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

From: Noel L Yap
Subject: Re: Crazy idea - replace RCS backend with ClearCase...!!!
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 09:07:02 -0400

Forgive me if I still think you're crazy.

I see two ways to attack this:
1.  Get permission from your company to use CVS for such projects.
2.  If you're keeping a separate repository at your site with no outside access,
why not just use ClearCase?  Whether or not you're using CVS, you'll still be
faced with the merging issue.


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

Imagine you work for a large company.

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

They then task you with looking at OpenSource development methodologies
and tools.

Unsurprisingly, all of these use CVS - because it does the job and is
free - in all senses of the word.

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 :

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

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 ?

BTW - I work on two OpenSource projects using CVS in my own time, and
try to advocate use of and contributing to OpenSource and FreeSoftware
in my company, so if you fancy flaming me for wanting to rip-off
everyone's hard work and put it to my own capitalistic ends, please
think again.

Thanks for your time,


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