Version Control System Comparison

In: Asides|Open Source

6 Nov 2004

Version Control System Comparison. Why moving to CVS in your organization/project may not be the best idea: Atomic commits – CVS doesn’t have this. Renaming support – CVS doesn’t have this (there are ways to hack around this, but you will lose revision history). There are better choices out there.

Sidenote: I’ve been posting quite a few “Asides” recently. On my todo list is to offer an RSS feed without these “Asides” posts.

7 Responses to Version Control System Comparison



November 6th, 2004 at 1pm

What are some alternatives you suggest? I have looked at subversion, but I really only want a local, single-user versioning system.


Tom Sommer's weblog

November 6th, 2004 at 11pm

Version Control System Comparison
Redemption in a Blog has an interesting link to a Version Control System Comparison.
Serendipity is currently considering moving away from CVS and SourceForge. Honestly I find CVS lacking in many areas and the Sourceforge CVS is painfully slow and 24 ho



November 7th, 2004 at 1am

Well, there are a lot going for CVS:

1. It’s free. You can’t beat this one.
2. It’s proven. Countless Open Source projects uses it.
3. It’s limitations are well known. This may seem weird to be a great strength for CVS, but the fact that limitations are well known means that:
– someone else would have already find a workaround
– you can plan your development practice around the limitation
Unless you are working on a one man project, you really don’t want to fool around with the configuration management system that doesn’t have a proven track record.
4. It’s beats SourceSafe hands-legs-toes down. And you’ve got to pay for it!

Depending on your methodology, there’s always great alternatives – I personally love Perforce, and there are many serious software development companies swear by ClearCase. But when CVS it’s free, it’s very easy to be easy on its shortcomings.



November 7th, 2004 at 3am

I’m a major fan of Subversion, and a major critic of CVS. The main problem with CVS is the way people tend to twist themselves and their coding practices to accomidate it.
Subversion, made by the same guys who made CVS, attempts to fix this, and does a relatively good job at it. Plus, it’s still free–and yes, you can’t beat that.

And it runs as an Apache module–what else could a geek ask for?



November 7th, 2004 at 2pm

If you use Windows 2000/XP, you can try CVSNT, a WIN32 version of CVS which has atomic commits, file renaming, and a host of other improvements. As a CVS server, it’s compatible with the normal CVS clients, and as a client with normal CVS servers. Worth trying. (Apparently it’s also been backported to Unix.)


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Bill Johnson

November 30th, 2007 at 4am

CVS is Crap!
After 2 days troubleshooting why it hangs,
it suddenly works this trace logging option -t turn on.

That means it’s internal multi threaded, concurrency,
is architecturally flawed. After years of rework,
its internal architecture is seriously flawed.
CVS is Crap!