The intuitive understanding of a file is certainly something like "a file called 'baz.c' residing at 'foo/bar/', which contains the BAZ subsystem". Now, when renaming/moving a file such an intuitive understanding is partially lost. UI-wise that's a problem which I haven't ever seen solved well.

However, other SCM systems such as Subversion and Continuus (and our to-be-released system Maint, and certainly others) treat files as unique entities unrelated to their path, and thus don't have problems with moves.

With regards to modes of working this, it boils down to two methods. One is treating directories as first class entities (opposed to CVS which treats dirs as semi-relevant appendices to real files), versioned to contain a list of children, or simpler yet, to store the parent directory as an meaningful attribute of an object. Both methods have their pros and cons, the latter is somehow simpler to intuitively grasp for people.

This doesn't really answer the question of what tool Postgres might change to, but it seems that Subversion is a good tool one should consider. And by golly, CVS is bad. Just consider the cons – having to forbid renames in all but the most necessary cases – it just invites cruft into any project.

David Helgason,
Business Development et al.,
Over the Edge I/S (
Direct line +45 2620 0663
Main line +45 3264 5049

On 4. nov 2004, at 20:41, Tom Lane wrote:

"Marc G. Fournier" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:
why would we lose CVS history? I can physically move the files in
/cvsroot to accomplish this ... just tell me what needs to move, and to
where ...

If you physically move the files, that would retroactively change their placement in back versions, no? ie, it would appear that all previous releases had had 'em under src/tools as well.

AFAICS the only nondestructive way to do this is to cvs delete and cvs
add, with a commit comment saying where the files were moved from. Then
when you are looking at them in CVS, you'd have to navigate over to the
previous location (by hand, probably; the commit comment isn't going to
automate this for you) and look in the Attic to read the prior CVS history.
It's not impossible, certainly, but it discourages moving files for less
than the very best of reasons.

(I'm rather interested to know whether any other SCMs have a better
solution to this problem, and if so what it is.  It's not obvious how
to do better.)

                        regards, tom lane

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