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SubjectRe: git pull on Linux/ACPI release tree

On Mon, 9 Jan 2006, Adrian Bunk wrote:
> Consider I want to do the following:
> 1. update my tree daily from your tree
> 2. include 10 patches per week into my tree
> 3. ask you once a month to pull from my tree
> How should step 1 be done?

I'd do

git fetch linus

to fetch my tree as a branch (obviously, this assumes you've set up a
'.git/remotes/linus' file for the shorthand).

Then, keep your checked-out working-tree that you also do you development
in your 'devel' branch (or whatever).

And then do

git-rebase linus

to rebase your development branch to mine.

THIS is what "rebase" is for. It sounds like what you really want to do is
not have a development branch at all, but you just want to track my tree
and then keep track of a few branches of your own. In other words, you
don't really have a "real" branch - you've got an odd collection of
patches that you really want to carry around on top of _my_ branch. No?

Now, in this model, you're not really using git as a distributed system.
In this model, you're using git to track somebody elses tree, and track a
few patches on top of it, and then "git rebase" is a way to move the base
that you're tracking your patches against forwards..

It's also entirely possible that you may want to look at "stacked git"
(stg), which is really more about a "quilt on top of git" approach. Which
again, may or may not suit your needs better.

Now, the other alternative is to use git as a "real" distributed system,
and then you might keep my "linus" branch around perhaps as a reference
point, but you don't care too much about it. What you care a lot more
about is your "real development" branch, and you simply don't rebase that,
or try to track my branch all that closely. You work in your real
development branch, and that's your bread and butter. You _don't_ merge my
tree every day, because you simply don't care - that's a separate issue.

You might have a totally different directory that you use _just_ to track
my tree, and that is my virgin tree checked out and ready to go to test
what _I_ am doing - totally independently of your tree.

See? Two totally different usage schenarios. In one, you keep a couple of
"odd-ball" patches around (hey, it could be many, but I say a couple just
because the patches aren't a huge deal - they are kind of a small side
project to you, and not the main focus). And you use "git rebase" to move
those patches forward to match the "real" tree, aka mine.

In the other schenario, your development tree is a full-fledged real
branch, with a life of its own, and _not_ slaved to what happens to be
going on in my tree. You may care about my tree for _other_ reasons, but
the two aren't really joined at the hip.

The third schenario is somewhere in between: you do pull from my tree, but
you do it occasionally enough that the merges don't get annoying.

Most people I work with are actually in that gray area. EVERYBODY pulls
some. Nobody tends to do black-and-white either-or schenario. The question
is just how much.

My gut rule: if you have almost as many merges as you have "real work"
commits, you're doing something bad, and you should pull less often
(perhaps by using "rebase", perhaps by just realizing that you don't need
to be tailgating _quite_ that closely).

But 30 "real" commits and 5 merges because the 30 real commits happened
over four weeks time? Sounds fine to me.

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