Concurrent Versions System

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The Concurrent Versions System is an open source client/server software revision control system, it is sometimes known as the "Concurrent Versioning System and was originally known simply as cmt, although it remains best known by its initials or CVS. The system is a fork of the Revision Control System that adds minimal project management features to that package in addition to client/server capability that allows remote and collaborative use.

Like its predecessor, it is a bit crude and has never exactly represented either the state of the art in configuration management nor been able to compete with commercial offerings in any way, after all both projects began life as simple shell scripts and CVS still to this day requires a bit of manual intervention if used to its full extent. However in the latter half of the 90's it became popular for open source projects as it was free, in the public domain so licensing zealots could change it to whatever license they wanted and after the FreeBSD project modified the package to allow anonymous access that lessened the manual intervention that you needed to do for commits, making it largely automatic for the client user.

For international use is should be noted that CVS does not parse anything but ASCII text and in later versions UTF-8 only, and this is one of the reasons that it has largely been supplanted by more advanced open source projects in the last few years.

Alternate CVS clients

OS/2 text editors with CVS support

  • jEdit - Java based editor - CVS-commit syntax highlighting built in

Version

Articles

Links

License

  • Open source originally in the public domain, later forks released under sundry licenses, the OS/2 version uses the GPL v2.

Authors

  • Walter F. Tichy (RCS developer)
  • Dick Grune (Original developer)
  • Brian Berliner (Converted the shell scripts to C code)
  • Andreas Huber (Original OS/2 port)