Monday, January 31, 2011

Using CVS and Git in tandem

VCS systems are indispensable for software developers. They provide many benefits: team development, code recovery, history tracking, and many more. Everyone has their favorite, but it's not always possible in a corporate environment to use the one you like. On my current project, the corporate standard is CVS. It's been a while since I've used it. Not to bad mouth CVS, but the shine has really worn off this VCS in the last decade.

I decided to set up a local Git repository to use for development and use the CVS repository for large scale commits. This was working well, until a second developer came on board. We had to set up a system in which merges were not a giant pain in the butt. The system we eventually came to use works like this. We both have our local Git repositories in which we do our feature development. We also set up a bare repository on the build server that we push to once we've completed our features. This central repository is also used for our continuous build integration.

The last part of the setup is a separate folder that contains the CVS checkout. I've named it CVS. This folder also contains another Git repository. The process of checking into CVS goes as follows. We first do a CVS update to bring our checkout in line with any CVS checkins the other developer may have done. We do this because Git is far more forgiving with brand new files that the VCS is trying to bring in that may already exist on the file system. After we have synchronized our checkout with the latest from CVS, we then do a code pull from our central bare repository. At this point we have to go through and make sure we manually do a `cvs remove` on any files that may have been deleted during our feature development. We also have to do a `cvs add` on any new files. Once all that has been done we are ready to do a check in.

So that's it. The process saves us a lot of headaches while we are doing our feature development and we are able to use our pet VCS without too much trouble.

1 comment:

  1. Great insights. I look forward to reading what you're planning on next, because your post is a nice read.
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