[development] FAQ: Why is Drupal still using CVS when X is a much better choice?

Sam Boyer drupal at samboyer.org
Tue Aug 5 20:29:25 UTC 2008

On Tue, 2008-08-05 at 13:10 -0700, Steve Scotten wrote:
> On Aug 5, 2008, at 11:33 AM, Earl Miles wrote:
> > Steve Scotten wrote:
> >> Bottom line: I have no desire to become any sort of expert or even  
> >> semiexpert in version control. I want version control to be a tool  
> >> subservient to my needs rather than a black hole sucking up my  
> >> time, attention, and overtaxed brain cells.
> >
> > You only need three commands:
> >
> > cvs checkout
> > cvs commit
> > cvs tag
> >
> > You'll need pretty much the same commands with an svn system as  
> > well. If this is difficult it is only because you're making it so.
> Well, no, I also have to read up on creating the config files, define  
> environment variables and anything else I need to do to get the CVS  
> client to speak to another CVS server, since
> cvs --help checkout
> Usage:
>    cvs checkout [-ANPRcflnps] [-r rev] [-D date] [-d dir]
>      [-j rev1] [-j rev2] [-k kopt] modules...
> doesn't mention servernames or addresses anywhere. I don't remember  
> what CVSROOT specifies and I think that's *probably* important  
> information to know. Call me silly.
> That's assuming that the version I have (1.12.13) is compatible with  
> the version we're using around here. It's dated 2005, so I'm guessing  
> the odds are about 60/40 in favor.
> I'm not saying any of this is insurmountable. I've learned CVS three  
> times already, I'm sure I can relearn it and it probably won't get me  
> all confused with my SVN commands. I'm not *quite* that braindead. But  
> it's still like interviewing for a job and finding out that I'd be  
> required to use edlin to write my code. Yeah, it can be done, and  
> edlin uses a small set of easy to remember commands, right? I'd still  
> have to be pretty desperate to take such a job. (it was bad enough  
> working for a place where vi was the only permitted development tool).
> It's not about me and I'm not pretending that this is a dealbreaker or  
> should be the only consideration. It's just two facts to consider out  
> of many: A CVS user can pick up SVN a lot more easily than an SVN user  
> can pick up CVS, and SVN is the more useful skillset in the job market  
> nowadays. If these are truly irrelevant, accept my apologies for  
> piping up.
> Steve

Just speaking for myself here, but I do think this line of discussion is
fairly irrelevant, although maybe not for the first reason you'd think
of. The original thread of this conversation focused on some of the
technical pros/cons of the various version control systems that are out
there, and my hope is that we all learned something from that
interchange (I know I sure did).

You've started branching towards the utility of a particular skillset in
the marketplace, Steve, and in my mind, that's a relevant issue to
consider - just not right now. There's a moderately clear path forward
here, and it really starts with getting project* and vcs api where they
need to be. Personally, I feel that these non-technical pro/con
discussions are irrelevant until we've got the technical capability to
make changing vcs a reality - and consequently, I tend to look on such
discussions as time that could've been better spent coding :)


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