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Please, stop. (was RE: How well does CVS handle other types of d ata?)

From: Jimmy Rimmer
Subject: Please, stop. (was RE: How well does CVS handle other types of d ata?)
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 10:19:49 -0700

I'm new to the list and was enjoying myself until this flamewar erupted.  I
haven't read ahead to the 50-odd posts that are in my INBOX this morning,
but I just want to make one point, and as clearly as I can.

> I don't think that any of us really want cvs to merge 
> non-mergable files,
> just to provide for what we consider a reality - some way of 
> more gracefully
> handling them..

This, I think, is the right spirit.

Mr. Woods, I have found in the past when I discuss things that if I seem to
be the only one who understands the point, then what's really going on is
that I'm the one who is missing the point.  I'm starting to believe that if
you DO understand what people are trying to say, it will be the equivalent
of Lucy Van Pelt actually allowing Charlie Brown to kick the football, or
Dilbert finally finding a workplace with intelligent managers, interesting
work, and good pay, or Garfield finally finding a diet that works.  The
whole info-cvs list might even "jump the shark" if that were to happen. :)

No one is arguing that CVS is more than a version control system.  No one is
asking for a way to merge binary files.  No one is suggesting that CVS
should become a reserved-checkout-only system.

CVS is a tool, not a policy.  What people love about CVS is that it is a
tool that fits just about ANY policy they can devise.  This entire flamewar
seems premised on a flawed assumption -- that there are uses of CVS that are
somehow better than others.  Discussing policy matters such as this are the
prerogative of the individual sites that are setting up version control and
configuration management.  They aren't really appropriate for this list,
which is geared towards more general discussion.

CVS does not define policy.  It defines the mechanism.  The question is
simple:  What is the best mechanism CVS provides, and if there is no good
mechanism, how can we improve its mechanism?  If you disagree with all
possible uses of the mechanism, then fine -- don't waste your time working
on improving it.  But also don't waste ours arguing with us why we
shouldn't.  And when the feature is implemented, DON'T USE IT.  There are a
great many features of CVS I will never use, because they aren't relevant to
the VC and CM policies of where I work.

The only reason I have delayed this long posting this was in hopes that the
discussion would fizzle on its own.  If you have a response to this, please
e-mail it to me privately.  And in the future, can we please leave the
religious discussions off the list?  Perhaps a new list should be created
explicitly for such discussions:  address@hidden

 Jimmy Rimmer, Software Engineer           address@hidden
"Keeping a positive attitude, if nothing else, will annoy enough people 
 along the way to make it worth the effort."                 --Lord Hep

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