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What's your prefered revision control system?

by theonetwo (Beadle)
on Sep 27, 2004 at 21:03 UTC ( #394350=poll: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Vote on this poll

[bar] 5/1%
arch revision control system
[bar] 13/2%
[bar] 8/1%
[bar] 239/38%
[bar] 21/3%
[bar] 20/3%
[bar] 145/23%
I don't need no steenkin RCS!
[bar] 107/17%
Something homegrown (please, show it to us!)
[bar] 12/2%
Something else (please, tell us about it!)
[bar] 57/9%
627 total votes
  • Comment on What's your prefered revision control system?
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Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by hardburn (Abbot) on Sep 27, 2004 at 21:26 UTC

    This reminds me of the lovely time I first spent dealing with CVS. I was getting involved with the Freenet project back then, specifically a sub-group called "Everything Over Freenet" that wanted to implement a bunch of standard Internet protocols over Freenet.

    I had a bunch of code laying around that I wanted to upload to the project's CVS repository. Due to my bungling around in managing my sub-project, I uploaded a good chunk of my home directory before realizing what I had just done. This included GnuPG and SSH keys. I then got to discover the joys of attempting to delete something out of a CVS repository . . .

    The whole thing is avilable for the world to see in the SourceForge CVS browser.

    "There is no shame in being self-taught, only in not trying to learn in the first place." -- Atrus, Myst: The Book of D'ni.

Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by tmoertel (Chaplain) on Sep 28, 2004 at 00:33 UTC
    I use and like monotone. Its simplicity is as important as its power because many revision control systems are complicated to the point where few people take advantage of their true power. In monotone, a few simple concepts combine to yield its power, and that's what makes it a winner.
      I second monotone -- I think it's one of those cases where less is more, but it depends on what I need it for. I use vesta mostly, although the documentation is a bit more cumbersome than CVS or monotone. Like cvs and monotone, Vesta does a great job with multiple platforms. I am pretty sure it has a web interface, but I still prefer the non-GUI functionality.
Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by techra (Pilgrim) on Sep 27, 2004 at 21:37 UTC

    I really like SVN, but I also like CVS but I really wish there was somehow the best of both worlds.

    SVN's directory-based version control has so many benefits in the projects we use them, as we have many hidden files and its ability to track files that don't exist in one checkout of a repository yet when updating are fantastic.

    The downfall is when you are the type who pragmatically commit and update single files rather than an entire repository. I don't trust my fingers, and I don't trust other peoples. When I commit a project, I commit the files that I know are ones I've touched to make sure that only those ones are what are going to be updated. Same goes for making updates on a repository.

    SVN throws a big wrench in that, as when you make commits and updates in that fashion, and then want to update everything else in a checkout, it doesn't check the files that are there against the repository, it just says.. well you updated to this revision and I'm not going to second guess you.

    It gets very annoying. But it's better than CVS at least.

      That does sound bad, but is it really necessary to check in individual files? This is what a RCS is all about for me - if I check in the wrong file, I can just go "whoops, revert".

      How do I know I checked a bad file in? My testing procedures will catch it, of course :)

      My SVN client offers me a list of files to approve before I check them in. It's graphical, but I'm happy to cope with that since I only run it once a day. Perhaps that shows what I'm doing wrong.

      I didn't believe in evil until I dated it.

      SVN throws a big wrench in that, as when you make commits and updates in that fashion, and then want to update everything else in a checkout, it doesn't check the files that are there against the repository, it just says.. well you updated to this revision and I'm not going to second guess you.

      What? I may not realy understand what you are saying but I recently learned the joy of version control using SVN. I must say it works quite well. It allows you to commit single files (or directories). You can then also update your other files. If you updated a file it checks it agianst the repository to make sure that the version you started with is the same version currently commited. I can't seem to get my head around what you are trying to say it does.

