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.


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

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.