[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: giving up CVS

From: Greg A. Woods
Subject: Re: giving up CVS
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001 18:43:22 -0400 (EDT)

[ On Friday, September 14, 2001 at 17:36:50 (-0400), Antonio Bemfica wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: giving up CVS
> The fact that a user versioning binary files will not be able to take full
> advantage of CVS's power to parallelise software development does not mean
> that CVS is of no value to him. CVS IS a versioning system and will track
> changes to non-text files. If this is what the user wants, CVS is a
> suitable tool for the job. 

Why then have there been so many complaints about how unsuitable CVS is
at managing binary files, especially mixtures of binary and text files?  :-)

CVS was designed to impose a paradigm of parallel software development
(in order to solve problems specifically brought on the designer's
colleagues by tools which explicitly serialized development activities).

CVS is built on top of tools which exclusively use text-based algorithms
to manage content and to detect and merge changes.

If people can hobble about using CVS with such restrictions on binary
content then that's fine -- for them -- however it seems important to
continually remind people publicly that CVS is not appropriate for
tracking changes to non-text files (or anything else but exclusively
text files, for that matter).

Note that despite all of the promises of parallel software development
it is still often necessary to force expert software develoeprs to use a
tool like CVS because of apparently unfounded fears of the potential,
but in reality very rare, problems it might introduce.  Let this be a
warning to all who think they can easily and successfully use CVS for
managing non-text files.  If software developers otherwise very familiar
with version control and change management are wary of the risks of
using a tool that forces them to accept parallel development activities
for text files, don't be lulled by unqualified statements of success
into believing there's no risk to using CVS to manage non-text files.
Clearly the risk to your success with binary files is far higher than it
is for source code represented as ordinary lines of text.

"Use the right tool for the job."(tm)

                                                        Greg A. Woods

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

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]