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14.2. The CVS Utility

This section offers general background about CVS.

14.2.3. Gotchas

This section clarifies a few aspects of CVS that can sometimes cause confusion.

CVS's file orientation

While directories are supported, they are not versioned in the same way as traditional files. This is particularly important in the early evolutionary stages of a project, when the structure may be in flux. Also, if the project is undergoing major changes, the structure is likely to change. See later in Section 14.3.4, "Hacking the Repository".

CVS's text-orientation

There is no equivalent to diff for binary files, although CVS's support for binary files is usually sufficient. Use admin -kb to tell CVS a file is binary.

CVS's line-orientation

Moving a segment of code from one place in a file to another is seen as one delete (from the old location) and an unrelated add (to the new location).

CVS is not syntax-aware

As far as CVS is concerned, small formatting changes are equivalent to sweeping logic changes in the same line ranges.

RCS anachronisms

CVS was originally built on top of RCS, but now all the RCS-related functionality is internal to CVS itself. RCS still shows up in the name of the $RCSBIN environment variable and the description of the -b option, which are now obsolete.



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