      Eric Hodges
Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by kutsu (Priest) on Sep 27, 2004 at 21:09 UTC

    cp -rp, of course ;)...actually this is my prefered but only because I'm the only perl programmer at my company at the moment.

    "Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum - I think that I think, therefore I think that I am." Ambrose Bierce

      I upvoted you because I used to be like you ;) And then I switched to CVS and haven't looked back since.

      Even though I am the only Perl programmer here, version control does have a habit of saving my ass, no matter how careful I think I'm being. And once you're used to it, it's no more difficult than copying your files around. Actually, I find it less so.

      Next project I'm off to try Subversion. . . ;)

      But seriously, even if you're the only Perl programmer, give CVS or Subversion a look. Easy to use, easy to get going, and easy to be productive. You'll be happy you did.


        Actually I've been trying to impliment some form of RCS since I started working (as a programmer) but haven't got the okay yet (got to love management). However, the new project I'm working on might give me an excuse to use some RCS (CVS proably) - here's hoping.

        Update: I get to try RCS, CVS, and Aegis on a new test server, if this poll is still active I'll post which is my fav. of these three

        "Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum - I think that I think, therefore I think that I am." Ambrose Bierce

        I used CVS for some years now and recently switched to Subversion. I was surprised that the commands for ci, co, etc. are identical to the cvs commands -- no re-learning:
        $ cvs ci [...] $ svn ci [...]
        But, there are additional commands like svn mv. The only difference I noted (but I use SVN/CVS only as an "intelligent backup", no more advanced things) is the way you create a new repository, but there's an excellent quickstart guide (link lost). I couldn't imagine developing without using some kind of version control system -- it's much easier to use than cp/scp/tar/rsync :)
      Using version control has nothing to do with the number of people working on the code. Everything I do goes in version control.


      Okay I can now say I like RCS the best (at least for my needs), it's simple and quick - and works a whole lot better then cp -rp ;).

      "Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum - I think that I think, therefore I think that I am." Ambrose Bierce

Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by eserte (Deacon) on Sep 27, 2004 at 21:32 UTC
    I am missing RCS in the list...
      I use RCS as well. Simple. Works.
      mkdir RCS ci -u # check in file (inital touched version) co -l # check out file to make revisions .... rlog # history of a file rcsdiff -r1.2 # diff versions of files co -r1.2 # get an earlier version of a file
      You can also use string subistutions to display version numbers in line of the file, but I haven't gotten that to work (yet)... Like perl, it's simple and just works...
      Here's code that allows you to display the Id tag, which includes version number, last modified date, who updated it, etc.:
      my $v = q{$Id$}; print "$v\n"; or simply # $Id$
      Yet Another Update:
      rlog # display a log history of the file changes from version +to version...

      Zak - the office
        i agree in zakzebrowskis opinion. RCS is really simple to use, as handy tools should be.

        Several times, i thought about trying out cvs, but because I'm exclusive user with my own (tiny) developements rcs suffices completly my needs.

        Is simplicity best or simply the easiest Martin L. Gore

      I am missing RCS in the list...

      So do I.
      It's RCS and RCS is the rcs I use most of the time.
      Typing documentation into a KwikiWiki using RCS is most of my using revision control.
      Not counting when I use CVS, I use that for the code, but still a lot less than simple RCS... heck, I wanted to say that I would prefer to use Subversion, so that's my prefered rcs although I hardly ever use it.

      Cheers, Sören

      I debated putting RCS on the list; after all it's the grandaddy of em all, and is still in live use by some people (or so I hear). OTOH, it was strange enough that I wanted to encourage people to write a note about it, rather then just going click-click and voting for it. Why do you like RCS better then, say, CVS (which is just a layer on top of it, after all...)?

      Warning: Unless otherwise stated, code is untested. Do not use without understanding. Code is posted in the hopes it is useful, but without warranty. All copyrights are relinquished into the public domain unless otherwise stated. I am not an angel. I am capable of error, and err on a fairly regular basis. If I made a mistake, please let me know (such as by replying to this node).

