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CVS and multiple platforms - version conflicts, features available etc.

From: ADFH
Subject: CVS and multiple platforms - version conflicts, features available etc.
Date: Tue, 7 Jan 2003 17:30:06 +1100

I've been placed in charge of getting version control/management going
at an organisation where I work.

Right now, an almost anarchic situation exists where there is no real
version control, several different versions of the same code are
mishmashed across several machines, and there's no one true version of
the stuff being developed.

JSP, Java and HTML files are being generated/edited/developed under
multiple IDEs & site management tools (DreamWeaver's in the mix too -
which introduces some template editing issues) across multiple platforms
(MacOS 9 and Win2K primarily).

A system where file versions can be tracked and people can be notified
when other people are editing files etc. needs to be introduced for
security, accountability, stability and backup purposes.

I understand that CVS can kinda do exclusive checkouts through what
appears to be an RCS kludge, but that a slightly less enforced,
user-cooperative method is available through watch, unwatch, edit and

What versions of CVS include this watch/unwatch/edit/unedit

Right now the server that's going to be running as the version
management system has:
-Debian 'stable' Linux
-Kernel 2.4.18 w/XFS Rel 1.1
-cvs 1.11.1p1 w/pserver (yes, it's firewalled)

I'm working with several MacOS 9 and Win2K clients as well as a Debian
'unstable' Linux system (my workstation) which has cvs 1.11.2-debian on

The "server box" with 1.11.1p1 on it doesn't seem to recognise
"watch_add" etc. command sent to it through the various Windows and
Macintosh clients I'm trying. Same goes for the 1.11.2-debian version.

Do I need to get a CVS release of CVS? (Which came first, chicken or egg? :)

Do people have some alternate suggestions for version control that
should realistically be explored (I do realise this is kind of like
going to a GM motor club and asking about Fords :))?

I've heard a lot of noise about subversion and bitkeeper and other bits
and pieces both GPL and closed source $$$ etc.

I'm not against sticking with CVS if it'll do the job, but with the
thought in mind that eventually business critical tasks will be
performed, I need the right tool for the job that both programmer and
graphic designer "end-users" can use.

In addition, if anyone has any stories/suggestions/tips on preferred Mac
and Windows clients, I'm open to those.

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