Not sure if you've tried this, but some good information can
be found by going to Google and entering "software branching patterns". The first link has more patterns than you will
ever want to see.
Also, be sure to check out http://www.tldp.org/REF/CVS-BestPractices/html/index.html,
though the book you list may have much/all of this.
I can't help with complexity. I'm the only one using my
repository so I can get away with developing on the trunk. When I release I tag it and create a branch for bug fixes,
which eventually get merged back into the trunk. Any very long term development I move off to it's own special
branch (since I don't tend to have much of that). If others start using the repository with me, I'll may have to limit the
trunk to stable releases as you have done. Though I imagine
merging will be more painful.
Even though I'm the only one using the repository, I've found it is very important to write out the rules (i.e.
when to tag and branch, when to merge, what to name tags, when to retire a branch for good, etc.) so I don't start cutting corners,
forgetting, and getting into real trouble. I also tend
to keep a text listing of all branches, their current
state (active/retired) and purpose. This is pretty
low tech, but it works for me.
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