        I also wanted to pick RCS (I ended up picking CVS, because that's what we use at the lab).

        RCS is nice because it's simple. You don't have to worry about pservers or creating a repository somewhere with proper permissions... just say mkdir RCS and you're there. Checkin/checkout is simple, with no extra commit stage. It's quick and easy and doesn't require any setup or administration.

        I like using RCS during OS installs (a trick taught to me by a sysadmin I worked with, the kind who had plenty of time on his hands to teach newbies because his network rarely broke). Before messing with any config files, make an RCS directory and check them in. We had /etc/RCS, /usr/local/etc/RCS, and a lot of /var/www/foobar/RCSes. Handy when you want to back out a change, but haven't installed CVS yet.

        I don't think I'd want to try using RCS for big projects, and using RCS for big distributed projects would be a nightmare. CVS is better for those (and I'd like to try Subversion one of these days), but that doesn't mean I like it any better.

        F o x t r o t U n i f o r m
        Found a typo in this node? /msg me
        % man 3 strfry

        Although a quick Google didn't find a link to prove me right, I have the distinct feeling that SCCS takes the grand-daddy prize over RCS... can anyone confirm/deny?


Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by Errto (Vicar) on Sep 28, 2004 at 04:35 UTC

    For a negative example, I recommend that you (not) consider Interwoven TeamSite. Now, to be fair to its authors, this product is advertised as kind of a web CMS, as opposed to a source control system. However, it was marketed to my company as the latter and we are now stuck using it. Granted this is for a (mostly) web-based application, but still. It's at approximately RCS level in terms of functionality, but it has a very pretty web-based interface. And that's all I'll say about that.

    I voted for CVS. The only other one on that list that I've used is SourceSafe, and I don't remember much about it other than that it crashed once and the result was that, since it uses an opaque binary database format, we lost our revision history. But CVS I've always enjoyed.

      I hate teamsite -- it's terrible. I didn't mention it because I didn't think anyone would have heard of it. We have problems daily, it never ends. The idea is nice, but I think it is still a few years away. We get to be the guinea pigs while they figure it out. Fortunately I stay away from it as much as I can (I don't do much of the web stuff) and use vesta (above) as my script repository. There are times when I need to use teamsite, forms for example -- it makes me cringe.
Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by ambrus (Abbot) on Sep 28, 2004 at 12:54 UTC

    Let me add two other rcs systems to the list. I don't use these, only CVS, and not much of that either. I don't know anything of these rcs systems either, apart from that they exist.

    Firstly darcs, which is a simple rcs written in Haskell. I know of it because the Dunkosmiloolump team has won the ICFP 2004 contest and they mention using it at their homepage.

    Secondly Corel Versions. It is the versioning system that comes with CorelDraw and Corel WordPerlfect. It is file-based (you save the versions of only one file at once), and you can use it from the shortcut menu in explorer.

Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by rinceWind (Monsignor) on Sep 28, 2004 at 16:43 UTC
    I voted "Something homegrown..."

    in this case my own VCS::Lite::Repository. Comments/feedback/ideas/patches all welcome.

    I'm Not Just Another Perl Hacker

Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by Paulster2 (Priest) on Sep 28, 2004 at 10:50 UTC

    I chose the "I don't need no steenkin RCS" option because there wasn't an option for "Huh?".

    Seriously, while the only clue that I have about RCS is context, I will plead ignorance because I don't work in any kind of programming/integration lab/office/what ever. I have to find excuses to use perl where I work and the wife controls my time at home (yes, I'm whipped!). I suppose that there are a lot of people like me out there (where programming is more of a secondary/tirshiary hobby)?


