[cvsnt] Re: Migrating from (SCCS to) RCS to CVSNT?

Michael Wojcik Michael.Wojcik at microfocus.com
Fri Jun 16 17:15:42 BST 2006

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> From: cvsnt-bounces at cvsnt.org 
> [mailto:cvsnt-bounces at cvsnt.org] On Behalf Of Bo Berglund
> Sent: Friday, 16 June, 2006 11:29
> If I remember correctly RCS was a single-user system that mixed
> together the active source files and the repository RCS files in a
> rather complex local directory structure and this is NOT compatible
> with CVS or CVSNT.

Not exactly.

RCS was not a "single-user" system under any definition that seems
plausible to me; it correctly tracked actions by user, locked files to
prevent simultaneous update, and handled merges.  RCS was the backend
for the original CVS implementation, which simply provided remote access
on top of RCS and improved the model for simultaneous updates and merges
rather than relying on serialized updates (locking).

RCS did not use a central repository; it tracked each working file
separately in an "RCS file" with the same name as the working file plus
a ",v" extension.  Those files could be in the same directory as the
working files; more often they were in an RCS subdirectory, and they
could be pretty much anywhere with only a little additional work.

The original CVS moved the RCS files to a central repository, as that
was a requirement for remote access, but you could have done the same
thing with RCS itself (I did, on more than one project).

> But the individual RCS files are probably OK if you
> just collect them into the proper server structure.

That seems likely.  I believe that CVSNT adds additional fields to the
repository files that aren't in the stock RCS file format, but it's
probably smart enough to handle files that don't have those fields.

> Remember that NOONE, not even you, shall ever work on the project
> inside the repository folder structure!!! If you do tyhenm you have
> not properly moved from RCS to CVS.

Agreed.  One of the key procedural (as opposed to technological)
innovations of CVS over RCS was the introduction of the "sandbox"
concept.  The repository is the playground of the CVS server only.

Michael Wojcik
Principal Software Systems Developer, Micro Focus

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