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Re: [avr-gcc-list] CVS or SVN ?!

From: Richard Urwin
Subject: Re: [avr-gcc-list] CVS or SVN ?!
Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2005 20:09:13 +0100
User-agent: KMail/1.7.2

On Friday 30 Sep 2005 09:45, Vincent Trouilliez wrote:
> Hi list,
> I have been advised to use CVS when developing programs, but it seems
> awkward to set up the server side. While asking around for help, I
> have been suggested to give up CVS and use SVN, "subversion",
> instead, and that it was meant to supplant CVS.
> Now CVS seems difficult enough, so I don't fancy spending time on it,
> only to have to change to something else soon after...
> I would like your opinions on this... what do everyone use at work ?

I use StarTeam at work - it's CVS-type and it's a pain in the 

CVS is OK if it is a small project, and it's only going to be a single 
engineer changing code at any time.

With CVS an engineer locks a file to work on it. You end up not being 
able to work because you need to edit a locked file. Administrators can 
break locks, but that leads to further problems later. As an engineer 
you can find that the file you thought was safely locked has been 
modified out from under you. SVN has no locks; they are unnecessary.

With CVS, any time two engineers have edited the same file one of them 
has to painstakingly go through the file merging their changes into the 
modified file by hand. With SVN that only happens if the engineers have 
changed the same part of the same file, and that is rare.

With CVS, each file has an independent version number and set of 
check-in notes. You can only roll back the entire project to "labels" 
or dates. With SVN the version numbers etc. are across the entire 
project; searching history for an old configuration or a particular 
change is as easy for the entire project as it is for a single file in 

ISTR merging branches back into the main branch is trivially easy with 
SVN, with CVS it is anything but.

As an engineer I would consider using RCS if it was just me, or SVN if 
it was a team or a big project. I would have to think carefully to find 
a project I'd choose CVS for; SVN has it beat in all the areas that it 
scores over RCS.

(RCS is older, simpler and just uses shared directories - no 
server-based stuff.)

Richard Urwin

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