What is a Merge Conflict?
A merge conflict occurs in version control systems when two or more branches of code have changes that cannot be automatically reconciled during a merge operation. This situation arises when multiple contributors make conflicting modifications to the same file or portion of code independently.
In version control, a branch is a parallel line of development that diverges from the main codebase. Developers create branches to work on specific features or fixes without affecting the main code until they are ready to merge their changes.
Version Control System (VCS)
A system that tracks changes to a codebase over time, allowing multiple developers to work collaboratively. VCS helps manage different versions of files, facilitates collaboration, and provides a history of changes.
The process of resolving discrepancies between different versions of a file or code when a merge conflict occurs. Developers need to manually reconcile conflicting changes, deciding which modifications to keep and which to discard.
The common ancestor or starting point from which two conflicting branches diverged. The base version is used during a merge operation to identify the original state of the code before conflicting changes were made.
A merge operation that involves comparing and combining three versions of a file: the original or base version and the two conflicting versions. The three-way merge helps identify the changes made in each branch and facilitates conflict resolution.
Special annotations or symbols inserted into a file during a merge conflict to highlight conflicting sections. These markers typically indicate the beginning and end of conflicting changes, making it easier for developers to identify and resolve conflicts manually.
A merge operation where version control systems automatically combine changes from different branches when there are no conflicting modifications. Automatic merges are straightforward, but conflicts may arise when changes overlap.
A merge operation that requires human intervention to resolve conflicts. Developers manually review and modify the code to reconcile conflicting changes before completing the merge.
In Git and other distributed version control systems, a pull request is a mechanism for proposing changes and requesting that they be reviewed and merged into the main codebase. It serves as a way to facilitate collaboration and code quality control.
Version Control Hosting Platform
Online platforms, such as GitHub, GitLab, or Bitbucket, that host and manage repositories, provide collaboration tools, and support version control workflows. These platforms often include features for reviewing and merging changes made by different contributors.