Managing Software Projects with RCS and CVS

Although you can use make to manage a software project, larger software projects require document management, source code controls, security, and revision tracking as the source code goes through a series of changes during its development. CVS provides source code version control utilities for this kind of large software project management. You can find this utility in APT packages on your Ubuntu DVD.

The CVS system is used to track changes to multiple versions of files, and it can be used to backtrack or branch off versions of documents inside the scope of a project. It can also be used to prevent or resolve conflicting entries or changes made to source code files by multiple developers.

Source code control with CVS requires the use of at least the following six command options on the cvs command line:

• checkout Checks out revisions

• update Updates your sources with changes made by other developers

• add Adds new files in cvs records

• import Adds new sources to the repository

• remove Eliminates files from the repository

• commit Publishes changes to other repository developers

Note that some of these commands require you to use additional fields, such as the names of files.

Tracking information is usually contained in separate control files; each document within a project might contain information that is automatically updated with each change to a project. A process called keyword substitution is used to perform these automatic updates. CVS uses keywords included inside C comment strings (/* */) near the top of a document. The following are some of the available keywords:

• $Author$ The username of the person who performed the last check-in

• $id$ Same as $Header$, but without a full pathname

• $Revision$ The assigned revision number (such as 1.1)

• $state$ The state of the document, such as Exp for experimental, Rel for released, or stab for stable

Getting started with CVS requires that you initialize a repository by first setting the $cvsroot environment variable with the full pathname of the repository and then using the init command option with the cvs command, like this:

# cvs init

You can find documentation for CVS in various man pages, under the /usr/share/doc directory, and in GNU information documents.

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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