[cvsnt] CVSNT implementation reliable?

Arthur Barrett arthur.barrett at march-hare.com
Sun Aug 6 19:50:00 BST 2006

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> I agree, Version Control SHOULD be an integral 
> part of any software project. 
> But ...

This is not at all uncommon thinking, however usually stems from
previous "bad experiences" of "version control".  Preconceptions about
what version control is and what its primary and secondary effects are
cause many small to medium businesses to make what more informed
professionals would describe as "poor decisions".

There was a revolution about 10 years ago when "configuration
management" replaced "version control".  CM is focused on delivering
benefits to the business and has as a component "version control".  If
CM is a directive from "the top" because the directors can see tangible
business benefits then it is implemented in the team just like time
sheets - because if you don't do it, then you don't get paid.

That is fairly draconian - but often how CM gets implemented.  The good
news is that if it is implemented by people who know what they are doing
then it is designed to fit in the company culture and have a positive
impact on the satisfaction of the workers who will interract with it

The "CM revolution" has been followed with the development of tools and
processes that integrate "better" with a developers workflow.  And this
is the area that this newsgroup is primarily concerned with.  CVSNT,
TortoiseCVS and related projects are not particularly concerned about
implementing some whizz-bang new feature - they are focused on
delivering tools that are "enjoyable" to use.

You can implement "concurrent" (also known as unreserved) version
control without your developers even knowing it's there.  It is a great
way to get started and begin collecting metrics (things like # of lines
changed per developer, most frequently modified programs/modules etc) as
well as collecting a history of the changes/evolution of your software.
The developers of CVSNT (March Hare Software) can assist, or you can
read the many books on CM and CVS or get other help.

Today there exists legislation such as SOX that requires that software
development companies can audit changes to their code (if they sell to
any publicly listed US company), but is not new.  Many industries (eg:
aeronautics) have had legislation that requires this for many years.

So I invite you to stop saying "but" and start asking "how" - "I know I
*should* use VC/CM, and I was hoping someone could help me understand
*how* can I do that here...".


Arthur Barrett

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