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           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
           ?      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.
           ?      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.
           ?      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.
           ?      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.
           ?      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.
           ?      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.
           ?      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.
           ?      Minimize secondary storage.  RCS needs little  extra  space  for
           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.
           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
                  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  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
           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  $
           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.


           Author: Walter F. Tichy.
           Manual Page Revision: 5.3; Release Date: 1993/11/03.
           Copyright (C) 1982, 1988, 1989 Walter F. Tichy.
           Copyright (C) 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993 Paul Eggert.


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

    GNU 1993/11/03 RCSINTRO(1)


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