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Version control


I'm an academic in need of a more rigorous version control system. I'm sick of the confused garble of convulted file names that arise when I try to version my files by hand: "ch.one.4.finalfinaldraft.061021.txt" and so on. Besides those fifty different files take up a lot of space.

My question is: as an individual user who needs to version drafts on a local system is it better to go with RCS or CVS? Most of the websites out there praise CVS and belittle RCS, but these seem mainly to have been written by coders working collaboratively. I like the simplicity of RCS (no elaborate setup). I like how it prompts me to make a quick note about each update. And I love the fact that the version (,v) file resides in the same directory as my draft, so that I can grep it if I'm looking for a line or bit of information that was in an older draft. Though I can't use it remotely, the version file is wonderfully portable and can still be read in a text editor on non-unix/linux machines. To get a quick overview of everything I've done, I can skim through this file, which is basically a repository of the most recent version and anything that has changed in older drafts. Thus, if I delete a paragraph or line in the draft, it is saved forever in my version (,v) file.

Am I missing something? Is there some amazing advantage to using CVS remotely that I'll discover down the road, making me regret that I ever considered RCS? It seems to me that for an individual user who doesn't want the hassle of setting up remote SSH access, RCS is perhaps the better, more portable solution. Any academics out there using either of these systems?

One final question: Has anyone tried using RCS and/or CVS with binary files? Any major issues that I should be aware of?




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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