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GNU is Not Unix

SourceGear acquires Cyclic 37

David Neto writes "SourceGear Corp., the parent of AbiSource, has acquired Cyclic. SourceGear will assure continued development of CVS. " Good news for all-SourceGear is going to be the new parent umbrella for AbiSource, trying to extend their name in the public domain.
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SourceGear acquires Cyclic

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  • I don't know why. Look at CVS in use at Mozilla.org (huge, gigantic project), AbiSource.

    I've been using CVS for a moderate-size project and it's one of the best things that happened to our development process.
  • The picture is of a gnu, otherwise known as a wildebeest.
  • Interesting, in my experience, I have found CVS to be quite stable. Far better than some of the commercial VC's I've used.

    That may well be. As I said, cvs is the only tool like this I've used. Mostly I've noticed a problem with zombie locks on cvs.on.openprojects.net...see all the complaints on the mesa-dev [mail-archive.com] list.

    Personally I found the admin setup and getting a secure version very straightforward and simple

    Perhaps you'd consider writing a how-to (or patching the manual) with some of the tricks for doing this? I found the documentation a bit scattered on the subject of security, especially with anonymous access. Perhaps I'm just dumb, but I think some step-by-step instructions, or a list of what needs what permissions would help a lot.

    Which you can remove directories from the tree -- not intuitively, but that is why getting directory handling better is on the todo list.

    Hmm, is there a way to do it while still being able to access the structure under the old revision numbers?

    So all in all, I would agree cvs has some issues (mine actually aren't any of those listed, has to do with the cvs edit feature). Of course the issues I am concerned about I am writing patcheds to fix :).

    More than I can say! Hmm, is cvs in cvs anywhere? Hopefully SourceGear will set up a more open up the development infrastructure.
  • by Seth Cohn ( 24111 ) on Wednesday July 21, 1999 @09:32AM (#1791479)
    That's the beauty of GPL or other open source software: Someone always steps up to the plate
    and takes over.

    Try to get support for anything 5 years old from a major 'software vendor'... good luck.
    Try to get support for a GPLed program, and odds are someone will be willing and able... and it's almost never abandoned, unless something superior (and often compatible) comes along.

    Good for SourceGear aka AbiSource
  • by aedil ( 68993 ) on Wednesday July 21, 1999 @09:33AM (#1791480)
    This is good news indeed, given that CVS is quite a nice source control system. With the past news that Cyclic was dropping support for it, and handing over support to the open source community, quite some people I spoke with did have worries about the future for CVS. While open source communities tend to work well, it is more of a problem to get an established project like CVS under new "management".

    With the still existing "fear" from many companies to bring what they consider unsupported software in-house, this may actually ensure that some doors stay open for CVS to enter the business world.
  • Yeah like getting support for dos 6.22.
  • The main thing I like about it is that it allows me to get updates much faster than I could normally.
  • Somebody I know once did editorial work for a multimedia encyclopedia. One entry, describing a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, said that the treaty was signed by "Answer Sedate and Meantime Begin".
  • Although not many people always read the comments and then sometimes only high moderated comments but it really is a good forum.
  • Hrm, from what I've seen, it looks like they could use a decent spelling suggestor considering that there doesn't seem to be one...

    *wink*
    Time to put a CS assignment to good use.
  • Would that be spell checker instead of suggestor?
  • I thought *emacs and company were a better choice.
  • For AbiWord? Actually, AbiWord has a spelling checker, but it currently doesn't suggest any alternatives. :) I'd never thought about it this way, but it really does need a "spelling suggestor".
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Does the GNU icon look like a little security-blanket-carrying turd in Mickey Mouse shoes to anyone else? Isn't the GNU mascot supposed to be a gnu (or at least some kind of antlered, four-legged beastie)?
  • OK, but microsoft requires you to _pay_ for 'the latest and greatest' (or rather 'latest bugs' :)
  • Try aspell it works quite well and has quite a selection of alternatives works with british, standard english, and a few others I think.
  • Now that you mention it....
    Really it is if you go to http://www.gnu.org is shows a bison or something like that. I just think the picture just sucks.
  • This is entirely off-topic, but what better way to broadcast a message than via slashdot?


    Yes, I know that opensource.org is down. No, I don't know why buoy.com stopped serving their DNS. Yes, I know I'm still the admin contact. Yes, if the OSI guys email me, I'll do whatever is necessary to help them.


    We return you to slashdot, already in progress :-)


    Thanks


    Bruce

  • Actually in proper english grammer it would be "more clearly" not "more clearer".



    Just couldn't resist.
  • If you're looking for an alternative to CVS's complexity, check out PRCS [berkeley.edu]. I've found it to be an amazingly clean system to set up and use, with a simpler model of what's going on. No client/server yet; version 2.0 will support full disconnected distributed operation.
    --
    Employ me! Unix,Linux,crypto/security,Perl,C/C++,distance work. Edinburgh UK.
  • Look again: the GNU logo is the topic.

    CVS is GPLed... AbiWord is GPLed...

    HOW was I misleading?
  • Yes. We're not directly affiliated with the GNOME leadership, but I have definitely heard them (Miguel, specifically) give a strong sense of blessing to AbiWord as 'the GNOME wp'.

    Currently, AbiWord just uses GTK+, and makes no use of GNOME-specific APIs. Havoc has mentioned in his GNOME Summary that the AbiWord needs someone to join in and help give AbiWord some truly GNOME-ified support, but no one has come forth with patches yet.


    --
    Eric W. Sink
    Software Craftsman
    SourceGear Corporation
  • Yes the stale locks problem does happen on some projects. Not sure why, I've have seen it reported from time to time on info-cvs, but haven't experienced it yet myself. I think it happens when people using it kill off clients in the middle of using it in wierd ways.