    You're so sly, but so am I. - Quote from the movie Manhunter.
Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by ChuckularOne (Prior) on Sep 28, 2004 at 13:12 UTC
    Clearcase ROCKS!!! It's a shame it's so damn expensive. Only one of the three places using Version control even thought about buying it (and did!) the others just ignored it because of the price point.
      Clearcase does rock, if you have an admin and the money :)

      And, well, the GUI tools (who needs GUI tools) don't work so well and the MVFS kernel module only supports about 3 crappy Linux distributions -- and old versions of those too (no Debian or FC, etc).

      I'm a Linux guy. At home I usually don't do anything big enough to need an RCS, but I really should use one out of habit as I'd be more likely to get used to it and use it in places where Clearcase isn't.

      IBM CMVC, now that was painful... CVS isn't that bad, I need to try SubVersion and ARCH at home on my Debian boxen. ARCH actually sounds cool from the Wiki page, but I have yet to see it in action.

      I'm sorry, but clearcase can give the users too much power. Especially when it comes to merging to the mainline. I want a tool that forces certian users to reverse merge before merging and breaking the build.

      Kwyjibo. A big, dumb, balding North American ape. With no chin.
        clearcase can give the users too much power.
        Of course! Would you complain about Unix giving users too much power? Ridiculous.
        If you need to curb the users, that's what administrators are for. (I know. I'm a full-time ClearCase administrator^Wgod.)
        Triggers give you absolutely open-ended flexibility in constraining what the users can do.
        ClearCase rocks!
Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by nite_man (Deacon) on Sep 28, 2004 at 10:32 UTC

    I prefer arch because it's flexible, easy configurated, power, clear and growing up tool. I think that tool has very good perspectives!

    Michael Stepanov aka nite_man

    It's only my opinion and it doesn't have pretensions of absoluteness!

Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by DrHyde (Prior) on Sep 28, 2004 at 12:48 UTC
    Gotta go with RCS. Setting up CVS just irritates me, and I seem to have problems merging updates more often than not. RCS being simpler and allowing only one person to work on a file at once works better for the way I like to do things.

    I'll also put in a good word for rsnapshot. While not strictly a revision control system, it works really nicely.

Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by jepri (Parson) on Sep 30, 2004 at 07:37 UTC
Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by pelagic (Priest) on Sep 28, 2004 at 12:35 UTC
    We use Telelogic Synergy/CM because the firm I work for want's us to. It's a task based version control system. We use it in a quite complicated environment with some 20 developers. I actually like it (in a way).

      I'm using ChangeSynergy as well, and I'm really torn. I'm a tester, so most of my interaction with the system centers around the bug database. I also use the ChangeSynergy for revision control on my automated test code, which is always a task fraught with peril. I think a lot of my problems stem from improper training, as I was simply given a login and told to check in my code.

      On the other hand, I've found that ChangeSynergy's system for doing complex queries of the bug database simply doesn't work. If you try to match more than one parameter, it always fails to find a match.

      I dunno, from a user's standpoint (as opposed to an Administrator or Build Engineer), (Dis)Continuous seems needlessly complex and loaded with bells and whistles that simply won't be used. For my money, I'd rather use a free system that's simple and well-documented (if limited) than an expensive, complex, poorly-documented system that requires special training (available for just a few dollars more, but less important to the company than catering executives' lunches) and a full-time engineer (to be hired any day now, really, we just need to find the right person, no kidding, as soon as we get an open req).

      "What do I want? I'm an American. I want more."

Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by jepri (Parson) on Sep 30, 2004 at 06:56 UTC
    I picked my current one (Subversion) based on the quality of the graphical clients it has.

    That's apparently heresy to a lot of people, but RCSs are one aspect of programming where I can't get excited. All I wanted was a nice little client where I can browse the repository and click commit on a folder.

    Oh, and it has to be able to rename directories without editing the damned repository!.

    For windows, TortoiseSVN is very nice and well integrated, and for Unix, RapidSVN is better than the command line. user administration is separated from the system, which is a nice feature too.

    I didn't believe in evil until I dated it.

