How to Set up a Source Control on Windows without spending a dime.by Jason Clark on December 28, 2004 9:00 PM EST
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- IT Computing
Every project, whether it's developing a software application or just about any other computer related task that generates files, needs some level of organization. How often have you been working on a development project and needed to get at a piece of code that was written at a certain time on a certain day? Could you build a version of your application that is 6 months old? Can you get the differences between versions of a piece of code? If you answer "no" to any of these questions, read on. We're going to show you how to solve these problems without spending a dime.
Version control software has been around for quite some time. CVS (Concurrent versions system) has been around since 1986 and is open source software, licensed under the GNU license agreement. CVS was based originally on UNIX shell scripts and over the years, it has matured into a production-ready application that manages a large number of software projects all over the world. Although CVS is used typically to manage projects that contain source code, it can be used to manage just about any file that you want. CVS accepts files in either binary or text format, so you can manage just about any type of file out there.
Although CVS has been predominantly a tool used by the UNIX world, there is a windows port that is quite mature. CVSNT started off as a port of CVS v1.10 in 1998 and then 1.11 to Windows. The project blossomed from there and now runs on just about every major development platform out there: Windows NT/2000/XP/2003, Mac OS X v10.2.6-10.3.x, RedHat, Sun Solaris, and HPUX. AnandTech has been using CVSNT on Windows 2000 for quite some time, to manage our source code, and it has been rock solid since day one.