LinuxHappy's Weblog

Failures and Successes of Linux-based Development

Opinion: Why CVS sucks

Posted by linuxhappy on March 2, 2008

I’ve been using Subversion for about a year and a half, a I’ve been thinking about switching to git.  Well, I did the exact opposite and took 10 steps back and checked out CVS.  Why you ask? Don’t ask. (git I haven’t forgotten about you.. I’ve taken you for a test drive, but haven’t used you on anything production)  Anyways, some of the short comings of CVS that I immediately experienced were the following:

1.  No softlink support
Check a softlink into svn.  No prob. Check a softlink into cvs, you’ll never see it again. There isn’t even an option to jam the file in there.  Softlinks are files too!!!!

2.   Empty directories
Have an empty directory?  It won’t get checked in.  Ugh… Oh hey, guess what?  Lets say you have a directory with ONLY a bunch of softlinks.  You think the directory will get in there?  The answer is, well, yes.  When checking out your project, the folder will be checked out without any of the softlinks.  But what happens when you export your project?  The folder will be magically pruned away. 😥  This can create havoc on many buildsystems that expect empty directories to be there.

3.  Binary files have “issues” unless handled with extreme care.

Ugh, Yes, that’s all I’ve got.  I won’t even talk about merging, and the fact that “bad things” happen if commits to completely finish.

Software of today’s world requires software tools for today’s world.


3 Responses to “Opinion: Why CVS sucks”

  1. Josh said

    Well CVS IS really, really old whereas subversion was made to tackle most issues CVS has.
    What’s git?

  2. linuxhappy said

    Yeah, I know CVS is really old, and I know that SVN’s slogan was “CVS done correctly” I was working with CVS was because I was playing around with Tinderbox and Bonsai. Git is a distributed source control system initially designed and developed by Linus Torvalds. . Based on the little that I’ve played with it (git), it feels like SVN, but way faster.

    Git webpage:

    Linus also gives a talk on git:

  3. Judy said

    You cant believe how crazy this sounds
    I went to CVS with my friends and we were looking at some halloween stuff n it said “try me” on a button for those halloween decoration. So my friend pressed it one time n i said “omg thats SCARYYY” then we were lookin at a bowl for candy that has a moving hand and we tried it out. Then a guy came up and said “if you guys are not buying it dont touch it”
    Then lemme ask you, if you put something on display, you cant touch it? You put it there to sell and you cant try it to see what it is? O_O
    If you are with me then dont go to the CVS store on Fort Hamilton Parkway near the park in Brooklyn, NY

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