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CVS Helper Software? 32

Posted by Cliff
from the contrib-spice-adds-more-flavor dept.
MetalShard asks: "While building Pocket War we started using CVS and found it to be the best version control system any of us have ever used. We are also using Code Historian which works with CVS and lets you analyze the changes you have made in you code, and TortoiseCVS which adds an easy to use front end to CVS. It seems like there are a lot of cool add-ons for CVS, but we have not found a good CVS server configuration program. Is there one?"
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CVS Helper Software?

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  • by keramida (41339) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @10:11AM (#5852150) Homepage

    Not really a tool per se, but just a hint that can prove helpful. You might find the existing CVS server configuration of projects like NetBSD or FreeBSD useful. I know I did :-)

    Instead of repeating the steps that others have taken to configure your CVSROOT/ stuff, you can copy existing configurations and make a few modifications to match your local style, taste, or other details of setup. For instance, this [freebsd.org] article from the FreeBSD documentation set describes how you can set things up for automatic mail notifications and commit log archiving, using the scripts developed by the FreeBSD CVS admins.

    --
  • Webmin (Score:3, Informative)

    by bite.me (189534) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @10:14AM (#5852160)
    I haven't used this particular module, but Webmin has a decent and consistant UI, so it should do what you want. That said, it doesn't seem like there's much server configuration that you have to do once it's set up. WebCVS is pretty handy too.
  • jEdit (Score:4, Informative)

    by jonsb (668273) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @10:16AM (#5852175)
    jEdit [jedit.org] has a great plugin for CVS called GruntSpud that when used with jDiff does the same job as Code Historian all inside of one app
  • cvsup (Score:3, Informative)

    by hymie3 (187934) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @10:21AM (#5852204)
    I use cvsup [polstra.com] on all of my production boxes. I've wrapped it up in some scripts (using ssh with authorized-keys) such that the developers can issue a single command and *poof* the production server is updated with the code tagged as PRODUCTION. It's my life as sysadmin/cvs lackey a lot simpler.

    What, specifically, were you looking for as far as server configuration was concerned?
  • The best? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    ...we started using CVS and found it to be the best version control system any of us have ever used

    Either you haven't used any other SCM systems and have nothing to compare with, or you simply haven't used CVS long enough to realize it sucks big time. CVS lacks a huge number of vital features (rename, changesets and binary delta storage, to mention a few) which makes it look more like a kids toy in comparison with other SCM systems (such as ClearCase and Bitkeeper).
    • Re:The best? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by n1ywb (555767) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @10:52AM (#5852473) Homepage Journal
      Binary delta storage?? So what? Yeah rename would be nice. Changesets. But I would hardly call those "vital features". Hell RCS is sufficient for most small projects with only one developer. Bitkeeper really shines in the area of massivly multi-developer projects. CVS is fine for any small to medium sized projects. It's also free (as in beer). I've never heard of ClearCase.
      • Re:The best? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by aminorex (141494) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @12:41PM (#5853420) Homepage Journal
        ClearCase is appalling bloatware. You're lucky.

        Everybody does rename by delete+create, or by
        moving the repository file. No reason not
        to automate it, methinks.

        Binary deltas would really be good.
        The easiest would be encoding as ascii hex
        at the client during commit when the entry is
        marked -kb. That would take perhaps 20 minutes
        to implement. Of course the storage would be 3x,
        but you'd get that back after 2 deltas.

        Changesets would also be easy to add.
        Thing is, you can add the feature, but can
        you get it back into the distribution?

        • Binary deltas would really be good. The easiest would be encoding as ascii hex at the client during commit when the entry is marked -kb. That would take perhaps 20 minutes to implement. Of course the storage would be 3x, but you'd get that back after 2 deltas.
          Store it as binary, but convert to hex (or base64) when generating/reading the deltas. Almost as easy to implement.
        • Re:The best? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Judebert (147131)
          Having worked with multiple CM systems, I can confidently say that ClearCase has been a dream. We even renamed 1/3 of our code base lately, and all we had to do was "cleartool mv ". Maybe you're thinking of an older version?

          It is fast (4 - 10 times faster than TeamConnect), easy to understand, and even includes graphical tools for those who don't want to learn the command line.

