[cvsnt] CVS v. CVSNT

Siegfried Heintze siegfried at heintze.com
Fri Jul 16 18:49:40 BST 2004

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>> (1) The init command in the chm file uses unix style forward 
>> slashes (with no device name) so that it is what I used and
>> it worked just fine with the login, ls, import and many other
>> commands so I never suspected it was the init command.
>It does work with forward slashes. I just tried the following (even 
>though I usually never use the init command at all - read below):
>cvs -d:local:/d//localrepos/testrepo3 init
>and it worked perfectly. 

And where does it explain that screwy syntax of omitting the colon and using
a double forward slash after the device name? I've never seen that before
running across it on this mailing list! And does it (the chm file) give an
example using the :local: syntax? Not with the init command it doesn't. It
might mention it somewhere else: I don't remember.

>AFAICT the problem was not that you used 
>forward slashes, but that you (accidentally) performed the init with the 
>Cygwin CVS instead of the CVSNT client and then (naturally) expected the 
>CVSNT server to be able to cope with the files that were created by 

That is the only way I knew to specify a device name with forward slashes!

>Do you think you would have gone to the bash if there had been a note in 
>the docs stating that all sample sessions refer to Unix and appropriate 
>adjustments might have to be made for other platforms?

I certainly would not have gone to bash if someone had explained the new
syntax for specifying device names.

>> (2) I could not (still cannot) find reference anywhere that I 
>> need to run
>> the CVSNT service control panel and define the repositories
>Yes, that is probably the biggest gap.
>> and that I
>> should use the default forward slashes here with a device 
>> name and that the name of the repository should match what I specify 
>> CVSROOT. I spent many hours trying to understand why  cvs -d
>> :pserver:Siegfried at\REPOSITORY does not work! 
>> It sees the ":"
>> and thinks you are trying to specify a port number.
>Unless that was again a typo, the error here is that there is no colon 
>after the server name/address. A CVSROOT usually consists of three 
>components all of which are separated from each other by colons: 
>protocol, host and repository path. CVSROOT syntax looks basically like 
>or as it is even:
>or in full glory:
>The first two components could be omitted. CVSNT will assume :local: in 
>that case. If only the protocol is omitted, at least GNU CVS assumes 
>:server:. Not sure if CVSNT does that as well.

Yeah, yeah, I know that now. --- oh wait! You are telling me I can specify
the device with a colon. Is that in the documentation? I don't remember
seeing it. I just remember the error messages from the cygwin client. I
don't think you can specify a device name with a colon. 

Well, this information should be in the quick start portion of the manual
and it is not there. It should be in the proximity of the init and import
commands because these are the first things a beginner needs to do and a
beginner should not have to read the entirety of the reference manual to
create and populate a repository!

>> (3) Lastly it seems like a perfectly innocent mistake to me 
>> that I installed cygwin first and therefore the cygwin CVS
>> client was in my path.
>It certainly is. However, you might have noted that there is a CVS 
>client contained in the Cygwin distribution and could have suspected 
>that the two might interfere. I am certainly wary about possible 
>interference whenever I install two applications that basically do the 
>same. Do you think the CVSNT manual should contain notes about ALL 
>possible third-party software combinations?

It should explain that CVSNT is not a simple port of CVS and CVSNT is
different from the Windows port of CVS and therefore the clients are not
interchangeable. I think it would be reasonable to assume that port of a
client should be able to talk to the original server. 

Furthermore, I performed complete install of cygwin and I did not even know
I had a cygwin CVS client. The reason I did a complete install was that I
had previously wasted many hours trying to build a WebDAV client the cygwin
setup program had not detected all the necessary dependencies. The fix for
this problem was to download all of cygwin.

I believe it makes sense to mention of few popular programs that conflict
with CVSNT, especially the ones with "CVS" in their names! Now does cygwin
qualify as being popular? I hope so, but I don't know so. I use it. I think
we need an explanation of all the different CVS variants out there in the
documentation so folks know that CVSNT is not the windows port of CVS. That
is extremely confusing. And it is extremely important that one be aware that
using CVS documentation with CVSNT must be done with caution. There are
books on CVS but not CVSNT so it is tempting to try to use these books (and
quick reference cards) with CVSNT.

>> I still have not figured out how to delete that old repository
>> and start over).
>You should be able to simply remove it physically and remove it from the 
>control panel.

It is not that simple. I stopped the service. I had to login as Siegfried
instead of administrator to delete some files and log back in as
Administrator to delete other files. I eventually figured it out. This
should be documented too.

>> So am I stupid or are there glaring omissions?
>There are glaring holes, yes. Calling them omissions makes it sound as 
>if they were _made_ deliberately though. It's simply that noone has 
>gotten round to filling those holes yet...
>> I'm looking at the chm file presently and I cannot find the
>> omissions I'm talking about. 
>> Should not they be there? Is not the chm file the logical place to 
>look? I 
>> don't recall seeing them on the Wiki page either.
>Well, there's a setup guide in the Wiki which is also linked from the 
>Getting Started section of the frontpage (though I've been told it's at 
>least slightly outdated as well by now):

I go to the start menu on Windows 2003 server, I select CVSNT, I see CVSNT
Home, the browser comes up on a Wiki page. I scroll down, way, way down, I
see installation tips in tiny print. I select it and it says "page not

Wooaaa! Your link does work however. I've never seen this before. I had to
guess at how to add new users. I forgot to gripe about that. There is
nothing in the chm file about adding users. It drove me crazy. I tried to
use the passwd command with the pserver protocol and that did not work!

I quick perusal of the installation tips document still does not address my
other gripes.

Well, well! This should be integrated into the chm file! 

Oh -- and another thing! There should be some discussion (or mention or
recommendation) about using WinCVS! The WinCVS documents gave me no clue as
to the difference between CVSNT and Windows CVS.

Oh -- and another thing! Where does it define what a module is? C
programmers usually refer to a module as a separately compiled (single)
source code file with possibly multiple header files. I have inferred that
CVS uses the word  module to refer to an entire directory of source code
files. Is this true? Is this explained anywhere?

>> How is a beginner like me supposed to know when to use 
>> forward slashes and
>> when to use backward slashes?
>> Perhaps I still don't have it right so please correct me.
>Done. I think.
>> I think what the document needs is a quick start section for new
>> installations that explains the steps of using init to create 
>> a repository,
>> running the service control panel to define it and then using 
>> import to populate it.
>Actually, you don't need to run Init explicitly. The control panel will 
>do that for you if you define a repository path that does not yet exist. 
>This definitely belongs in the manual. It's in the setup guide mentioned 
>above, though.
>> The former and the later are there, but not in 
>> the same section
>> so it makes it harder to follow for the first time user. 
>Hope this helps.
>In everybody's best interest, please do not post or CC technical 
>questions to me in private unless they are specifically about a 
>macro/product of mine that is NOT already bundled with WinCvs. I will 
>generally forward my replies to such posts to the CVSGUI list without 
>further notice.
>----	------------------
>JID:	ogiesen at jabber.org
>ICQ:	18777742	(http://wwp.icq.com/18777742)

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