[cvsnt] WinCVS Problem ?

Arthur Barrett arthur.barrett at march-hare.com
Sun Dec 27 21:11:08 GMT 2009

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> I do not to whom to talk to so I am telling my observations here:
> I gave a try to WinCVS but I was disappointed that appropriate
> documentation was only for command line work. There is not appropriate
> documentation(explaining GUI activities) for version 2.0. 
> Command line configuration 
> is not a option. Is there anywhere nice GUI documentation for 
> WinCVS or I should
> maybe better keep working with ClearCase ?

CVS really is not anything at all like ClearCase, but it can be used to
solve similar business problems - though usually with a very different
process/workflow.  There is more than one SCCM software system - mostly
because different software  does different things better - the best
software for your SCCM system will depend on your business requirements.

A few notes:

* if you have a question about WinCVS ask the WinCVS mailing list not
the CVS or CVSNT one

* if you have a question about TortoiseCVS ask the TortoiseCVS mailing
list not the CVS or CVSNT one

* no GUI is a substitute for education - CVS is a powerful and complex
piece of software.  If you are going to rely on CVS for tracking changes
you should buy a good book on the subject and read it thoroughly (eg:
'All About CVS' which I had a hand in writing, or 'Essential CVS' or one
of many others).

* Both TortoiseCVS and WinCVS come with extensive documentation (but I
agree the WinCVS doccs are lacking volunteers to keep it up to date):

* A major feature of free/open source software is that other people
contribute, eg:

Describing the difference in documentation between a US$10,000.00 per
developer licensed software and something you started using without so
much as paying a dime is a little unfair - IBM wont even answer basic
questions about ClearCase until you've also been through accredited
training.  If you spend as much on CVS as you (or more likely your
employer) has spent on ClearCase you will find you have a valuable and
powerful tool.

Finally a few basic notes about choosing a SCCM tool - to choose
software for a change management system you should have:

1) looked at your business requirements and identified specific
measurable criteria to determine the success or failure of SCCM in
supporting those requirements
2) chosen a SCCM methodology that supports those requirements and 
3) determined that the SCCM methodology can be implemented in CVS

After you have implemented your SCCM utilising CVS and other tools you
4) continuously measure the criteria to determine the rate of success of
the SCCM project
5) invest in your open source software by providing documentation, hours
of coding and/or financial support for the software
6) upgrading the software to keep with current features
7) continue to study industry best-practice for how SCCM is helping
other similar companies

A support mailing list like info-cvs or cvsnt.support is ideal for
helping you implement your methodology in CVS, but not at helping you
determine the advantages and disadvantages of methodologies that are
unimplementable in CVS.  And any SCCM oriented mailing list is
unsuitable to helping you determine your business goals.  Even for a
'home' project you will still have objectives (or else you just wouldn't
use SCCM software at all).

A newsgroup more dedicated to generic discussion of SCCM is this one,
though like all mailing lists it has its quirks:

Note: some members do go on a lot about a web site 'cmcrossroads' -
please be aware that 'cmcrossroads' is is by no means objective, just as
any one person on this mailing list, or config-mgmt should not be
considered objective.  

Remember: SCCM is an overhead.  Or to put it more bluntly, SCCM is a
cost.  The reason why so many people do not like version control is that
usually the costs outweight the benefits (Susan Dart previously of the
Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute did some studies to
document this I believe).  CVS may be 'free' but SCCM will cost you - it
will cost you every hour of every day.  Investing some cold hard time
(and probably cash) in good analysis of your business requirements, of
SCCM methodologies, project management and finally tools and software
will pay off in ensuring that your final system delivers measurable
benefits that outweight the costs. 


Arthur Barrett

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