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Need advice on 1) binary files, 2) locking

From: Drew Adams
Subject: Need advice on 1) binary files, 2) locking
Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2001 11:39:32 -0700

I am a newbie to CVS, and would appreciate some feedback.

We are considering using CVS for managing our tech pubs files: Framemaker
(*.fm) and graphics (*.gif, *.jpeg etc). The files are all binary.

What we hope to get from CVS:

a. Keeping track of which versions of which files make up which release etc.
Being able to rebuild any past release etc.

b. Locking file changes for a single user, so that we don't step on each
others' toes. Being able to keep a file checked out for editing (i.e.
locked), even when it is not currently being edited in a Framemaker session.
(Merging binary files is presumably out of the question, so there would seem
to be no reason not to use exclusive locking.)

We are thinking about using CVS because that is what our software developers
use for managing source code.

Some questions:

1. Does it make sense for us to use CVS on binary files?
2. If so, is there a way to make CVS use exclusive file locks - a la RCS &
3. If not, can you suggest an alternative way to go (~free)? (Note that
Framemaker itself provides only locking of files that are currently being

Thanks for your feedback.

 - Drew

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