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I just had an idea which seems like it would be really useful for things like web development, but I have never heard of it being done.

Say I am developing a web project and I want to create a starter project which I could use as a base for individual websites. Normally you would just have to make a copy of the whole starter site and then customize from there. But what I would like to do is have a system where I could just create a blank folder and tell it to magically inherit all the files from the starter site folder with the exception that any files I place in the "extended" folder would overwrite the files from the starter site folder. Or maybe you would have Folder A and Folder B merged into a folder C, where B overwrites everything it clashes with from A. I'm not sure how file deletion would work, or moving sub-folders...

So the benefit of all this is that you could make changes to files higher up in the hierarchy and they would trickle down to the extending/inheriting folders, so long as those files haven't be modified in the inheriting folder.

Anyway, am I crazy or are there ways to do this? I got this idea from things like Wordpress child themes and file referencing in 3D software like Maya, but I haven't seen it done right in the file system.

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You are talking about revision control system, eg git http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Git_(software) aren't you?

man git-clone man git-pull man git-merge

  • Maybe. I guess I was thinking of something more automatic, but I suppose the control of a revision control system is a good thing. I'm not really familiar with git, but I should find out how it works for my needs. – Moss Mar 13 '14 at 17:25
  • If git is a valid solution I would like an explanation or a link to one for how to do what I am asking. Specifically this trickling down of inherited files to sub-projects. I see a lot of talk about branching and merging, but I don't want to ever merge my branches, I just want to feed my branches with the sweet sap from the trunk. – Moss Mar 13 '14 at 21:25

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