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From: Fernando Cacciola (fernando_cacciola_at_[hidden])
Date: 2006-06-28 07:59:59

David Abrahams wrote:
> "Eric Niebler" <eric_at_[hidden]> writes:
>>I've never used TortoiseCVS, so I don't know. I use cvs and follow the
>>release procedures described at
>> I never merge more than
>>the files I'm working on.
> I just want to reiterate something I've said here before. I've seen
> it repeatedly: people who pick up a GUI frontend for CVS (or for most
> any other command-line tool) assuming it will make the tool easier to
> understand often end up with an incomplete or erroneous understanding
> of the tool, and they end up making crucial mistakes.

You are absolutely right and FWIW I followed your advice from the first
time I read it.. only not to sufficient extent.

This particular case seems to illustrate your point very well:

I kept using GUI frontends but I started to make sure I understand the
command line issued by the GUI. In the tortoiseCVS case I always check
that the command line is correct before entering my password.

The version of TortoiseCVS I was using initially had room for
just one entry in the merge dialog; but since I always check the
cmdline I could see that -jHEAD was missing so I aborted.

Then I installed a latest TortoiseCVS which has a more complete merge
dialog allowing you to specify two merge points.

But still I made a mistake: a GUI frontend keeps track of the files
that changes and you never need to care for that yourself.
In cvs cmdline you don't neccessarily need to enumerate target files.
Thus, whenever I read something like "cvs update -jABC -jDEF foo.c"
in a tutorial/guidelines, I sort of ignore the "foo.c" part,
believing that I may not need to pass it in an actual case.
That's sometimes right, but you better understand what happens when you
don't specify any files!
I realize now that using a GUI, that is, never thinking about the actual
target files that go into the cmdline, made me misunderstood the
behavior when those are missing. (exactly as you said, got me into
misunderstanding how cvs really works).

I noticed that the cmdline was not exactly as instructed because
no files were listed but I figured it would just work anyway.

Fernando Cacciola

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