If you use git-mediate, you can re-apply those massive changes on the conflicted state, run git-mediate - and the conflicts get resolved.
For example: if you have 300 conflicts due to some massive rename, you can type in:
git-search-replace.py -f oldGlobalName///newGlobalName
Succcessfully resolved 377 conflicts and failed resolving 1 conflict.
<1 remaining conflict shown as 2 diffs here representing the 2 changes>
When maintaining multiple release lines and moving fixes between them:
Don't use a bad branching model. Things like "merging upwards" (=committing fixes to the oldest branch requiring the fix, then merging the oldest branch into the next older branch etc.), which seems to be somewhat popular, just don't scale, don't work very well, and produce near-unreadable histories. They also incentivise developing on maintenance branches (ick).
Instead, don't do merges between branches. Everything goes into master/dev, except stuff that really doesn't need to go there (e.g. a fix that only affects a specific branch(es)). Then cherry pick them into the maintenance branches.
I also observed that getting rid of merging upwards moved the focus of development back to the actual development version (=master), where it belongs.
From experience with many developers using this method, conflict resolution errors went down to virtually zero, and conflict resolution time has improved by 5x-10x.
You often take the apparent diff, apply it to the other version, and then git-mediate tells you "oops, you forgot to also apply this change". And this is one of the big sources of bugs that stem from conflict resolutions.
Another nice thing about git-mediate is that it lets you safely do the conflict resolution automatically, e.g: via applying a big rename as I showed in the example, and seeing how many conflicts disappear. This is much safer than manually resolving.
The only scenario in which i can see git-mediate working is if you don't actually resolve conflicts at all but instead just do a project-wide search&replace, but that's only going to handle really trivial conflicts, and even then if you're not actually looking at the conflict you run the risk of having the search & replace not actually do what it's supposed to do (e.g. catching something it shouldn't).
This is patently and empirically false:
1) See the automated rename example. How do you gain the same safety and ease of resolution without git mediate? This is, unlike you say, an incredibly common scenario. After all, conflicts are usually due to very wide, mechanical changes. The exact kinds of changes that are easy to re-apply project-wide.
It is true for not only renames, but also whitespace fixes which are infamous for causing conflicts and thus inserting bugs, and due to that are not allowed in many collaborative projects!
2) Instead of having to tediously compare the 3 versions to make sure you haven't missed any change when resolving (a very common error!) you now have to follow a simple guideline: Apply the same change to 2 versions.
This guideline is simple enough to virtually never fuck it up, unlike traditional conflict resolution which is incredibly error-prone. Your complaint that git mediate does not validate you followed this one guideline is moot, since this guideline is so easy to not fuck up - compared to the rest of the resolution process.
If you follow this guideline - git-mediate has tremendous value. It makes sure you did not forget any part of the change done by either side - and streamlines every other part of the conflict resolution process:
A) Takes my favorite editor directly to the conflict line
B) Shows me 2 diffs instead of 3 walls of text
C) Lets me choose the simpler diff to apply to the other sides, making a very minimal text change in my editor.
D) Validates that the change I applied was the last one (or decreases the size of the diff otherwise)
E) Does the "git add" for me, and takes me directly to the next conflict
This has been used by dozens of people, who can all testify that it:
A) Made conflict resolution easy and convenient
B) Reduced the error rate to zero (I don't remember the lasts bug inserted in a merge conflict)
C) Sped the process up by an order of magnitude
Is it? I'm not sure if I've ever had a conflict that would be resolved by a global find & replace. Globally renaming symbols isn't really all that common. In my experience conflicts are not "usually due to very wide, mechanical changes", they're due to two people modifying the same file at the same time.
> It is true for not only renames, but also whitespace fixes which are infamous for causing conflicts …
Most projects don't go doing whitespace fixes over and over again. In projects that do any sort of project-wide whitespace fixes, that sort of thing is usually done once, at which point the whitespace rules are enforced on new commits. So yes, global whitespace changes can cause commits, but they're rather rare.
> Instead of having to tediously compare the 3 versions to make sure you haven't missed any change when resolving (a very common error!) you now have to follow a simple guideline: Apply the same change to 2 versions.
