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RE: How well does CVS handle other types of data?

From: Greg A. Woods
Subject: RE: How well does CVS handle other types of data?
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 02:46:16 -0400 (EDT)

[ On Friday, July 13, 2001 at 17:44:45 (+1200), Chris Cameron wrote: ]
> Subject: RE: How well does CVS handle other types of data?
> According to the original author of CVS, merging was ONE OF SIX advantages
> of CVS, not THE advantage!

You missed the point, again, Chris!

While the ability to use CVS to do merges of branches is but one
advantage of CVS, the need of CVS to do merges on a regular basis is one
of the requirements it has on the data it manipulates.

Feature lists don't always match up one-to-one to requirement lists, and
vice versa.  You've got to learn to understand the requirements of the
tools you're evaluating too, lest you leave half the picture in the dark.

> In summary Greg is saying that if you don't want 'automagic' merging don't
> use CVS.

Exactly.  That's your best choice.

>  Greg says that the -kb code has flaws, but rather than fix them,
> get rid of it completely, even though it is part of the RCS framework that
> CVS is built on top of!

Well, -kb is a relatively new addition to RCS, one that was not in fact
present in the most commonly deployed versions of RCS when CVS-II was
first implemented.

Indeed the migration of -kb support into CVS was not intended to support
binary files, but rather as a lame attempt to eliminate some of the
issues encountered when dealing with varying end-of-line and line
separator issues between heterogeneous clients.

> >From man co:
>      -kb  Generate a binary image  of  the  old  keyword  string.
>           This acts like -ko, except it performs all working file
>           input and output in binary  mode.   This  makes  little
>           difference  on  Posix  and  Unix hosts, but on DOS-like
>           hosts one should use rcs -i -kb to  initialize  an  RCS
>           file  intended  to  be used for binary files.  Also, on
>           all hosts, rcsmerge(1) normally refuses to merge  files
>           when -kb is in effect.

Indeed as the above quoted documentation hints the initial introdcution
of '-kb' to RCS itself was also primarily to deal with EOL issues.

Note too the last sentence.....  In a tool like CVS where merging is a
central and usually required activity, don't you think this might just
be a bit of an issue?

                                                        Greg A. Woods

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

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