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RE: Multiple developers in one work area

From: Tony Ennis
Subject: RE: Multiple developers in one work area
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2000 11:13:10 -0500

I've a new CVS user but an old hand at DEC's CMS code management system.
The latter was very good about allowing multiple people in one area.  CVS
isn't so strong there.  I think it is because old-tyme Unix hacks tended to
be lone programmers working on smaller projects and therefore didn't need a
strong cooperative system.  CVS was born because programs were getting more
complex and the more traditional businesses were beginning to use Unix.  In
this Brave New Environment, however, the lone-coder model doesn't work so

That being said, I think CVS should be used in any event 'cause it is the
best thing Linux has, currently, and irritating code management is much Much
MUCH better than none at all.

-----Original Message-----
From: address@hidden [mailto:address@hidden Behalf Of
David H. Thornley
Sent: Monday, December 18, 2000 10:39 AM
To: address@hidden
Subject: Re: Multiple developers in one work area

"Parand T. Darugar" wrote:
>   Everything I've read suggests that doing what I want to
> do is frowned upon in CVS. My choices are to go with RCS
> and not get the benefits of CVS, which I'm loathe to do,
> or to build a very simple file locking mechanism alongside
> CVS. I'm half way through doing the latter, which will
> undoubtedly curse me to hell for breaking the CVS model.
It seems to me that you've already forfeited much of the
benefit of CVS by not having the option of individual
workspaces.  At this point, CVS looks to me something like
using a screwdriver as a chisel:  it can work, and if you
don't have a real chisel it can be the best thing to do, but
it isn't going to work as well as a real chisel (if such a thing
exists for your case).

>   A general question to the CVS gurus: it seems a central
> assumption of the CVS model is that each developer can
> individually build and test the project. This seems limiting.
> Is this an understood limit within the model, or am I missing
> the whole idea?
I wouldn't describe it as an assumption so much as a goal.  CVS
is very good at taking large shared projects and allowing each
developer to have his or her own copy to experiment and test with.
If this isn't going to work, for some reason or another (I've seen
some pretty good reasons and some pretty bad reasons), then one
of the main reasons for using CVS no longer applies.

The thing to remember is that CVS was not intended as the only
source code system, but as one that allowed developers to do
concurrent development without stepping on each other's feet.
It's sufficiently good at various things that people keep applying
it in other circumstances (I, for example, put a CVS repository
on my Linux box at home, to support single-person development),
but I find it difficult to consider that a fault.

I think that the correct thing for you to do is to try to find
an appropriate tool or adapt a somewhat inappropriate one, and
that is what you are doing.

David H. Thornley                          Software Engineer
at CES International, Inc.:  address@hidden or (763)-694-2556
at home: (612)-623-0552 or address@hidden or

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