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SunWorld: CVS in the scripting landscape

Oct 03, 1999, 06:26 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Cameron Laird, Kathryn Soraiz)

"Peer review and collaboration have been important in computing from the beginning. We're not so far removed from the time when the most common distribution method was to drive card decks or nine-track tapes from one site to another. Just recently, though, software engineering's technical basis has made a dramatic transition to reliance on standard configuration management tools, and CVS in particular. You can join the party with a few quick lessons on the rudiments of CVS."

"As its home page says, "CVS is the most popular version control system in the free software community, used by Netscape, *BSD, many Linux projects, and others." You know how popular it is to argue the merits of Emacs versus those of vi, or token-ring versus Ethernet, or SCSI versus IDE versus SAN -- pick any territorial fight that spins your propeller. Just a couple of years ago, it seemed equally urgent to fuss over the change models underlying RCS (Revision Control System) and SCCS (Source Code Control System). That battle's over now, though: CVS (which is built over RCS) won. SCCS and pre-CVS RCS interest mostly historians. Until recently, a fair amount of programmer overhead went into fretting about which version control system to use, or whether to use one at all. With standardization on CVS, all that energy has been liberated to more productive uses."

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