Understanding Darcs/More patch theory

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It's all patchesEdit

Prior to darcs 1.0.6, changes were also called patches, but we decided it was too confusing.

Before moving on, we would like to make one very minor point clear: in the day to day operation of darcs, we talk about pulling and pushing patches, and of recording and reverting changes. This is just a user interface convention. In patch theory terms, all of these are just patches. The patches which you pull and push are named patches, patches which contain a name and a list of unnamed patches. So in fact, when you pull a single named patch from somebody else's repository, you are pulling a sequence of potentially many primitive patches. What does this mean for merging?

Merging a sequence of patchesEdit

In the last chapter, we saw that dealing with simple, non-conflicting merges consists mainly of making an inverse patch and commuting that inverse with the other side's patches. Let us now explore a slightly more complicated scenario, where we have to merge against a non-conflicting sequence of patches. We do this with a variant of the darcs hackathon shopping list. As usual, Arjan and Ganesh are working together to write the shopping list. They both start from a common file shplst containing


As before, Arjan inserts "beer" in line 3 of shplst and records the change. He then decides to add another item on the end of the list, this time, "pasta" and records his second change. In darcs notation, Arjan has brought us from an initial context o, to a new context a with beer in it, and then to yet another context c with pasta as well..

FIXME: will be fleshed out: i want to show what happens when Ganesh pulls two patches in

Sequences of patchesEdit


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