Version 13 (modified by hamish, 7 years ago) (diff)



For general advice, see

For GRASS, see Merge between branches (backporting).


Q: Should developers do it themselves? Or ask another dev to do it to keep some review sanity?

A: It depends: preferably a developer should be able to backport him/herself but

  • do not break the release branch
  • make your commits to the dev branch first
  • make tests
  • only fix bugs, do not introduce new features
  • Only do refactoring in trunk
    • (large and complicated changes can introduce new hard to spot bugs, the idea of the stable branch is to asymptote to zero bugs)

If the above is unclear, it should be discussed on the developers list. If in doubt, ask! In this case, a path/diff is appreciated.

Comparing branches

A diff tool like Kompare, Kdiff3, or Meld can help. These run the standard UNIX "diff -u" utility and show the results in an easy to navigate GUI.

You'll want to tell them to ignore the build files, svn paperwork files, compiled binaries, and "Last changed" timestamps on the help pages. This is typically done by going into the options and telling it to ignore a list of wildcard'ed path names, and regex filter for the document content.

For example, to compare devbr6 and relbr64 using kdiff3: (I used the QT version of Kdiff3, the other tools are similar)

  cd grass/svn/
  svn checkout relbr64
  svn checkout devbr6

  kdiff3 relbr64/ devbr6/
  • This will take a little while to scan the two directory trees
  • Once loaded, go to Settings → Configure KDiff3...
  • Go into the Directory tab
    • To "File-anti-pattern(s):" add ";*.tmp.html"
    • To "Dir-anti-pattern(s):" add ";OBJ.x86*;dist.x86*;bin.x86*"
      • (if not working with translations today you might add ";locale" to that too)
    • In "File Comparison Mode" select "Full analysis"
  • Go to the Diff tab
    • In the "Line-matching preprocessor command:" line add "grep -v "Last changed: $Date: 2""
      • (this will ignore the $Date:$ svn keywords at the end of the help pages)
  • Click "Ok" to go back to the main GUI window, and press Shift-F5 to rescan with the new filters.

You can now double click on a filename to review changes.