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Re: using files with .xls and .doc in CVS

From: Eric Siegerman
Subject: Re: using files with .xls and .doc in CVS
Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 23:09:36 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.2.5i

On Thu, Feb 14, 2002 at 03:59:01PM -0800, Rob Helmer wrote:
> I agree with the rest, but can your describe how the "-kb" setting
> can be "lost"?

If you type "-k<something else>", intending to apply that to the
text files, but forgetting that there are some binary files in
scope.  Say you want to use the "-kk" trick (have I got that
right?  It's been awhile...) to do a merge, while eliminating
spurious conflicts due to differing $Id$ values.

Or say you do an import with "-ko", so as not to lose the
vendor's $Id$ values.  Guess what -- the command-line "-ko"
overrides cvswrappers's "-kb".  (Again, I may not have this quite
right, but it's along these lines.)

I floated a suggestion a while back that -kb should be a bit
stickier; basically, it should "trump" sources of -k options that
would otherwise be higher priority.  The idea seemed to meet with
general (though not universal) approval, if I recall, but
nobody's written the code.  Neither have I, of course, so this
isn't a gripe, just an observation -- and perhaps a gentle nudge,
should the idea happen to appeal to you :-)

> [...] store spreadsheets and other "office" documents in a
> human-readable, diffable/patchable format.

Bear in mind that these two are not equivalent.  Things like RTF,
and often Postscript, aren't particularly mergable, even though
they're text.  The same might easily be true of XML-based
spreadsheet files, if the application isn't a bit careful about
when it decides to stick in a \n.

Even straight text isn't easily mergeable, if it's word-wrapped.
I'm sure we've all had to deal with that at some point :-(

Basically, unless text lines correspond, in some sense, to
records, diffs (and thus RCS/CVS deltas) will be suboptimal, and
merges will be more conflict-prone.


|  | /\
|-_|/  >   Eric Siegerman, Toronto, Ont.        address@hidden
|  |  /
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        - Movie review headline, eye Magazine

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