch for too long.  3) There can
be a tendency to develop in isolation with no input from fellow

#3, in particular, can be deadly because a developer can spend large
amounts of time coding and polishing but the end result could be
completely off track with the rest of the community (or with the main
developer) had in mind.  So, when the results are unleashed on the world,
there can be massive disappointment.

This happened recently in the gdb group and we ended up with one less
gdb developer.

Anyway, with all of that said, I am still a fan of working on branches.
I have done this myself several times with cygwin development -- back
when the repository was internal.  I actually thought that I'd worked on
a branch when I moved from using cygwin-specific pids to windows pids
but the cvs repository doesn't reflect this.  I suppose that it is
possible that I deleted the branch when I was done.  I think that common
wisdom is that that is a bad idea, though.

If anyone wants to start a branch to work on something that interests them,
then feel free.  You don't need my permission.  I would like to see an
announcement of the branch and its stated purpose.  That's it.


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