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RE: Crazy idea - replace RCS backend with ClearCase...!!!

From: Weber, Mathias-Henry 1254 PPW-P1
Subject: RE: Crazy idea - replace RCS backend with ClearCase...!!!
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 12:04:15 +0200

> -----Original Message-----
> OK - I'm mad, now here me out....

... and I am "electrified"...

> Imagine you work for a large company.

I do.

> They decide on a 'strategic' SCM - Clearcase - in which every project
> must live.

They did.

> ...
> I can look at forking each OpenSource project that I might like to
> deploy within my company (e.g. SourceForge, Tinderbox, Bonsai etc.),
> producing a Clearcase backend, and maybe merging (licences and project
> owners permitting) back my code, in the hope that it will 
> continue to be
> maintained and I won't be left out on a branch, or I can consider
> something wierd :

This sounds to me as if you want to access an OpenSource CVS ruled project
from within your company using ClearCase as a front end. (?)

> Tools using CVS for their SCM, ulimately as I understand it 
> (I'm open to
> correction here), end up calling RCS. RCS has a nice small, closed set
> of functionality. I would be surprised if Clearcase could not 
> replicate
> all of this... - So
> What is to stop me writing several wrapper scripts (e.g. ci, co, rcs
> etc...) which actually call clearcase to do the file-based version
> control ? This would be one piece of well defined work. Most well
> written CVS backends would continue to work oblivious to the fact that
> the implementation of the file versioning had changed. I 
> would be happy
> since I could painlessly deploy OpenSource tools and work through CVS
> with them and my company would be happy because they would have all
> their source stuck into a repository which has cost them a small
> fortune.

This in turn sounds like you want to access your company internal projects
as well as OpenSource project through a CVS front end having a project
specific back end. I'm a bit puzzled.

> I guess what I'm asking is, "Is the interface between CVS and 
> a project
> in it's Repository completely described by RCS", or does CVS do things
> like go under the covers and parse the contents of RCS files ?
> What would the gotchas be ?
> Do you still think I'm crazy ?

Definitly! But in the best sense!

Let me tell why I am so much interested: We use ClearCase (CC) our internal
SCM tool. On the other hand we cooperate with other companies that do not
use CC and we cannot (or do not want to) "convince" them to deploy CC (you
know why).

So what I did is to implement an environment for our partner companies using
a dedicated CVS server. The repository on this CVS server is a mirror of
certain parts of our CC controlled projects (CC snapshot views imported to

The sync between the CC data base and the CVS repository is performed
manually and of course cumbersome and errorprone.

Exchanging the "interface between CVS and a project" (as you call it) on our
CVS server so that it is capable to directly access the CC controlled data
base would not only eliminate the ugly procedure of manually synching the
two repositories but also work as a "light weight" substitute for the
prohibitive expensive CC multi site license.

I think it is a nice idea to have a "plugin" cvs interface for each of the
various SCM tools. On the other hand I must admit that I will not be able to
spend resources on its realisation. But if anyone starts activities in this
direction I will escort with attention and at least share my thoughts.


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