Working with Your Branch

Now that you've created a branch of the project, you can check out a new working copy to start using it:

$ svn checkout http://svn.example.com/repos/calc/branches/my-calc-branch
A  my-calc-branch/Makefile
A  my-calc-branch/integer.c
A  my-calc-branch/button.c
Checked out revision 341.

There's nothing special about this working copy; it simply mirrors a different directory in the repository. When you commit changes, however, Sally won't see them when she updates, because her working copy is of /calc/trunk. (Be sure to read the section called “Traversing Branches” later in this chapter: the svn switch command is an alternate way of creating a working copy of a branch.)

Let's pretend that a week goes by, and the following commits happen:

  • You make a change to /calc/branches/my-calc-branch/button.c, which creates revision 342.

  • You make a change to /calc/branches/my-calc-branch/integer.c, which creates revision 343.

  • Sally makes a change to /calc/trunk/integer.c, which creates revision 344.

There are now two independent lines of development (shown in Figure 4.4, “The branching of one file's history”) happening on integer.c.

Figure 4.4. The branching of one file's history

The branching of one file's history

Things get interesting when you look at the history of changes made to your copy of integer.c:

$ pwd
/home/user/my-calc-branch

$ svn log -v integer.c
------------------------------------------------------------------------
r343 | user | 2002-11-07 15:27:56 -0600 (Thu, 07 Nov 2002) | 2 lines
Changed paths:
   M /calc/branches/my-calc-branch/integer.c

* integer.c:  frozzled the wazjub.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
r341 | user | 2002-11-03 15:27:56 -0600 (Thu, 07 Nov 2002) | 2 lines
Changed paths:
   A /calc/branches/my-calc-branch (from /calc/trunk:340)

Creating a private branch of /calc/trunk.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
r303 | sally | 2002-10-29 21:14:35 -0600 (Tue, 29 Oct 2002) | 2 lines
Changed paths:
   M /calc/trunk/integer.c

* integer.c:  changed a docstring.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
r98 | sally | 2002-02-22 15:35:29 -0600 (Fri, 22 Feb 2002) | 2 lines
Changed paths:
   A /calc/trunk/integer.c

* integer.c:  adding this file to the project.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notice that Subversion is tracing the history of your branch's integer.c all the way back through time, even traversing the point where it was copied. It shows the creation of the branch as an event in the history, because integer.c was implicitly copied when all of /calc/trunk/ was copied. Now look what happens when Sally runs the same command on her copy of the file:

$ pwd
/home/sally/calc

$ svn log -v integer.c
------------------------------------------------------------------------
r344 | sally | 2002-11-07 15:27:56 -0600 (Thu, 07 Nov 2002) | 2 lines
Changed paths:
   M /calc/trunk/integer.c

* integer.c:  fix a bunch of spelling errors.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
r303 | sally | 2002-10-29 21:14:35 -0600 (Tue, 29 Oct 2002) | 2 lines
Changed paths:
   M /calc/trunk/integer.c

* integer.c:  changed a docstring.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
r98 | sally | 2002-02-22 15:35:29 -0600 (Fri, 22 Feb 2002) | 2 lines
Changed paths:
   A /calc/trunk/integer.c

* integer.c:  adding this file to the project.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sally sees her own revision 344 change, but not the change you made in revision 343. As far as Subversion is concerned, these two commits affected different files in different repository locations. However, Subversion does show that the two files share a common history. Before the branch copy was made in revision 341, the files used to be the same file. That's why you and Sally both see the changes made in revisions 303 and 98.