SPUG: more love for SVK

Andrew Sweger andrew at sweger.net
Wed Jan 18 17:02:31 PST 2006

I gave a short (very short and fast) review of using SVK for source code
management at the meeting last night. I just discovered a very handy trick
that SVK knows: auto-merging

If you create a branch, e.g.,

  svk cp $SVN/trunk $SVN/branches/newfeature

...time passes as you work on newfeature...

Later, you,

  cd newfeature-working-dir
  svk pull
  svk merge -a $SVN/trunk
  svk up

will bring you up-to-date with the trunk without searching the logs for
revision number ranges. Later, when you're ready to merge your branch to
the trunk,

  svk co $SVN/trunk
  cd trunk
  svk merge -a $SVN/branches/newfeature

Whoa. Niiiiice. The SVKBook is a little behind development (imagine

Of course, it's not as simple as that in reality. You still need
discipline and policies for collaborators. But my goodness, does that ever
take out one of the big headaches of merging. Oh, and conflicts: SVK will
prompt you file-by-file if you like to ask how you want to handle
conflicts (and even offers to show a diff).

There's also a "successor" to SVK called SVL. It's a peer-to-peer revision
manager that helps people work as a group with each using an isolated
repository. It even works over Zeroconf (aka Apple Computer's Bonjour, nee
Rendezvous) with auto-discovery of nearby repositories. Scary stuff. There
was a demo at last year's OSCON in Portland (Leon Brocard & Artur

Andrew B. Sweger -- The great thing about multitasking is that several
                                things can go wrong at once.

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