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Re: RCS Keywords - Why not "Description" ?

From: Eric Marceau
Subject: Re: RCS Keywords - Why not "Description" ?
Date: Wed, 30 Sep 2020 17:09:23 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.10.0

Hi Aaron,

Thank you for responding.

I have in the past created my own prefix "##Descr: " but that it was an oversight by those who originally conceived RCS that they should include a KEYWORD for that, as previously mentionned, similar to the "$Log: " because it could be a multi-line description.

The number of scripts/files is getting to the point that

1) I can't remember what they are all intended for, so I need a memory aid/prompt to remind me of the functionality/scope (i.e. the Description content); and

2) I would like to visually scan or text search a single web page displaying a table containing the program/file name and its intended purpose (aka the Description content).

I've stored those tools in different places over the years, and want to streamline by consolidating into one location (directory) to simplify maintenance, as I delve into this health-driven prolog project.

I have no desire to store the information into another system, only to try keeping things straight, but want to use a tool to auto-generate that index page by scanning for the "Description" in the "active" file in my bin, rather than parsing the larger files in RCS, because RCS contains "dormant" files for which there is no "active" image in my bin, but which are tracked by a separate script/index and extracted when I might need to harvest a previous method/code for re-use.

I hope that clarifies my purpose or intent, and explains why having the KEYWORD functionality would be preferrable in that context.

Thank you,


P.S. (off-topic) If anyone out there knows of any good, public-domain, prolog predicate libraries with source-code in text form (preferrably not books/papers/theses in scanned form), I would greatly appreciate getting those leads. I am just starting the project, have many pdfs of books and papers, visited many sites, but most seem to have proprietary APIs rather than open-source.  I won't raise this question again. EAJM

On 2020-09-29 10:49 p.m., Aaron S. Hawley wrote:
Hello Eric,

Is there any chance that someone could add


as a KEYWORD, which would then populate the program header if RCS detects the string '$Description: $, in the same fashion as the '$Log: $' string ?


Having the "Description" string as a keyword for reporting that in the source file after check-in, and to be able to parse for that with awk during external function calls for refefence or lookup, would be very useful, as well as for the automatic generation of a web page providing a guide to programs available and their function (report the Description).
It sounds like you want to use information stored in the "Description"
keyword in RCS to drive a documentation system.  That seems orthogonal
to the purpose of RCS.  I'm not aware of other version control
software doing this.

Most programming languages can support documentation in the source
file in comments and have tools for parsing and generating the
documentation from that text.   These tools are often focused on
documenting a library written in the language and don't do a good job
of documenting a software package at a high-level, so I can understand
them not being generally useful.  However, they do come with the
benefit of generating documentation as Web pages.

I am too used to RCS and have no desire to learn any of the alternates like git, cvs, sourceforge, etc.  Thank you.
There's no shame in using RCS for personal projects.

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