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RE: What tags to delete when renaming files?

From: Jim.Hyslop
Subject: RE: What tags to delete when renaming files?
Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 09:38:22 -0400

bill wrote:
> In Adding and removing->Moving files->Rename by copying
> the cvs info gives the recipe:
>      # Copy the RCS file inside the repository
>      $ cd $CVSROOT/DIR
>      $ cp OLD,v NEW,v
>      # Remove the old file
>      $ cd ~/DIR
>      $ rm OLD
>      $ cvs remove OLD
>      $ cvs commit OLD
>      # Remove all tags from NEW
>      $ cvs update NEW
>      $ cvs log NEW             # Remember the non-branch tag names
>      $ cvs tag -d TAG1 NEW
>      $ cvs tag -d TAG2 NEW
>      ...
>    By removing the tags you will be able to check out old revisions.
> After studying the output of "cvs log NEW", it remains unclear to
> me exactly what tags one is supposed to remove (the documentation
> says nothing at all about this).  Several tags appear under the
> heading "symbolic names," including vendor and release tags generated
> by the initial import command.  Is one supposed to delete all these
> tags?
The instructions are actually incomplete. You need to delete branch tags
from the OLD, and non-branch tags from the NEW.

I probably don't have to remind you, but before you do this, make sure
you've backed up your repository, just in case you mess something up.

For heavy-duty changes like this, I always recommend a trial run on a
throw-away copy of the repository, so you can shake out any problems with
your procedures.

> And how is one supposed to tell from the output of "cvs log NEW"
> which tags are the non-branch ones?
Revisions that do have a 0 in the revision number are branch tags. For

symbolic names:
        rtag_applied: 1.2
        outonly: 1.2

The first tag is a branch tag, the other two are non-branch tags. 'cvs stat
-v' shows the same information, but will tell you which tags are branches
and which are revisions:

   Existing Tags:
        abranch                         (branch: 1.2.2)
        rtag_applied                    (revision: 1.2)
        outonly                         (revision: 1.2)

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

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