Monday, March 15, 2010

Software merging, commit messages

What is the intent of a change? How do you merge conflicting changes? The current state of the art is dire. There's a survey, A state-of-the-art survey on software merging , but it's summary may be that there's no silver bullet to automated merging without understanding the intent of a commit.

How do you understand the intent of a commit? The best technique I am aware of today is … having the author provide a clear description of his intent. There's a paper about that, quite worth your while: Semantic patches considered helpful.

I told you that the situation is dire, didn't I?

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