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Anonymous access to repository via CVS client?

From: Greg Noel <GregNoel_at_tigris.org>
Date: 2003-10-24 15:14:03 CEST

[Possible duplicate---I sent this yesterday, but it never showed up on
the mailing list]

I originally submitted this as an issue and was told I should post it
to this mailing list instead. My background is that I am a heavy CVS
user, with lots of scripts to do various things, but I'd rather be a
SVN user since I believe it would solve a number of problems I have
with CVS.

But I don't believe that Subversion will be able to make serious
inroads on the CVS mindshare until it can transparently provide
anonymous read-only access to a repository via a standard CVS client.
As part of the Subversion package, I believe you need to provide a
simple CVS server that can check out a "tag" and provide updates for it.

As a rule, the users of a project greatly outnumber the developers (at
least, one hopes that's the case). Moreover, the developers tend to be
a tight-knit community, so they can coordinate a switch to a new
utility. If the impact of moving to Subversion only means that the
database needs to be converted and the developers are inconvenienced a
little bit, it becomes much easier to sell, since the user community
can change over at their own convenience.

Note that I'm _not_ talking about a full implementation of the CVS
protocol. The only portions that need to be implemented are the
portions related to checkout and update. Nothing that changes the
repository. It'd be good to support diffs and maybe status, but that
needn't be done initially; it isn't really needed to support a
conversion. Nor am I implying that it needs to be implemented in a
compiled language: it doesn't need to be terribly efficient, since it's
only needed while the user population is converting, so a language like
Python or Perl would make a lot of sense.

For example, look at SourceForge. From some comments by their staff,
they would very much like to switch to Subversion, but the magnitude of
converting all the anonymous pserver-based read-only access is too
daunting. If they could transition projects and only impact the
developers, they would be much more willing to start converting.

Moreover, providing this access makes a number of things simpler.
Tools like cvsweb and their ilk would "just work" and wouldn't need to
be modified immediately. And getting the initial source download onto
architectures where there isn't a binary starter kit (like my PPC-based
Linux system) is much easier.

Thank you for your attention to this.

-- Greg Noel, retired UNIX guru

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Received on Fri Oct 24 15:23:08 2003

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