    Anon setup is a little interesting, I would recommend looking at the info-cvs mail archive. There has been a recent thread on that subject.

    Basically right now cvs stores files not directories, so if all files in a sub-dir are cvs remove'd then the next update -dP will clip the dir from the local working directory. and updates on an old rev will of course re-create it.

    cvs is definently in cvs. write access is slow in coming. basically you show you can write good patches before access is given (which is how the linux kernel works in reality). I personally don't have write access yet, but I haven't submitted a patch yet, so I don't think I deserve it yet. Which I greatly prefer controlled access to anyone who shows up gets commit access.

    With the switch out there has been discussion in the cvs communitee about commit access, and it probably will get loosened a bit. But the development model already is fairly open.

    (which go ahead and mail me if you want more info -- I tend to lose track of /. articles I have responded too at times)
  • Personally, I think it's wonderful. My most extensive experience with it has been in the glx [openprojects.net] project, and it's worked very well. Not being a professional programmer, it's the most sophisticated system I've every used. From talking to some of my friends, I understand it has some advantages over a lot of the commercial offerings, so we may not be missing much. :) I also use it to keep track of the data and analysis routines for my scientific work.

    That said, there are lots of problems. It's not been terribly stable in my experience. It has poor support for binary files. Administration isn't fun (or easy) and it's difficult to set up securely. It's not very smart: particularly glaring ommisions are that you can't remove directories once they're added to the source tree (!), and moving files around is a pain. The notion of "code branches" could be more powerful (and easier to use). It's not easy to perform clean backups or mirrors either, and the command line options are neither elegant nor consistent. That's my personal list so far. :)

    Basically, it's a hack on top of rcs, and it's starting to show. It could probably benifit from a complete rewrite in the next year or so, with the addition of things like a security model and support for distributed (and mirrored) repositories. bitkeeper [bitmover.com] is something like this, but not free software. prcs [berkeley.edu] is another, gpl'd, attempt headed by Josh MacDonald, author of xdelta [berkeley.edu]; there's no client/server for it yet, though.
  • I second that. Cyclic has done a great job of keeping CVS vibrant while staying true to free-software ideals. I'm glad to see Jim shepherded it into new hands rather than let it wither when it was time for him to move on to other things.

    I don't know SourceGear as well as Cyclic, but was impressed with their showing of AbiWord at the last LinuxWorld in San Jose. (An anecdote: Linus came up and started playing with it while I was in the booth, and seemed quite impressed.) Their commitment to free software is clear, and I have no worries about the future of CVS under them.

    This is a good match.

    --Tom Geller

    P.S. A version of the P.R. letter with a quote from Jim is at http://www.cyclic.com/cvs/letter_cvs.html [cyclic.com]

  • Personally, I think it's wonderful. My most extensive experience with it has been in the glx [openprojects.net] project, and it's worked very well. Not being a professional programmer, it's the most sophisticated system I've every used. From talking to some of my friends, I understand it has some advantages over a lot of the commercial offerings, so we may not be missing much. :) I also use it to keep track of the data and analysis routines for my scientific work.

    That said, there are lots of problems. It's not been terribly stable in my experience. It has poor support for binary files. Administration isn't fun (or easy) and it's difficult to set up securely. It's not very smart: particularly glaring ommisions are that you can't remove directories once they're added to the source tree (!), and moving files around is a pain. The notion of "code branches" could be more powerful and easier to use. (This is probably the part linus objected to--I couldn't imagine trying to track all the kernel patches that way. maybe with a gui front-end and database to keep track of the options... :) It's not easy to perform clean backups or mirrors either, and the command line options are neither elegant nor consistent. Oh yes, and it could be faster. That's my personal list so far.

    Basically, it's a hack on top of rcs, and it's starting to show. It could probably benifit from a complete rewrite in the next year or so, with the addition of things like a security model and support for distributed (and mirrored) repositories. bitkeeper [bitmover.com] is something like this, but not free software. prcs [berkeley.edu] is another, gpl'd, attempt headed by Josh MacDonald, author of xdelta [berkeley.edu]; there's no client/server for it yet, though. Personally, I'd like to see a cross between cvs, an eternity server, and Debian's apt package tool. :)

    Nevertheless, I think it works fine for medium sized projects and really helps facilitate/speed up internet-based development. Beats mailing patches around!
  • As I understand it, AbiWord has already been designated as the "official" gnome word processor. There is a link on gnome's site about the gnome workshop and it lists the components that make up the workshop.
  • Interesting, in my experience, I have found CVS to be quite stable. Far better than some of the commercial VC's I've used.

    The biggest lacking in feature I see (and one of the biggeset improvments bitkeeper has over it) is multiple repositories that can sync themselevs up. Now there do exist add-on packages to CVS that do just that (haven't tried them yet... one of these days)

    Personally I found the admin setup and getting a secure version very straightforward and simple (compared to PVCS, MKS SI, and QVCS)

    Which you can remove directories from the tree -- not intuitively, but that is why getting directory handling better is on the todo list.

    As for branches, I have found cvs's branching support almost too easy to use. I think branches shouldn't be heavily used and with cvs it is too easy to create and use a branch. And so far with the branches I have had to do under cvs the process was easy to do (again compared to any of the other VC's I have used)

    So all in all, I would agree cvs has some issues (mine actually aren't any of those listed, has to do with the cvs edit feature). Of course the issues I am concerned about I am writing patcheds to fix :).
  • This is great: now CVS will have more potential development going on because of more "company support" behind it. Also, SourceGear will provide support for CVS users, something that Cyclic decided to recently abandon. This will definitely rock.

The time spent on any item of the agenda [of a finance committee] will be in inverse proportion to the sum involved. -- C.N. Parkinson

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