[linux-elitists] Subversion is self-hosting

Aaron Sherman ajs@ajs.com
Mon Sep 17 13:53:25 PDT 2001


On Mon, Sep 17, 2001 at 03:33:50PM -0400, Justin F. Knotzke wrote:
> On Sun, Sep 16, 2001 at 08:22:56AM -0700, Rick Moen wrote:
> > Yee-haw!
> > http://subversion.tigris.org/
> > 
> > I'll be adopting it here, given that Subversion has hit Milestone 3, in
> > which Subversion if being used (instead of CVS) to host itself.
> 
> 	That's pretty cool. It actually keeps track of directory moves. I won't
> have to move/rename manually on the server anymore..
> 
> 	Why is it that CVS never bothered to do this? Was it technically
> near impossible or where there some philosophical issues because surely
> I'm not the only one who was tired of the move/rename problem?

Having worked on CVS back just after it stopped being a bunch of
csh scripts, I can tell you that the reason is that CVS knows
nothing about versioning. This may sound odd for a version control
system, but CVS used RCS as its "hardware" and just worried about
aggregating RCS resources into a heirarchy.

This turned out to be a huge win because it provided a new layer of
abstraction beyond what RCS could ever have provided, but still
maintained many of RCS's key limitations (e.g. not versioning metadata).

Now that CVS has been around for a long time, and we're really had
a chance to learn its lessons, I think it's the right time to 
go back and start from scratch to eliminate the last vestige
of the single-file concept.

HOWEVER, I do have one problem with Subversion.

They seem to be developing their own protocol. Fair, but one
of CVS's strengths was the encapsulation of its protocol over a
login session (e.g. rsh, ssh). This allowed CVS users to transition
from unencrypted to encrypted communication smoothly and with no
change in client software.

I hope Subversion will adopt such a method for accessing the
data remotely. I can see where you would want subversion to have
its own server software, but in many places you will not.

-- 
Aaron Sherman
ajs@ajs.com		finger ajskey@b5.ajs.com for GPG info. Fingerprint:
www.ajs.com/~ajs	6DC1 F67A B9FB 2FBA D04C  619E FC35 5713 2676 CEAF
  "I've committed many sins. Have I displeased you, you feckless thug?"
   -President Bartlet, ``The West Wing''



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