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Re: Need advice on 1) binary files, 2) locking

From: Paul Sander
Subject: Re: Need advice on 1) binary files, 2) locking
Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2001 19:15:45 -0700

>--- Forwarded mail from address@hidden

>Some questions:

>1. Does it make sense for us to use CVS on binary files?

CVS doesn't support binary files well out of the box.  There exists a
patch that allows CVS admins to register new merge tools based on naming
conventions, but that code is not production quality and it runs only
on Unix.

>2. If so, is there a way to make CVS use exclusive file locks - a la RCS &

There is a patch that changes CVS in such a way that with selected files
users must declare their intent to modify a file before they can commit
changes.  These have been described as advisory locks, but they are not
exclusive, and they are easily defeated using the CVS command line interface.

>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

CVS can work if you apply a bunch of patches and try to keep up.  However,
the patches mentioned above do not have wide support in the CVS community,
and you can't count on them being compatible with future releases.

Someone else suggested using RCS as your source control tool.  RCS is
probably not suitable because it doesn't manage a shared repository.
This capability can be built with some effort, and it has been done
many times, though I am not aware of any such effort (other than CVS)
having been made public.

Neither solution is for the faint-at-heart.  I don't recommend either one
of these unless you can dedicate a software engineer specifically to these
tasks and their ongoing maintenance.

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