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RE: Recover a working copy

From: Jim.Hyslop
Subject: RE: Recover a working copy
Date: Mon, 3 May 2004 09:58:03 -0400

Robert D. Young wrote:
> It may be that it doesn't gain me anything. I can examine the 
> code intact in
> the sandbox just fine. I'm looking for what else I can see 
> about the code
> environment.
> Anyhow, any ideas would be appreciated.
Reading between the lines, it sounds to me like your job requires you to
monitor, generate statistical reports on, and/or audit the source code. In
order to do this effectively, you cannot rely on a snapshot provided to you
by somebody else. You'll end up manually re-building an image of the
repository - a tedious and error-prone task, and certainly not the most
effective use of your time. It sounds to me like you need access to the
repository itself, or at the very least to a copy of the repository.

There are three options I can think of immediately: a) get the
administrators of the repository to grant you read-only access to the
repository (this is very easily set up); b) get someone (probably the
administrators) to provide you a copy of the ,v files that you can use to
populate your own repository, with the ability to refresh those copies
either regularly or on-demand (mirroring on UNIX systems can handle this
quite easily, with a cron job to refresh the mirror); c) pester someone
(again, probably the admins) for specific versions of a file, and
"nickel-and-dime" them to death until they give up and follow step (a) (you
know the drill - ask them for a version, then an hour later ask them for the
next revision, then ask for the previous revision, and so on ;=)

Now that I have a clearer picture of your needs, and have suggested some
alternatives, I will answer your original question. You can force CVS to use
a specific revision number by using the -r option when you commit. The catch
here is that the revision number cannot be lower than any existing
revisions, so if you have (for example) revision 2.5, then realize you need
2.4, you will have to remove revision 2.5 using the "cvs admin -o" command,
then check in 2.4, then check in 2.5 again.

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

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