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RCSINTRO(1)		    General Commands Manual		   RCSINTRO(1)

NAME
       rcsintro	- introduction to RCS commands

DESCRIPTION
       The  Revision Control System (RCS) manages multiple revisions of	files.
       RCS automates the  storing,  retrieval,	logging,  identification,  and
       merging	of  revisions.	 RCS  is  useful for text that is revised fre-
       quently,	for example programs,  documentation,  graphics,  papers,  and
       form letters.

       The basic user interface	is extremely simple.  The novice only needs to
       learn two commands:  ci(1)  and	co(1).	 ci,  short  for  "check  in",
       deposits	 the  contents	of  a file into	an archival file called	an RCS
       file.  An RCS file contains all revisions of a  particular  file.   co,
       short for "check	out", retrieves	revisions from an RCS file.

   Functions of	RCS
       o      Store  and  retrieve  multiple revisions of text.	 RCS saves all
	      old revisions in a  space	 efficient  way.   Changes  no	longer
	      destroy  the  original,  because	the  previous revisions	remain
	      accessible.  Revisions can be retrieved according	to  ranges  of
	      revision numbers,	symbolic names,	dates, authors,	and states.

       o      Maintain	a  complete  history of	changes.  RCS logs all changes
	      automatically.  Besides the text of each	revision,  RCS	stores
	      the  author,  the	 date  and time	of check-in, and a log message
	      summarizing the change.  The logging makes it easy to  find  out
	      what  happened  to  a  module,  without having to	compare	source
	      listings or having to track down colleagues.

       o      Resolve access conflicts.	 When two or more programmers wish  to
	      modify  the  same	 revision, RCS alerts the programmers and pre-
	      vents one	modification from corrupting the other.

       o      Maintain a tree of revisions.  RCS can maintain  separate	 lines
	      of development for each module.  It stores a tree	structure that
	      represents the ancestral relationships among revisions.

       o      Merge revisions and resolve conflicts.  Two  separate  lines  of
	      development  of  a  module  can be coalesced by merging.	If the
	      revisions	to be merged affect the	same  sections	of  code,  RCS
	      alerts the user about the	overlapping changes.

       o      Control  releases	and configurations.  Revisions can be assigned
	      symbolic names and marked	 as  released,	stable,	 experimental,
	      etc.   With  these  facilities, configurations of	modules	can be
	      described	simply and directly.

       o      Automatically identify each revision with	name, revision number,
	      creation	time, author, etc.  The	identification is like a stamp
	      that can be embedded at an appropriate place in the  text	 of  a
	      revision.	 The identification makes it simple to determine which
	      revisions	of which modules make up a given configuration.

       o      Minimize secondary storage.  RCS needs little  extra  space  for
	      the revisions (only the differences).  If	intermediate revisions
	      are deleted, the corresponding  deltas  are  compressed  accord-
	      ingly.

   Getting Started with	RCS
       Suppose	you have a file	f.c that you wish to put under control of RCS.
       If you have not already done so,	make an	RCS directory with the command

	      mkdir  RCS

       Then invoke the check-in	command

	      ci  f.c

       This command creates an RCS file	in the RCS directory, stores f.c  into
       it  as  revision	1.1, and deletes f.c.  It also asks you	for a descrip-
       tion.  The description should be	a synopsis  of	the  contents  of  the
       file.   All later check-in commands will	ask you	for a log entry, which
       should summarize	the changes that you made.

       Files in	the RCS	directory are called RCS files;	the others are	called
       working	files.	To get back the	working	file f.c in the	previous exam-
       ple, use	the check-out command

	      co  f.c

       This command extracts the latest	revision from the RCS file and	writes
       it into f.c.  If	you want to edit f.c, you must lock it as you check it
       out with	the command

	      co  -l  f.c

       You can now edit	f.c.

       Suppose after some editing you want to know what	changes	that you  have
       made.  The command

	      rcsdiff  f.c

       tells  you  the difference between the most recently checked-in version
       and the working file.  You can check the	file back in by	invoking

	      ci  f.c

       This increments the revision number properly.

       If ci complains with the	message

	      ci error:	no lock	set by your name

       then you	have tried to check in a file even though you did not lock  it
       when  you  checked  it  out.   Of  course, it is	too late now to	do the
       check-out with locking, because another check-out would overwrite  your
       modifications.  Instead,	invoke

	      rcs  -l  f.c

       This  command  will  lock  the latest revision for you, unless somebody
       else got	ahead of you already.  In this case, you'll have to  negotiate
       with that person.

