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Re: checking in links to source control

From: Greg A. Woods
Subject: Re: checking in links to source control
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001 23:39:50 -0400 (EDT)

[ On Tuesday, September 11, 2001 at 15:44:46 (-0700), Edward Peschko wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: checking in links to source control
> So - who decides what *types* of things can go *into* a project? The tool 
> itself?  Hardly. Why should that decision be left up to the tool?

CVS is a version control tool with an almost entirely Unix-based
orientation (at least on the server side), and an underlying repository
format defined by the capabilities of RCS files, with the added caveat
that CVS likes to do merges (using standard diff3 algorithms), both at
"cvs update" time to manage the effects of concurrent editing, and with
the more specific '-j' option to "cvs update" and "cvs checkout" to
manage the handling of change sets or lines of development or whatever
you want to call it.

> The *group that is doing the programming itself* should decide on where 
> the delineation between project and build lies, and the tool should their 
> decision.

If only things were so simple....  :-)  You forget there's a decade or
more of legacy built right into the core of CVS.

> You can give me advice that I'm not doing something in the best possible way, 
> talk my ear off, or what have you, but when it comes down to it, the tool 
> should not take the stance that 'whoa... you can't do that.. its not wise!'.

I beg do differ.  My hammer certainly does give me very strong
indications that I should not be using it to try to convince fasteners,
designed solely to use the Archimedian screw for retension, to smoothly
enter the material I happen to be attempting to join.  Indeed if I
continue to persist it will undoubtably carry through its threats and
eventually slide off the screw head and directly onto my thumb.

> It should just get out of my way and let me store whatever I damn well please.

No, it's the engineer's who must choose the right tool for the job, be
it a phsyical construction effort, or a software construction effort.

> So, this isn't just about links. I claim that project owners know best what 
> *types* of information that they store.  What types might include files,
> sepcial files, etc.

The cool thing about tools is there's often many ways to crack a nut
with any given set of them.

If you think only for a very few moments about this problem I'm sure
you'll see that there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of ways
to manage special files using scripts and data stored in ordinary text
files, the latter which can easily be stored and versioned by CVS.

I.e. indirection is more often your friend than you might think.

And that's as far as I'm willing to go on this -- there's no sense in
going any further.

                                                        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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