Hi Alex,

thanks for your quick and helpful answer.

I was just going to ask some question on how exactly to work with "branch" 
and "diff" ...
... and then David already gave the answer and added the missing 
puzzle-piece: "rebase" :-)

Thanks a lot guys, this was exactly the kind of information I was looking 


Am Mittwoch, 25. September 2013 12:16:33 UTC+2 schrieb Alex Lewis:
> The first thing I'd like to say is nice one for considering VCS from day 
> one, even many "real programmers" have not considered it up front. As for 
> your choice of Git, I don't think you'll regret it :)
> In short I think the answer is sadly a bit of a) and b) and that's the art 
> of writing good software. I don't know C well enough to know how easy or 
> achievable this is but if you can aim for something where you can 
> compartmentalise (modularise) functionality be it customer specific or 
> agnostic. I found this 
> link<http://deans-avr-tutorials.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/ManagingLargeProjects/Output/ManagingLargeProjects.pdf>
>  which 
> *might* be useful on how to do that. All of this would be on your 
> "master" branch regardless of whether it was common or customer specific. 
> Hopefully you can then just have various build scripts that will combine 
> those modules into customer specific builds. Your branches in this case 
> would be used to apply bug fixes, patches, etc. to a specific release of 
> the software. E.g. You couldn't give the customer the latest build of the 
> software (Version 2.1.2) including the fix you've needed to apply as it 
> includes new features, changes to API's, etc. It needs to be version 1.4.1 
> + bug fix (I.e. soon to be 1.4.2, or 1.4.1_1 depending on how you want to 
> number your releases). In this case you would branch from the 1.4.1 
> release, apply your fix and release from that branch. That branch would 
> live around for as long as a customer is using that version and any 
> subsequent bug fixes, enhancements, etc. would be done on that branch. If 
> those changes apply to the latest version of the code as well you could 
> merge those changes into master.
> There are *many* ways this can be achieved, all with pros and cons. Like I 
> say I don't know enough about C to suggest whether #ifdefs are the "right" 
> way to modularise the code and I'm sure people will respond with other 
> suggestions.
> One thing I will say is try to always consider whether you're trying to 
> use Git for versioning or trying to compensate for the design of the code 
> or the way in which it is built. So having a branch per customer is 
> probably airing towards trying to compensate for the structure of the code, 
> not about a good versioning process. That probably sounds very vague and 
> useless, I'm just finding it very difficult to put it into succinct 
> sentences :)
> Hope this helps.
> Alex 
> On Wednesday, 25 September 2013 10:36:39 UTC+1, Michael Weise wrote:
>> Hello folks,
>> I've just started to work on a software project with lots of "dirty" code 
>> with very little to no management, no bug tracking, no documenatition at 
>> all. As one of many actions, I decided it would be a good idea to use a 
>> version control system and git looks like a suitable choice.
>> Some background info about myself: I'm an electrical engineer, have done 
>> some programming here and there, but this is my first big "real" software 
>> project. I do know stuff about hardware, have compiled plenty of programs 
>> from source, BUT I'm not familiar with concepts that "real programmers" ;-) 
>> know about, so I'll be thankful for some hints. I've never used a version 
>> control system before (except for downloading, e.g. "git clone ...").
>> One problem I'm facing is that we have different customers who get 
>> different versions of our program (programming language is C). Currently 
>> these versions are implemented with lots of #ifdefs that make the code hard 
>> to read.
>> I wonder if I can solve part of the problem with version control:
>> Let's say I have source code for customer A that works fine. Now customer 
>> B wants the same program, but with subtle changes in different places of 
>> the code.
>> How would I handle that?
>> a) One approach is to create a second branch for customer B and apply the 
>> changes. But when I have to make changes that apply to both (or lets say 
>> n=12) branches, how would I do that?
>> This would lead to a situation, where I have (at least) 12 branches for 
>> 12 customers, which might diverge more and more over time (not generally a 
>> problem, but maybe incompatible to the idea behind version control?).
>> b) Another approach is to keep one codebase with all the #ifdefs and use 
>> version control "in the classical way".
>> What do you recommend? Is there another approach worth considering?
>> Regards
>> Michael

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