      I am not a professional programmer and my experience with revisioning systems is very limited. My needs were settled this week by installing TortoiseSNV and using it as my entire revisioning system on my home box (using a :localfile: setup). My understanding is that one of the nice things about Subversion is how it handles branching/tags and renaming or moving files and directories. I believe this is either impossible or very difficult in CVS, but common and simple with Subversion.

      I know that the Linux kernel devs use BitKeeper and I'm not really sure why that is? I also looked into GNU Arch but it seemed to be fairly obscure, still.

      TortoiseSVN will do fine for me right now and if I get to a point where I am able to or need to collaborate with other coders on my projects, I'll finally figure out Subversion (using svnserver, of course - I don't want to install Apache2 just for that).
        I think by now any program that calls itself an RCS will offer morefeatures than the average programmer will ever need.

        Which is why I had the luxury of making my choice based on petty concerns like a pretty client.

        I also used GNU arch for a while, and while it was supposed to be superior based on some measure I didn't quite follow, it was much to difficult to actually use.

        One cute trick I plan to try is to check in my entire home directory, so I can synchronise it on the different computers that I use. I like the idea of being able to recover documents after I have discovered that my improvements haven't.:)

        I didn't believe in evil until I dated it.

Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by tbone1 (Monsignor) on Sep 28, 2004 at 14:13 UTC
    I had to vote for Aegis. There's nothing like having the firepower of a cruiser from the US Navy to keep the other programmers in line.

    Some days, it's absolutely necessary.

    tbone1, YAPS (Yet Another Perl Schlub)
    And remember, if he succeeds, so what.
    - Chick McGee

      I had to vote for Aegis. There's nothing like having the firepower of a cruiser from the US Navy to keep the other programmers in line.

      Right, now I want to write a revision-control system called Yamato, or maybe Iowa. I do have to wonder about your workplace, if you have to deal with threats from airborne programmers on a regular basis....

      ObPedantic: IIRC, Aegis is the radar+missile+FCS system, Ticonderoga is the ship class.

      F o x t r o t U n i f o r m
      Found a typo in this node? /msg me
      % man 3 strfry

        Well, that's when management throws more programmers at a project, using a catapult. You know, it's the old 'nine pregnant women can create a baby in one month' philosophy.

        tbone1, YAPS (Yet Another Perl Schlub)
        And remember, if he succeeds, so what.
        - Chick McGee

        Definitely Yamato -- gotta go for that Wave Motion Gun...
      Yeah, at one of my old jobs we used Aegis, and it was certainly powerful. I don't remember having any problems with it, unlike when using CVS.

      Hrm? I would think a shield capable of turning developers into stone would be enough to keep them in line.

      "There is no shame in being self-taught, only in not trying to learn in the first place." -- Atrus, Myst: The Book of D'ni.

by rjamestaylor (Acolyte) on Sep 29, 2004 at 14:43 UTC
    I still have nightmares from Intersolv's PVCS.


      I'm living that nightmare.

      I convinced my previous manager that there was an advantage to Concurrent development. So we used CVS.

      Unfortunatly I'm not having much luck convincing my current manager of the value of concurrency. I can't seem to get him past the Merge concept... It's really painful going from CVS back to PVCS.

      "Look, Shiny Things" is not a better strategy than compatibility and reuse.


        This reminds me of a temp position I had with a local state university, that was (at the time) recently acquired by a larger state university. The local school had people who could spell unix (and get it right most of the time), and a few who even knew what that funny word actually meant. But they needed to pass the audit from the mamma university to show they were being good little boys and girls and playing nice with their security systems and such.

        I was brought on-board because I knew the version of unix they were using (both of them), to do some things like automate their nightly backups (like I said, they were mostly functionally illiterate in unix), and to tighten up the security systems, and at the same time get them using some sort of "source control system" -- something they really had a clue about.

