I have recently started putting my code under version control (in the lab I'm working, under SVN, and my own codes in github (obviously with git)). Before using version control, I used to do something like this. I had a folder with the name of the library, inside many folders with the version number. Every time I wanted to start working on a newer version, I would make a copy of the last version, change the name to the new version and start implementing.
This however seems way redundant when the folder is put under version control. Apart from redundancy, if someone wants to get the latest version, they would be downloading all versions if he just
Now I see many ways to doing this with version control but since I'm new to it, I don't know which would be more maintainable.
Method 1: Using tags
If I understood tags correctly, you would have your main branch, you commit whatever change you got and tag them with a version. Then, when you want to get a working copy of it, you get the one with a certain tag. (correct me if I'm wrong)
Method 2: Branching versions
In this method, the main branch would be the development branch. Every now and then that a stable version is is made (let's say
v1.2.0), you create a branch for that version and never commit to it. That way, if you want to download a certain version, you get the code from that branch. Although I said you never commit to it, it may be possible to do bug fixes and commit to an old version's branch to keep the old version running. For example if the current version is
v2.0, but there are people who want to use
v1.2, you can get another branch from
v1.2.1 and commit the bug fixes, or just keep the version the same as
v1.2 and just commit the bug fixes.
So the branches would look like this:
v1.2.1 v1.2.2 / / v1.0.0 v1.2.0--------- v2.0.0 / / / -------------------------------------- dev
This way you have branches for every minor version update. (Note that in the graph above, v1.2.1 and v1.2.2 or created after v2.0.0 was released, so they were not part of the development between v1.2.0 and v2.0.0. Think of it as support for older versions)
Method 3: Branching development
This method is the opposite of the previous. The main branch would be the latest stable version. Whenever you are working on a new version, you create a branch (for development), work on your code and when it is stable, merge it with the main branch.
In this case, the branches would look like this:
________ ____ ________________ _____ dev / \/ \/ \/ ---------------------------------- latest_version
Probably this one needs to be done in conjunction with tags right?
Anyway, my question is that based on your experience, which of these methods proves more practical? Is there a known best method out there (that possibly I didn't figure out myself)? How are these things commonly done?