- what if your code doesn’t compile? Does it mean you can’t diff it or merge it? The solution here, in my opinion, is to be as pragmatic as possible and, as I mentioned, provide “multi-level” tools: you can perform some operations at the “outline level” and some others at the traditional “text level”. In case your code simply doesn’t compile, the merge tool will rely on its “text based” traditional technology to let you move forward.
Developers around the world use version control systems on a daily basis and I think it is fair to state that most of the code developed nowadays is stored in a SCM system. Diffing is one of the common version control operations, and merging is becoming more and more common, too. Once the new DVCS generation “crosses the chasm” and goes mainstream, there will be time for further improvement. I strongly believe there’s a lot of work to do to improve merging and diffing. Small productivity gains focused on individual developers can result in huge overall speed ups and gains in industry productivity.