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From: Stone, Rick
Subject: RE: Why CVSREAD?
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 08:33:50 -0500

> -----Original Message-----
> From: David L. Martin [mailto:address@hidden]
> Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2001 10:27 PM
> To: Richard Cobbe; address@hidden
> Subject: Re: Why CVSREAD?
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Richard Cobbe" <address@hidden>
> >
> > What's the CVSREAD variable for?
> >
> > I know what it does, but I was (and remain) hard-pressed to
> come up with a
> > situation in which this behavior would be useful.  I'm
> assuming that such
> > situations exist; could someone provide an example?
> >
> This is typically used when you want to loosely enforce the rule
> that developers should do a cvs edit prior to actually working on
> a file.  Cvs edit makes a read-only file writable in addition to
> registering the developer to be an editor of the file.
> Of course, the read-only permission can be manually changed
> by the developer to writable, bypassing the cvs edit.  But that
> wouldn't be playing fair, if you're using cvs edit as a means of
> promoting communication among developers.
> If you have set CVSREAD in your environment, then
> the typical process for modifying a file would be:
> 1)  Identify a file that you want to edit, say  It will
> be read-only in your working area.
> 2)  >cvs editors
> (to see if anyone else is editing the file; if
> so, I should contact that person to discuss what changes are
> currently being made and whether my changes might conflict
> or if they can be made concurrently)
> 3)  >cvs edit
> (makes the file writable and registers me as
> an editor of the file)
> 4)  I make my changes.
> 5)  >cvs update
> (In case someone checked in a revision which caused
> my base revision to become outdated.  This should be
> unlikely if no other editors were registered for
> 6)  >cvs commit -m "Java is better than C++"
> 7)  Now is read-only again.
> Regards,
> David Martin

David's description is a good one.  I would add that CVSREAD and "cvs editors" is especially useful when the files being edited are binary, and therefore difficult to merge.  (Ok, ok, it's not "concurrent". Sorry.)  We use this method for managing Word documents.  Sure it can be bypassed.  But if someone does that out of laziness, then he's the chap that gets to manually resolve any conflicts. :-)

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