Alvaro Herrera wrote:
Which is not always what happens in reality.  Consider for example that
we borrowed some files from NetBSD, OpenBSD, Tcl, zic and others.  It
would be nice to know exactly at what point we borrowed the file, so we
can go to the upstream repo and check if there's any bug fix that we
should also apply to our local copy.  And we _also_ modify locally the
file of course, so just digesting the file we have to get a SHA1 (or
whatever) identifier is not an option.

I consider such information (i.e. 'where is this file coming from') to be historical information. As such, this information clearly belongs to the VCS sphere and should be tracked and presented by the VCS.

Advanced VCSes can import files from other projects and properly track those files or propagate on request. Even subversion can do that to some extent. My point here is: given a decent VCS, you don't need such historical information as often as you do with CVS. You can sit back and let the VCS do the job. (Like looking up, when the last 'import' of the file from the external project happened, what changed and merge those changes back into your (locally modified variant of the) file.) And if you really want to dig in the history of your project, you can ask the VCS, which you are going to need anyway for other historic information.



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