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Re: CVS Pros/Cons

From: Larry Jones
Subject: Re: CVS Pros/Cons
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2004 12:31:27 -0500 (EST)

=?iso-8859-1?q?Brian=20Murphy?= writes:
> There is no integrity-checking for the source-code
> repository.

What point would it serve?  If you don't trust the code, why would you
trust the integrity checking part of it?  If your disk can't be trusted
to record data correctly, you've got more serious problems than CVS can
help with.  And verifying the integrity would require reading the entire
file, something that CVS tries hard to avoid for performance reasons.

> Check-outs and commits are not atomic.

This has not proven to be a significant problem in practice.

> CVS manages revisions on a file-by-file basis. You can
> apply "tags" to mark revisions across a whole project,
> but there is very little support for dealing with a
> project as a whole.

Again, not a significant problem in practice.

> CVS has very poor support for distributed source
> control (maintaining several different repositories
> and keeping them synchronized with one another. I am
> aware of some systems, such as rsync, which begin to
> deal with this problem, but no serious source-control
> system I know of addresses this problem adequately.

Yep, it's a hard problem.

> CVS is oriented towards text files. In cross-platform
> development, it is easy to mess up the management of
> binary files (e.g., graphics such as icons).

True, CVS was never intended to handle binary files.

> Security is a bit spotty unless you either: (a) have a
> Windows NT or 2K CVS server and only WinNT or 2K CVS
> clients; or (b) have a Unix cvs server.

Security is a bit spotty reguardless; CVS was designed to be a
collaboration tool, not a fascist security system.

> It is a bit difficult to learn about the myriad of
> configuration files that control CVS's behavior.


> The
> official manual (by Per Cederqvist) is a bit out of
> date, so sometimes it's necessary to ask on the
> mailing lists or look in FAQs about behavior that
> seems a bit strange.

Not to my knowledge.

> Will there be any plans for CVS to overcome the listed
> shortcomings?
> How is future planning decided upon and is there a
> timetable for future release?

There are never any plans.  As it says in HACKING:

        * What is the schedule for the next release?

        There isn't one.  That is, upcoming releases are not announced (or
        even hinted at, really) until the feature freeze which is
        approximately 2 weeks before the final release (at this time test
        releases start appearing and are announced on info-cvs).  This is
        intentional, to avoid a last minute rush to get new features in.

That's talking about official releases (1.11, 1.12, etc.).  Interim
releases (1.11.12, 1.12.5, etc.) are even less scheduled, are not
announced in advance, and don't have feature freezes.

-Larry Jones

It doesn't have a moral, does it?  I hate being told how to live my life.
-- Calvin

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