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Re: CVS and Jar files: Should you import Jar into the Repository? Why or

From: Noel Yap
Subject: Re: CVS and Jar files: Should you import Jar into the Repository? Why or why not
Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2002 08:57:13 -0800 (PST)

--- Lee Sau Dan <address@hidden>
> My  credit  card is  also  designed to  server  a 
> very very  specific
> purpose.  But when I can't a ruler  nearby and I
> need one, why not use
> that plastic object from purse as a ruler?

I'm assuming you mean a straight-edge, not a ruler? 
Actually, this brings up an even better analogy:  A
ruler is meant to measure things, not as a
straight-edge.  (Some rulers can be destroyed when
used as a straight-edge too many times).  Despite
this, how many of us use rulers as straight-edges and
live with the possible consequences?

> But _mainly_  text files  which do  not differ a 
> lot from  version to
> version.   At  least, the  implementation  makes 
> this assumption  and
> optimizes on it.  The support for binary files is
> just a "refuge" just
> in case you need to keep binary files.

As I like to point out every now and then, there's a
difference between the attribute of being text or
binary and the attribute of being mergable.  There are
text formats that aren't easily mergable (eg XML) and
binary formats that can be mergable (eg Word).  So
long as there's an algorithm that can be used to
perform a three-way merge, a file a mergable.  Since
CVS uses diff3 and patch, it can only try to merge
text files.

> If  all your  files  are 30MB  binary  files, then 
> CVS  won't do  you
> anything better  than manually appending  a
> version-id to the  name of
> your  file  and using  a  README file  for  storing 
> the revision  log
> messages.  If you can't 'diff' and 'merge', why are
> you using CVS?

I think the typical answer is, "To have one version
control interface to work with."

> (
> I did have some discussions with some colleagues
> from another team who
> intended to  store MSWord .doc  files with CVS.   My
> team uses  XML --
> text files  -- and hence  CVS works well.

Or, more likely, well enough for your needs.  Since
XML isn't the typical linear text format (ie it's
hierarchical), diff3 isn't the ideal three-way diff
tool to use.

> Of course,
> purely  theoretically, we should  never ever  use
> CVS  for any  bit of
> binary  file.

Theoretically, CVS should be fixed in order to be able
to handle mergable binary files.


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