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a tag layer on cvs

From: Matthew Herrmann
Subject: a tag layer on cvs
Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2002 10:48:51 +1100

hi all,

what do people think about the idea of a project which sits on top of cvs
and provides another level of abstraction to branching, merging, revision
management etc.

The idea would be to have responsibilities divided up in this hierarchy:

- CHANGELOG (eventually could use TAGSYSTEM to do all the special tag stuff)
- TAGSYSTEM (no magic revision numbers -- all hidden, disallows branching on
individual files, branching automatically creates the branchpoint and branch
tag, allows complex rules for generating diffs, merging generates mergepoint
tags etc., checkouts, tags etc.)
- CVS (revision, tag, logistics of branch management, merging etc.)

TAGSYSTEM would effectively be a system which concretises "best practice"
which is of course another way of saying "magical rules which much be obeyed
so things work as expected". The reality is that CVS can do basically
everything that other systems like clearcase can, with the exception of
graceful directory and file renames, only, people need to do things "the
right way". This would remove that "right way" element. It would become a

CVS then no longer needs to concentrate on providing user interface type
features, it basically operates as a versioned file management system.
Instead of every shop making their own custom scripts to do things, there is
a 'recommended' shell which does what most people do anyway -- mergepoint
tags etc.

My idea was to do it in a compilable scripting language, (python -- my
choice, perl, vb (just kidding)) and that it would call cvs behind the

is this way off? or are people interested?


Matthew Herrmann
Far Edge Technology
Level 11, 80 Mount St
North Sydney NSW 2060

Ph: 02 9955 3640
Mob: 0404 852 537

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