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Newbie Questions

From: Rhino
Subject: Newbie Questions
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2005 15:35:56 -0500


I'm interested in trying CVS so that I can use it to manage my development
projects. I haven't actually used anything like CVS since I last used
Panvalet on the mainframe (MVS) almost 20 years ago so please forgive my
lack of familiarity with terms and concepts that will be obvious to the rest
of you.

I'm currently developing Java code in Eclipse 3.0.1, which appears to have
considerable integration with CVS. That's why I'm leaning toward using CVS
to manage my code, rather than one of its competitors.

I found the CVS website easily enough but after only a few minutes, I'm
getting more and more confused so I hope someone can help clarify some
things for me.

The first thing I wanted to do was grab an appropriate version of CVS to
download. Unfortunately, the download pages list many different versions of
CVS and I didn't see anything that answered the following questions clearly:
1. Should I be using a "feature" version, a "stable" version, or some other
type of version? I'm okay with using code that might still have *some* bugs
in it but I don't want to use something that is virtually untested and FULL
of bugs so I'm not sure if 'feature' versions are for me. I didn't see this
question answered in the FAQ, which surprised and disappointed me: it seems
like a very basic question that many people would ask so I expected to see
it in the FAQ.
2. What is the latest appropriate version of CVS for my platform (WinXP)? I
went to the downloads page,, and expanded
'binaries' and 'win32' but virtually everything in that list has a status of
'obsolete'; the only version of CVS in that list that isn't obsolete is
cvs-1-11-17, which seems a bit back level if I should be using a 'feature'
version since cvs-12-11 appears to exist, according to the home page.
3. This brings up a further question: should I even be using a binary or
should I be downloading and compiling something newer? If I should be
downloading a compileable version, what compiler(s) will I need? I don't
even know what language CVS is written in. (I currently have various Java
compilers and Dev-C++ for C and C++).

The CVS home page has a big warning about some kind of security exposure and
provides a link to the 'Original publication' which supposedly gives
information that I can use to determine if my site is at risk. Two questions
about that:
1. Am I correct in assuming that the message on the home page means that
some versions of CVS which have been downloaded in the past might be a
problem or is this message trying to say that some of the versions I might
download TODAY might still provide a security exposure?
2. When I click on the "Original publication" link, I get a download link
for a file named cvs_linux_freebsd_HEAP.c, which is a C source file. Is that
what's supposed to happen??? I would have expected to go to an HTML page or
maybe a PDF, and not be handed source code!

Sorry for the long post but I just can't get started with CVS until I get
these issues resolved.

rhino1 AT sympatico DOT ca
"There are two ways of constructing a software design. One way is to make it
so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies. And the other way is to
make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies." - C.A.R.

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