Wednesday, August 20, 2003 [Tweets] [Favorites]


Congrats to John Gruber on getting published in Macworld, but I must disagree with his assertion that “CVS is notoriously cryptic even by Unix standards.” If he were comparing it to a Mac program with a real interface, I’d agree. But compared to other Unix programs, no. Maybe CVS just happens to fit my brain, but I think its basic commands are straightforward and just about what you’d expect. I had thought that was a generally accepted view, just like most people agree that vi is hard to learn. (What they disagree about is whether it’s good once you know it.) There’s no denying that CVS has some dark corners, but those aren’t the areas that BBEdit deals with. BBEdit makes the easy stuff really easy and convenient. You’re on your own if you want to set up a repository, deal with branches or tags, do non-standard checkouts, control wrappers and ignored files, or set up hook scripts.


I interpreted "notoriously cryptic" less in terms of CVS' interface than its limitations, the dark corners you mention. Even someone who gets the basic ideas of version control may yet have to contend with cvswrappers, poor support for metadata, the inability to move items between projects, borderline-misleading revision numbering, "attic" files, etc.

I've started paying a bit more attention to Subversion, and I want to try hosting my next new project with it. I'm not sure if they've figured out how to work around Interface Builder's new-file/old-file switcheroo, though.

They have not really figured it out yet. Planned for a future version, though. They want to do it "right."

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