       Locking	assures	 that you, and only you, can check in the next update,
       and avoids nasty	problems if several people  work  on  the  same	 file.
       Even  if	a revision is locked, it can still be checked out for reading,
       compiling, etc.	All that locking prevents is a check-in	by anybody but
       the locker.

       If  your	 RCS  file is private, i.e., if	you are	the only person	who is
       going to	deposit	revisions into it, strict locking is  not  needed  and
       you can turn it off.  If	strict locking is turned off, the owner	of the
       RCS file	need not have a	lock for check-in; all others still do.	 Turn-
       ing strict locking off and on is	done with the commands

	      rcs  -U  f.c     and     rcs  -L	f.c

       If  you	don't  want  to	clutter	your working directory with RCS	files,
       create a	subdirectory called RCS	in your	working	 directory,  and  move
       all  your  RCS  files  there.   RCS  commands will look first into that
       directory to find needed	files.	All the	commands discussed above  will
       still  work,  without  any  modification.   (Actually, pairs of RCS and
       working files can be specified in three ways: (a) both are  given,  (b)
       only  the  working file is given, (c) only the RCS file is given.  Both
       RCS and working files may have arbitrary	path  prefixes;	 RCS  commands
       pair them up intelligently.)

       To  avoid the deletion of the working file during check-in (in case you
       want to continue	editing	or compiling), invoke

	      ci  -l  f.c     or     ci	 -u  f.c

       These commands check in f.c as usual, but perform  an  implicit	check-
       out.  The first form also locks the checked in revision,	the second one
       doesn't.	 Thus, these options save you one  check-out  operation.   The
       first form is useful if you want	to continue editing, the second	one if
       you just	want to	read the file.	Both update the	identification markers
       in your working file (see below).

       You  can	give ci	the number you want assigned to	a checked in revision.
       Assume all your revisions were numbered 1.1, 1.2, 1.3,  etc.,  and  you
       would like to start release 2.  The command

	      ci  -r2  f.c     or     ci  -r2.1	 f.c

       assigns the number 2.1 to the new revision.  From then on, ci will num-
       ber the subsequent revisions with 2.2, 2.3, etc.	 The corresponding  co
       commands

	      co  -r2  f.c     and     co  -r2.1  f.c

       retrieve	the latest revision numbered 2.x and the revision 2.1, respec-
       tively.	co without a revision number selects the  latest  revision  on
       the  trunk,  i.e.  the highest revision with a number consisting	of two
       fields.	Numbers	with more than two fields  are	needed	for  branches.
       For example, to start a branch at revision 1.3, invoke

	      ci  -r1.3.1  f.c

       This  command  starts  a	branch numbered	1 at revision 1.3, and assigns
       the number 1.3.1.1 to the new revision.	 For  more  information	 about
       branches, see rcsfile(5).

   Automatic Identification
       RCS  can	 put  special  strings for identification into your source and
       object code.  To	obtain such identification, place the marker

	      $Id$

       into your text, for instance inside a comment.  RCS will	 replace  this
       marker with a string of the form

	      $Id:  filename  revision	date  time  author  state  $

       With such a marker on the first page of each module, you	can always see
       with which revision you are working.  RCS keeps the markers up to  date
       automatically.	To propagate the markers into your object code,	simply
       put them	into literal character strings.	 In C, this is	done  as  fol-
       lows:

	      static char rcsid[] = "$Id$";

       The command ident extracts such markers from any	file, even object code
       and dumps.  Thus, ident lets you	find out which revisions of which mod-
       ules were used in a given program.

       You  may	 also  find  it	useful to put the marker $Log$ into your text,
       inside a	comment.  This marker accumulates the log  messages  that  are
       requested during	check-in.  Thus, you can maintain the complete history
       of your file directly inside it.	 There are several additional  identi-
       fication	markers; see co(1) for details.

IDENTIFICATION
       Author: Walter F. Tichy.
       Manual Page Revision: 50472; Release Date: 1999-08-27.
       Copyright (C) 1982, 1988, 1989 Walter F.	Tichy.
       Copyright (C) 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993 Paul Eggert.

SEE ALSO
       ci(1),  co(1),  ident(1), rcs(1), rcsdiff(1), rcsintro(1), rcsmerge(1),
       rlog(1)
       Walter F. Tichy,	RCS--A System for Version Control,  Software--Practice
       _ Experience 15,	7 (July	1985), 637-654.

GNU				  1999-08-27			   RCSINTRO(1)

NAME | DESCRIPTION | IDENTIFICATION | SEE ALSO

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