version control : Java Glossary


version control
Version control software, sometimes called SCM (Source Code Management), helps you manage a software project. The granddaddy of these schemes was called PVCS (Polytron Version Control System), PVCS. It was extraordinarily difficult to use. CVS (Concurrent Versions System) with the WincVS GUI (Graphic User Interface) was much simpler. Subversion came along to solve the problems of: BitKeeper is yet another advance.

Features I would like to see:

  1. If for any reason a commit fails part way through, when you correct the problem and try again, it should not start totally afresh. It should use as much of the information as possible from the aborted run.
  2. Focus placed on the most recent version checked version so it needs no processing to recreate. The most recently checked version should also be mirrored at the client end for fast diffs, with checks to make sure it is not corrupt before composing deltas to send to the server. The client should only send deltas to the host, not the whole file.
  3. You should not need to do anything to cause newly created files fitting some pattern to be automatically added and committed.
  4. If you swap paragraphs, the diff process should notice and not treat this like two paragraphs disappearing and two new ones being inserted.
  5. When you rename or delete a file, the version control should sort this out without having to be specially and separately told from the way you tell the OS (Operating System).
  6. Javadoc creates false a delta every time you regenerate it because it timestamps the html generated. The version control system should understand this problem and record the degree/severity of the difference with each commit, e. g. just a timestamp, whitespace changes, comment changes, ordering. You could then view the structure of change filtering out the changes that did not really make a difference. The commits of timestamp changes would be done, but hidden from normal view, so that the programmer could focus on what really changed.
  7. More background operation. You tell it what you want to do and go away. You should not need to sit there and babysit it every step of the way.

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