        I spent 6 months getting them up and running on a hybrid of my CVS system. They are actually a UniData shop (a version of PICK on unix) -- yea, I said PICK... sorry, y'all. And the programmers refused to add any steps to their work process, so I had to install the CVS system and wrappers in such a way that they didn't do anything different. It was actually an interesting intellectual exercise...

        Anyway, I got them all fixed up and running pretty, etc. The audit happened, and they passed. The VERY NEXT WEEK they called me in, ordered me to uninstall everything, and then walked me out the door.

        I learned a valuable lesson:

        just because they don't want it, doesn't mean they don't know what it is...

        These guys knew pretty much what it was and what value it could be to them -- as well as the ability for "them" to track what they were doing (and not doing -- remember, this is a university setting). I was "public enemy number one" to these people! They couldn't wait to get rid of me!

      Intersolv was two companies ago. and the present owners droped the PVCS (PVCS = Polytronic <sp> Version Control System and it has been a long time since that company was in VCS space (I don't think it is around any more)).

      Who needs a spiffy sig
      poqui whispers: Endeavor ;-)
      Is this the same PVCS currently owned by Merant? (used to be PCMS before it added all the process control?)

      We recently switched to PVCS Dimensions from a very old VAX system (CMS). All I can say is ... (deleted... language too foul to be typed...)

Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by mjeaton (Hermit) on Sep 28, 2004 at 17:59 UTC
    At one time, I would have said SourceSafe, but now it's gotta be SourceGreat Vault.

Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by lee_crites (Scribe) on Sep 30, 2004 at 00:58 UTC

    I actually use CVS, but it is wrapped in a script (cmedit) that checks the code out, allows me to edit it, then checks it in. I can put CVS comments in the file itself, which get stripped out and used as the checkin log message.

    I am a one-man shop, basically, I've been doing consulting since the early 80's. I needed something to keep up with my changes, so I made my own version control system (written in pascal at the time). As I moved on and up in the computer world, I changed the underlying process, but not the interface. Now it uses CVS, but I still use the same script names. The scripts have also changed, going from sh to csh to bash, but hey, progress happens.

    If there is enough interest, I can try to put my script(s) together with some light docu. Right now it is 100% bash, and uses CVS as the version control system.

Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by nimdokk (Vicar) on Sep 29, 2004 at 16:34 UTC
    We currently aren't using anything (at least not on our sub-team) but we are looking at implementing it. I've used this node to help isolate a few canidates for review. I believe that other areas are using something called "PVCS" but I don't know much about it. We may end up going with something thats not even on the list (we are just starting the review process right now).
Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by doowah2004 (Monk) on Oct 07, 2004 at 12:16 UTC
    Wow...I can not believe that no one is using FreeVCS. I use the crud out of it and have not found any problems yet. If someone out there uses it or used it and did not like it I would be curious what dificiencies that it has (I am sure that I do not use it to its fullest) because it seems rock solid to me. The initial setup seemed convoluted, but was actually fairly straight forward once I started.

    Anyway that is my 2 cents, and my vote...very happy with it.

Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by poqui (Deacon) on Sep 29, 2004 at 16:08 UTC
    I work at an Informatica shop, which will be morphing into an Ab Initio shop soon; so the RCS question isn't so much "We don't need" but "What can we use?".
    Ab Initio purportedly has an integrated version control system, that interfaces with their Metadata Repository, forcing capture of the process metadata at check-in.
    Informatica, on the other hand, has a version tracking system that assigns a new version number to a process upon saving a change, *if* the developer chooses (which *never* happens). So, for changes that are moving into production, we copy off an XML version of the process being replaced by a newer version.
Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by Anonymous Monk on Sep 29, 2004 at 17:25 UTC
    For keeping up with the stuff I use at work, SCCS fits the bill. (or the build ;-) No real setup required:
    mkdir SCCS; sccs create filename sccs edit filename sccs delget filename
    For formal stuff we use Rational Apex and PVCS (as appropriate). But for the maintenance of day-to-day scripts and data, it's SCCS. At home, I use CVS just 'cause it's on the BSD system, but it's frankly a lot harder to set up for personal files.

