[development] Is DRUPAL-5 branch necessary for module?

Scott McLewin drupal at mclewin.com
Tue Jan 23 17:23:51 UTC 2007

Earl Miles wrote:
> Earnie Boyd wrote:
>> Please branch and tag appropriately.  IMO this falls under the 
>> guidelines for a responsible maintainer of a contributed module.
> Enh. I disagree here. Actually rather a lot. If being responsible 
> means doubling my workload so you can be lazy with CVS, then really 
> I'm ok with you not having access to my software.

This is not being lazy with CVS, nor does maintaining two branches 
literally double ones workload as a developer - I recognize you were 
making a point though.

When it comes to maintaining branches, for as long as HEAD and DRUPAL-X 
are identical, do your work in HEAD.  As and when enough new changes are 
in HEAD that also belong in DRUPAL-X, copy those files into the 
directory where you keep a checked out copy of the X compatible version 
of your module and commit.  That's not double the work.

Once HEAD and DRUPAL-X diverge, then it is double the work.  But they 
diverged, so you would have branched anyway.

I agree with Earnie in how somebody new would approach CVS.  Even a 
seasoned Drupal developer benefits from an explicit branch.  I use CVS 
to keep track of updates on my sites.  When a given contrib module uses 
HEAD for the version that is compatible with the version of Drupal I'm 
using, it imposes an overhead on me.  I cannot just run cvs up and have 
faith in the result*.  I need to study each and every change to see if 
this change is 'the one' where the module ceases to be Drupal-x 
compatible and is now Drupal x+1 compatible.  HEAD has no compatibility 
contract, and should not.  That's what DRUPAL-X branches are for.

I see the DRUPAL-X branch as an important element of a released 
contributed module/theme.


* I recognize that even with strict use of branches I should still 
assess and test deltas before putting them in production.  Ignore that 
for a moment, I get to exaggerate/simplify to make points too.  :)

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