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[Axiom-developer] [ArchRationale] (nouveau)

From: kratt6
Subject: [Axiom-developer] [ArchRationale] (nouveau)
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2005 10:50:15 -0600

Arch? ARCH?! We don't need arch!!!

  Why arch? Why not CVS? I've been using CVS for the past few years and
now I've run into the same problem that the Linux kernel people
solved. The problem is that CVS is unable to handle "changesets" and
"branching" easily. EASILY. Arch can.

Changesets are a group of changes to several files that are all handled
as one big change. Thus if we make a fix that involves 10 files we can
apply and retract the changes all at one time. This is technically 
possible with CVS if you carefully tag every file before applying the
change. However there are thousands of files in axiom and mistakes
are very hard to correct. Arch allows this to occur as one command.
So CVS treats each file change as different and arch combines many
semantically-related changes into one "changeset".

Branching can also be done in CVS but Arch also handles this problem
in a much more refined way. Since there will be many parallel development
efforts the ability to branch easily is important. Arch just does it 

I realize that switching to Arch is a learning curve and none of us
need yet another learning curve. But consider the fact that the kernel
has switched fron CVS to BitKeeper, a proprietary piece of code for
exactly the same reason; to manage the complexity better you need
better tools. Worldwide group development is hard.

So individually it will be painful but process-wise it will be easier. 
I ask for your patience as we open up the development process.
There is no such thing as a simple job.

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