    Once on a system where sccs had not been installed, I cobbled together a system from diff, ed and shell scripts.
    The user soon to be known as criglerj

Only <strike>two</strike> three non-OS comerical systems?
by MADuran (Beadle) on Sep 30, 2004 at 18:58 UTC
    What about Perforce , ClearCase, MKS Source Integrity, AlienBrain, etc
    There are a number of others as well. SO any one used or using these? (Not necessary liking them)

    Update: Okay I can't read Perforce is on the list (It is a very good tool)

    Who needs a spiffy sig
      I've found MKS to be one of the most painful things ever, and we use SourceSafe... It was the bane of our existance for awhile, until the lost files and kludgy interface finally killed it here.

Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by kalle (Friar) on Oct 05, 2004 at 09:10 UTC
    For personal stuff, no RCS (which has led to some headaches), but most open source projects I'm involved in use CVS -- all, in fact...
Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by astroboy (Chaplain) on Oct 01, 2004 at 09:08 UTC
    Most sites I've worked at use CVS, but when I'm working at a site where most developers use Windows, I encourage them to use SourceJammer. It gives them a GUI interface like VSS, but it also works for UNIX devs too. Of course, WinCVS fits the bill as well, but a lot of Microsofties still don't like it...
Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by belg4mit (Prior) on Oct 04, 2004 at 03:42 UTC
    CPAN :-D

    (and of course backpan)

    I'm not belgian but I play one on TV.

      This is one of my (dare I use the terms) pet peeves. I'm looking for a module, and I stumble against someone who "just has some ideas" out there, are incomplete or error filled, etc -- CPAN should be an archive of working code, and incomplete and non/working code should be kept in a real version management system. If CPAN wants to host some RCS, that would be fine -- but until there is a development, testing, and release branch for modules (like Debian maybe), we shouldn't be placing modules out there unless they have usable features and are fairly stable.
Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by schweini (Friar) on Oct 08, 2004 at 17:44 UTC
    i use cp -rp, but i'd love to switch to something a bit more professional, but lack the time and discipline to do everything in a full-fledged RCS, i fear.
    So, does anyone know of a completly transparent versioning system? e.g. an FTP server that instead ov overwriting files, saves timestamped backups somewhere, or a filesystem that does something like that?
Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by Anonymous Monk on Oct 12, 2004 at 21:37 UTC
    I won't touch CVS unless I have to, after spending years working on it (some of that time as a CVS maintainer). Subversion isn't half bad, although somestimes it seems to only be half-good (it's much slower for many operations). I do have great appreciation for Perforce, especially with their proxy server for remote development sites.
Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by perlcapt (Pilgrim) on Oct 17, 2004 at 11:31 UTC
    Okay. I'm from the dark ages. I still use RCS cause its so simple and I don't have to share development on anything I'm currently doing. I used to use CVS with remote mounted file systems when I was working on projects with other folks. Big projects. I would occasionally lock myslef out of a commit and have to rebuild the whole damn distribution from archives. I grew to hate CVS. The group I am working with now is going towards subversion. I heard them talking about it, anyway. I'm not part of the software development core, being their boat captain (literally), so haven't been invited to share their misery. (Being the skipper is more fun for me anyway.) -Ben
Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by BubbaJones (Novice) on Sep 30, 2004 at 19:11 UTC
    Clearcase (on unix).
Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by mce (Curate) on Oct 01, 2004 at 12:47 UTC
    Where I worked, we used clearcase. This is a nifty tool, more advanced than cvs. It allows locks, branches, etc.. . We wrote an entire packaging tool based on it. It looks like an ordinary filesystem, where you can go into using standard unix shells (and use cd, ls, vi).

    Dr. Mark Ceulemans
    Senior Consultant
    BMC, Belgium
      I work in a configuration management section for a large government IT contract in the UK. We use PVCS Dimensions and Clearcase, and unfortunately its my job to administrate both systems.

