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Re: RCS keyword removal

From: Andre Spiegel
Subject: Re: RCS keyword removal
Date: Sun, 11 Apr 2004 19:16:52 +0200

Miles wrote:

> Ideally I could globally use the CVS -kb option on checkout/update to prevent
> all keyword expansion, but the CVS docs are very unclear on the actual effect
> of that, e.g what would the actual value of existing embedded keywords (in
> existing code, or new code committed by people who _didn't_ globally force
> -kb, i.e., most people)?

Keywords are only expanded in the checked-out versions of files.  The
expanded form is never stored in the RCS master files.  So, if somebody
switches off keyword expansion locally for himself (in a single command,
or permanently for an entire working directory), that doesn't affect
anybody else using the repository.

Switching off keyword expansion by default in the repository, as Andreas
suggested, would defeat the purpose of those keywords altogether,
though.  The point is that in released versions of the files, the
keywords ought to be expanded, otherwise they are useless, and I could
just do as RMS suggested and stamp the files myself when I send them
out.  I doesn't really address the problem keywords are needed for, but
I explained that already.

When merges are done within CVS, keywords shouldn't be causing any
trouble, because files are merged with keywords unexpanded, or at least
there's an option to say it should be that way.  However, when you use
the files from CVS in another version control system (Arch, in your
case), the issue becomes fuzzy.  A general approach might be to switch
off keyword expansion for anything that is checked in to Arch. 
Alternatively, a feature to tell Arch to ignore certain kinds of
differences could be implemented.

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