          I find the implementation to be elegant: they made the whole program a device driver, so it appears as a new drive. Only those
        • Everybody does rename by delete+create, or by moving the repository file. No reason not to automate it, methinks.

          The first option obviously loses history, and I would have guessed the second would break old tags in your repository - I've not tried it, so does anybody know if that is correct?
      • Integrity checking (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Phronesis (175966)
        How about error recovery and integrity checking? There are no checksums or any kind in CVS repositories, so you can never find out whether a repository file has been corrupted until you try to check out an old revision or perform a branch merge and find out that there's a broken delta in the way.

        To me, the lack of good integrity checking and error recovery is the greatest weakness of CVS. It means that you can't rely on recent backups, but must keep every CD you've ever burned of your repository.

    • A ditto to that. I'm using Subversion [tigris.org] right now. I'm digging it for my personal stuff at home. I like having version tracked directories.

      I just got a job. Yeah for me!!!! And we're using Perforce. I can't make an intelligent judgement about it yet. I also want to try BitKeeper. I'll probably switch over to it at home once I'm knowledgeable about Perforce. Then I'll be able to make a pretty good comparison.

      • Oh, I have been looking for a version control and database system for my home directory and bookmarks; can you give me your impressions of subversion and how well it works? Thanks.
        • Works just as good as CVS.

          It's better with binary data. And works well for my code since I'm prone to changing directory paths. There's an explicit svn mkdir command.

          Installation was kind of a pain. That's when you can tell that it is still an alpha project. Other than that, I haven't had problems.

          If you're really concerned, stick with CVS until Subversion hits 1.0. After that, CVS should be buried, cremated, bronzed, or whatever you choose to do after its death. Although annotate is not planned

  • Tools don't cut it (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mpechner (637217) *
    Most of the "admin" work I do is answering user questions.

    For admin tasks such as rearranging the repsoitory, that is by hand.

    Creating a new repository, a command. A small script.

    Managing labels is done through client software (smartcvs, winCVS, tortise or interface in java IDEs) or the commands line.

    Most of what I would like a tools for is branching and merging. Multiple merges from a development branch into an integration branch is time consuming. Even with diff tools such as Araxis or Guiffy. Most o

  • The best, yikes! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tom7 (102298) on Thursday May 01, 2003 @11:59AM (#5853039) Homepage Journal
    ... we started using CVS and found it to be the best version control system any of us have ever used.

    Wow. Really? I use CVS, as do most of my colleagues, but I don't know anybody who actually likes it. It's filled with idiosyncracies, is fundamentally insecure, is totally useless for binary data, and lacks basic obvious features. You want to delete a directory? You want to get a list of the actual changes when you update? You want to nest CVS repositories? Sorry, not in CVS!
    • Amen!

      CVS is a necessary evil whose only real advantages are price and public availability. Unfortunately, it's kinda become a standard so you can put up an anonymous CVS server and not have to tell anyone how it works. It's also integrated into so many other products (IDEs, ANT, etc) that you almost forget how much of a kludge it is.

      So many things in CVS are complete hacks that everyone has gotten used to. Tagging is used to emulate many features of real SCCSs, but ends up being just a big hack that
      • It's not for nothing that several key CVS developers went on to do Subversion [tigris.org], under the presumption that in order to fix the biggest problems and add the most needed features, it would be easier to do a rewrite from scratch than it would be to continue to modify CVS.

        How that product will turn out remains to be seen, but were I thinking of using CVS for any source control, I'd look into SVN first.

    • I think it's a typo. He actually meant to say:

      ... we started using CVS and found it to be the only version control system any of us have ever used.

      • I think he actually meant to say:

        ... we started using CVS and found it to be much better than Microsoft VSS which is the only other version control system any of us have ever used.

    • Seriously, CVS may have a lot of warts, but it is a lot better than the comercial systems we were using before. Mind you that doesn't mean CVS is good, or that there are no good comercial systems, only that there are some really terribal systems out there that make CVS look good.

  • Eclipse [eclipse.org] has the best CVS support I have seen so far. It helps resolving conflicts, figuring out which files to cvsignore, has great diffs, etc. Too bad that it has no support for good versioning systems (yet) ;-)

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