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Storing and Managing Code with CVS

One of the most important things you can do, as a developer, is version source code and other project files. What does it mean to “version” a file? According to Merriam Webster, a version is a variant or type of an original, and that’s exactly what we mean in professional software development. In an iterative development process (and is it ever exactly right the first time?) files undergo numerous changes before and after a software package is released. In this chapter, we will discuss the benefits of versioning and examine a freely-available open source tool for storing and managing code: CVS.

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Where to Get Concurrent Versions System (CVS)

CVS is an open source tool of inestimable value to the software development community. The most recent version is 1.11.13 and can be downloaded at: http://ccvs.cvshome.org/servlets/ProjectDownloadList.

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The Benefits of Versioning

Performing versioning on project files has a multitude of benefits. Consider the following very common real world situations:

Let us introduce the idea of a code repository, then, to assist with the versioning process. We will define a code repository as some piece of software whose job is to keep track of our files, and all the different versions or versions of our files as well as any milestones we define and comment history we enter. In order to be most useful, a source code repository should be


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