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RE: cvswrappers - any better suggestions ?

From: Greg A. Woods
Subject: RE: cvswrappers - any better suggestions ?
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2001 19:18:31 -0500 (EST)

[ On Friday, March 30, 2001 at 07:07:14 (-0800), Gianni Mariani wrote: ]
> Subject: RE: cvswrappers - any better suggestions ?
> Your point is well taken.  However, time are a changing - source code is not
> only text. Image, sound, movie, geometry, encryption key, etc etc files are
> all parts of modern day applications.  All these files need to be version
> managed just like regular files.  If we could apply an rcsmerge on these
> kinds of files, then it would be ideal.

Yes, what you say is all very well and fine.  What it means though is
that CVS is not the correct tool for use in such a diverse environment.

Obviously my point did not sink in properly though so I will say it more
clearly:  PLEASE go use something else!!!!

> Here is some interesting work in this area:

Yes, and I was aware of it well before most of the rest of the community
was, but CVS does not xdelta, and in fact cannot without breaking it's
current design goal of keeping the repository fully RCS compatible.

(note that even though RCS can store binary files, CVS cannot deal
properly with RCS'ed binary files in its repository.  CVS runs on top of
RCS, not the other way around!)

> We both agree, cvswrappers is a band aid at best.

No, if that's what you think then we do not agree.  Cvswrappers are a
mistake that misleads users into thinking CVS is something that it just
cannot be.  They can only cause problems.  They should never ever have
been added to the "official" release.  They should in fact be removed
before the next major release is made, if indeed anyone ever gets brave
enough tot make a "major" release.  If some poor user can't find a way
to do without them or to use some other more appropriate tool then that
user is free to maintain his or her own local version of CVS with them
still integrated, and since CVS is free software that user is free to
make either the patches or the integrated release freely available too.

> As to MYSELF developing a new versions management system, there are plenty
> of people doing that, I would just confuse the situation.

If you were to build a tool that filled your needs explicitly, and then
freely offered it to the world, just as the authors of CVS and CVS-II
originally did, then perhaps you'd clarify things.

If not then perhaps you should become an early adopter of whichever of
these other new systems you think will in fact actually meet your
explicit requirements.

>  The reason I
> choose CVS is because it is prolific, people I hire are likely going to know
> about the system. I'd rather fix CVS itself - that is if I get time to do
> it - along with my 100 other unfinished projects.

Then you chose CVS for exactly the wrong reasons and as a result you
made the wrong choice because you ignored the fact that it does not meet
your real requirements.

CVS is not something that tries to gain market share at all costs --
quite the opposite as it is free software that very nicely and properly
fills *one* niche in the software configuration management tool set.
Because it is free software you are free to mis-use it, but you'd be
better off realising that you're also free not to use it at all.

Choosing CVS because you percieve that it has market share despite the
fact that it obviously does not meet your real requirements demonstrates
that you do not understand how to make effective use of free software!

Demanding that CVS properly handle binary files either demonstrates that
you do not understand your own requirements or you do not understand the
goals of free software and the reasons why a tool like CVS would be made
freely available.

> My suggestion to you, as you offered so many to me, is to think about a
> broader use of CVS as not only a concurrent versions/merging tool but also
> as a database off all components that are used to build products

Excuse me, but CVS is not anything but a *source* code control tool that
was *explicitly* designed to support, nay to force, the ability for its
users to concurrently edit source files!

Anyone who tries to use it for something else, will inevitably run into
problems such as you have.

> - some of
> which are not text; that I need to version successfully and satisfies the
> ACID semantics (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability).

Then you absolutely need something that is not CVS.  Period.

                                                        Greg A. Woods

+1 416 218-0098      VE3TCP      <address@hidden>      <robohack!woods>
Planix, Inc. <address@hidden>; Secrets of the Weird <address@hidden>

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