CVS Version Control System

Version Control SystemCVS Version Control System is one of the oldest Version Control System. It is however not the oldest.

Eric Raymond noted in his Understanding Version-Control Systems (DRAFT) on A Brief History of Version Control that CVS is actually the first in second generation of Version Control System.

CVS is the grandfather of revision control systems. It was first released in 1986, and Google Code still hosts the original Usenet post announcing CVS. CVS is the de facto standard and is installed virtually everywhere. However, the code base isn’t as fully featured as SVN or other solutions.
The learning curve isn’t too steep for CVS, and it’s a very simple system for making sure files and revisions are kept up to date. While CVS may be an older technology, it’s still quite useful for any designer or developer for backing up and sharing files.

Source: Smashing Magazine

However, CVS do have some limitations, which led to development of the next Version Control System.

CVS is extremely popular, and it does the job. In fact, when CVS was released, CVS was a major new innovation in software configuration management. However, CVS is now showing its age through a number of awkward limitations: changes are tracked per-file instead of per-change, commits aren’t atomic, renaming files and directories is awkward, and its branching limitations mean that you’d better faithfully tag things or there’ll be trouble later. Some of the maintainers of the original CVS have declared that the CVS code has become too crusty to effectively maintain. These problems led the main CVS developers to start over and create Subversion.

Source: David A Wheeler essay

Personally, I have used CVS in some of my projects back in early 2000. I have to say that CVS Version Control System is a very good tools and come in handy. Using it is also quite easy. Thanks to GUI tools available at the time.

However, it lacks folder tracking which led to the adoption of Subversion. Of course, as quoted above, the developers of CVS also have problems of their own.

Did you used CVS in your projects ? Are you still using it ? Share in the comment section below.