CVS Saviour

Photo of Greg Harvey
Fri, 2008-03-28 16:41By greg

If you want to contribute to the Drupal project, you need to know how to use CVS. It's a version control system, like Subversion, but older and clunkier. Still, Drupal have been using it for *years* so I can hardly blame them for not switching. From the command line in Linux it's straightforward enough, and anyway, I can't talk because they're not switching from CVS for the same reason I'm not switching from Windows (even though it would make far more sense for me to abandon Microsoft and install Ubuntu). In a word: hassle!

But this leaves me stuck. You see, I *hate* the CvsGui Windows port, WinCVS. I mean really, seriously. It is a dog. It is the worst example of GUI design EVER. It is totally counter-intuitive, hacked to pieces and impossible to unravel. Even if you are familiar with the concepts of version control and revisioned document repositories, WinCVS will eat you alive. Twenty four hours later you'll be picked up by the police, after a call from a concerned relative, while stumbling around your neighbourhood in a dazed stupour, stopping people in the street and telling them "it's supposed to be easy, you know..."

Well, help is at hand. I'm already a satisfied user of TortoiseSVN and today I discovered TortoiseCVS. I installed it and, just like TortoiseSVN, I have a neat little Windows context menu. Oooo, CVS Checkout is the first item on the list. *It* *just* *works*.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you must use CVS on a Windows machine, this really is the only option. Forget trying to get it working from the DOS command prompt and definitely forget CvsGui, unless you get off on beating yourself. This is the way to true CVS enlightenment, my friends: