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RE: How I can download all cvs repository?

From: Arthur Barrett
Subject: RE: How I can download all cvs repository?
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2009 08:50:15 +1100


> I have an access to a CVS repository - login and password. I can
> checkout info, commit, update etc. I can do it only from one
> computer at office. But I want to have a copy of
> all of the repository at home.

CVS is designed to work over a WAN at high speed - so there is not
usually a requirement to have multiple copies of the repository.

If you need to get a copy of the repository you CANNOT do it from CVS -
you would need rsync (on the server and the client) or something
similar, and even once you do have a copy of the repository there is not
much you can do with it.

CVSNT (GPL/Free, runs on linux/mac/windows etc) 2.5.04 has a new 'write
through cache' so that a 'local' copy of the repository can be used to
'read' from (eg: checkout) but 'commit' still goes to the 'central'
server.  But it doesn't help you get that initial copy - you need to use
rsync or unison.

Alternatively having a 'local' copy of the repository that you can both
read from and commit to is basically the same as the multitudes of open
source 'distributed' version control systems proliferating at this time.

The major disadvantage to 'distributed version control' is that it
reduces collaboration and reduces visibility of your work (and also
increases the chances of catastrophic loss/failure).

Some examples: if you copy the repo and work for 1 week or 3 months on
your 'local' copy then your laptop gets stolen then it's all gone; or if
it's not stolen - you commit 3 months of work back to the 'central'
repository and there is no audit trail of 'how' you performed that work.

In patent and copyright disputes (eg: SCO vs the world) it is often very
important to show the 'working' to prove that the code just wasn't
cut&pasted from some other source and was developed independently - that
is one (of many hundreds of) reason that companies like you to use a
central server for versioning your work.

CVS very inteligently allows you to work 'disconnected' from the server
(the CVS 'sandbox' does not need to be continually connected to the
server like a ClearCase Dynamic View does) so that you can work while on
a plane or whilst at home for the day, but that is about all that is


Arthur Barrett

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