> This guideline is simple enough to virtually never fuck it up
You know what's even simpler? "Apply the same change to 1 version". Saying "Fix the conflict, and then do extra busy-work on top of it" is not even remotely "simpler". It's literally twice the amount of work.
The only thing git-mediate appears to do is tell you if a project-wide find&replace was sufficient to resolve your conflict (and that's assuming the project-wide find&replace is even safe to do, as I mentioned in my previous comment). If you're not doing project-wide find&replaces, then git-mediate just makes your job harder.
From reading your "process" it appears that all you really need is a good merge tool, because most of what you describe as advantageous is what you'd get anyway when using any sort of reasonable tool (e.g. jumping between conflicts, showing correct diffs, making it easy to copy lines from one diff into another, making it easy to mark the hunk as resolved).
Then it is likely a reversal of cause & effect. People are more reluctant to make wide sweeping changes such as renames because they're worried about the ensuing conflicts.
> Most projects don't go doing whitespace fixes over and over again
Again, for similar reasons. Projects limp around with broken indentation (tabs/spaces), trailing whitespaces, dos newlines, etc - because fixing whitespace is against policy. Why? Conflicts.
> You know what's even simpler? "Apply the same change to 1 version".
It sounds simpler, but not fucking it up is not simple at all, as evidenced by conflicts being a constant source of bugs.
When you look at the 3 versions, and "apply the diff to 1 version" you actually think you apply the diff to 1 version. You're applying the perceived diff to 1 version, which often differs from the actual diff as it may include subtle differences that aren't easily visible. This is detected by git-mediate the double-accounting of applying the perceived diff to both - validating that the perceived diff equals the actual diff.
Without git-mediate? At best you bring up build errors. At worst, revive old bugs that were subtly fixed in the diff you think you applied.
> then git-mediate just makes your job harder.
You're talking out of your ass here. Me and 20 other people have been using git-mediate and it's been a huge game changer for conflict resolution. Every single user I've talked to claims huge productivity/reliability benefits from using it.
> all you really need is a good merge tool
I've used "good" merge tools a lot. They're incredibly inferior to my favorite text editor:
* Text editing within them is tedious and terrible
* Their supported actions of copying whole lines from one version to the other are useless 90% of the time.
Let me ask you this:
What percentage of the big conflicts you resolve with a "good merge tool" - build & run correctly on the first run after resolution?
For git-mediate, that is easily >99%.
I disagree. People generally don't do project-wide find&replaces because it's just not all that common to want to rename a global symbol.
> Projects limp around with broken indentation (tabs/spaces), trailing whitespaces, dos newlines, etc - because fixing whitespace is against policy. Why? Conflicts.
You seem to have completely missed the point of my comment. I'm not saying projects limp along with bad whitespace. I'm saying projects that decide upon whitespace rules typically do a single global fixup and then simply enforce whitespace rules on all new commits. That means you only ever have one conflict set due to applying whitespace policy, rather than doing it over and over again as you suggested.
> You're applying the perceived diff to 1 version, which often differs from the actual diff as it may include subtle differences that aren't easily visible.
Then you're using really shitty merge software. Any halfway-decent merge tool will highlight all the differences for you.
> Without git-mediate? At best you bring up build errors. At worst, revive old bugs that were subtly fixed in the diff you think you applied.
And this is just FUD.
It's simple. Just stop using Notepad.exe to handle your merge conflicts and use an actual merge tool. It's pretty hard to miss a change when the tool highlights all the changes for you.
> You're talking out of your ass here.
And you're being uncivil. I'm done with this conversation.
You just re-apply either side of the changes in the conflict (Base->A, or Base->B) and the conflict is then detected as resolved. Reapplying (e.g: via automated rename) is much easier than what people typically mean by "manually resolving the conflict".
Also, as a pretty big productivity boost, it prints the conflicts in a way that lets many editors (sublime, emacs, etc) directly jump to conflicts, do the "git add" for you, etc. This converts your everyday editor into a powerful conflict resolution tool. Using the editing capabilities in most merge tools is tedious.