      They both have very good points... they also can be a nightmare!

      Clearcase is a pain to administer, and when it goes wrong (which is quite allot with the amount of developers using it in our place) it can be hard to work out what’s wrong.. and even harder to fix it! Also there is very little security in ClearCase.. unless you buy bolt ons from other companies.

      Dimensions is a good and reliable tool.. but its not as flexible as clearcase. The good thing is that they both keep me in a job :o)


        Somehow, (and I should whip myself for it), I forgot about the total lack of security in Clearcase. Someday there will be a Windows-worm that contains an optional Clearcase vector that either corrupts files or replaces executable content (and/or makefiles), and it will decimate companies it gets inside. Open network shares and I can edit anyone's files on the network. *Not* cool.

        I suppose it hasn't stung me yet, but unless Clearcase is forced on you, that's reason enough to avoid it. (But anyway, other than the leaking airplane gas tank (please ignore that gaping hole in the wing!), it flies well enough).

Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by talexb (Chancellor) on Oct 04, 2004 at 18:49 UTC

    Well, I currently use something called Razor from Visible Systems. It's implemented using some unspeakable GUI and is somewhat incoherent and non-standard in its use of keyboard shortcuts. Fortunately, everything you can do with the GUI can also be done (I believe) with scripts that Visible provides, and you can attach issues to file versions you can check in.

    Things are not all chips and gravy, however -- it is possible to make a branch, but if you want to abandon a branch, Razor continues to remind you that you have a branch open. Yes, you can delete the branch, but that means any history associated with that branch is gone. Pfft.

    To make things a little more irritating, you have to manually tell Razor which directory to check files into. Only if you're overwriting a read-only version of the file does it warn you things might be wrong (which in this case they're not, and that's the option you want to see); if the file *doesn't* exist in the directory you've chosen, it happily extracts the file into the directory quite silently, which almost always turns out to be the *wrong* directory. (Meaning you have to reverse the checkout, fix the directory path and extract again, agreeing (this time) to overwrite the file. Argh.)

    Like any somewhat obtuse software tool, its shortcomings become eccentricities, and workarounds that took many hours of thought and experimentation become second nature. 'Twas ever thus.

    I have read about SubVersion with some interest -- we installed verion 1.0 a while back but didn't get enough time to fiddle with it. Apparently 1.1 is now out; you can get this version from a -- wait for it -- CVS Repository, believe it or not it's self-hosted, as thelenm points out below -- I guess I can't read everything I read on SlashDot. There was something called Arch described on SlashDot recently but it sounded like so much smoke and mirrors I decided to wait until it become more real.

    In the past I hve used CVS and it seems to work quite well -- even if it's easy to move things in the wrong way -- I once tried to update a repository with cvs update only to find that CVS summarily overwrote the source file with an older version in the repository. Oops. Should have used cvs commit, of course. The man page for CVS is also a little daunting, then again, source code control is a complicated beast.

    Finally, high marks to good old RCS .. just mkdir RCS, check in the file you're going to edit, and away you go. Mindless, because it only works on a single directory at a time, but it always works and it's always available.

    Alex / talexb / Toronto

    "Groklaw is the open-source mentality applied to legal research" ~ Linus Torvalds

    Update: SubVersion is self-hosted. Bad information (possibly masquerading as humour) was posted on SlashDot, and I fell for it. Apologies.

      Apparently 1.1 is now out; you can get this version from a -- wait for it -- CVS Repository, believe it or not.

      Subversion is self-hosting and has been for a long time. The repository is here.

      -- Mike

      XML::Simpler does not require XML::Parser or a SAX parser. It does require File::Slurp.
      -- grantm, perldoc XML::Simpler

Re: What's your prefered revision control system?
by jacques (Priest) on Oct 02, 2004 at 14:55 UTC
    Good poll, guys.

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