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RE: how to checkin binary files

From: Jim.Hyslop
Subject: RE: how to checkin binary files
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2004 11:09:27 -0400

Gurpreet Singh (SCM) wrote:
> I have observed that code get from a branch is taking lot of time if
> compared to that involved in from the Main tree.
> Any inputs to this.
> Also to mention - there is no much additional size difference 
> in the code
> base (Tree - branch).
Well, first of all, I fail to see how this relates to the preceding
discussion. Next time you have a new question to ask, please create a new
message, rather than replying to an old one.

Now, to your question.

How deep is the branch, and how far down the trunk is the branch point? In
other words, how many revisions are there between the head of the trunk and
the branch point, and how many revisions between the branch point and the
tip of the branch?

RCS (and therefore CVS) stores the files in a reverse-delta format. This
means that the RCS file contains the HEAD revision in its entirety, then the
delta between rev. HEAD and rev. HEAD-1, then the delta between rev. HEAD-1
and HEAD-2, and so on, until you get to 1.1.

For a branch, the files are stored as deltas from the branch point forward.
So, if the HEAD is revision 1.150, and the branch point is at rev 1.1, and
the tip of the branch is, then CVS will have to apply 150 deltas to
get to 1.1, then another 50 deltas to get from 1.1 to the tip of the branch.

This is usually fairly fast, but if there are a lot of files with a lot of
changes, it could slow things down.

Jim Hyslop
Senior Software Designer
Leitch Technology International Inc. (
Columnist, C/C++ Users Journal (

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