Dec 232017
GNU's RCS source code version control version 5.5 documentation (troff format).
File RCS55DOC.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
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GNU’s RCS source code version control version 5.5 documentation (troff format).
File Name File Size Zip Size Zip Type
CI.1 10006 3646 deflated
CO.1 14638 5266 deflated
COPYING 12737 4815 deflated
IDENT.1 1414 808 deflated
MERGE.1 1637 824 deflated
RCS.1 7061 2724 deflated
RCS.MS 56906 19235 deflated
RCSCLEAN.1 2172 1067 deflated
RCSDIFF.1 2785 1278 deflated
RCSFILE.5 6200 2253 deflated
RCSFREEZ.1 1723 885 deflated
RCSINTRO.1 9209 3759 deflated
RCSMERGE.1 3141 1481 deflated
RCS_FUNC.MS 3683 1579 deflated
README 14462 5991 deflated
RLOG.1 5105 2051 deflated

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Contents of the README file

This is a port of RCS 5.5 to MS-DOS using Borland C++ V2.0 as the
toolset. The port is distributed under the same terms as the
original GNU licence - See the file COPYING included with this

MS-DOS Specific Notes

Most of the source ported straight to Borland C++ with minimal
or no change; most changes concentrated in modern style templates
for procedure declarations and might be considered cosmetic other
than they were necessary to get everything to compile !

Changes were made to rcsutil.c to support DOS'isms for forking
child processes and file re-direction. These are the most

RCS 5.5 as distributed for UNIX uses a shell script and test
programs to generate conf.h so that it is appropriate to the
flavor of UNIX and handles local compiler differences. I have
munged conf.h by hand so that it works in a MS-DOS environment.

This port replaces the RCS convention of appending ',v' to identify
proved to be too much of a restriction - it does insure that
include files can be handled by dependency rules in make files.

I have included 'merge.exe' which is a munged version of diff3
to replace the shell script that implements 'merge' on UNIX. As
a result, 'rcsmerge' works just fine ! Also included is a version
of 'rcsfreeze' (also a shell script on UNIX) that is written in
the shell language of 'A UNIX like SHELL for MS-DOS' written
by Allen I. Holub described in the book of the same name.

You will need a version of diff that implements the '-an' options
such as GNU diff - this archive is big enough as it is so I have
not included these tools here; they are available on a variety
of archive systems across the Internet.

Please note that the Free Software Foundation does NOT provide
support for MS-DOS versions of GNU software. I draw your attention
to the third paragraph of the GNU license below; this software is
distributed AS IS WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY. In general I am unable to
answer questions or fix bugs you may find in this software.

Stu Phillips ([email protected])

/* Copyright (C) 1982, 1988, 1989 Walter Tichy
Copyright 1990 by Paul Eggert
Distributed under license by the Free Software Foundation, Inc.

This file is part of RCS.

RCS is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation; either version 1, or (at your option)
any later version.

RCS is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with RCS; see the file COPYING. If not, write to
the Free Software Foundation, 675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

Report problems and direct all questions to:

[email protected]


$Id: README,v 5.6 1990/12/13 06:54:04 eggert Exp $

This directory contains complete sources for RCS version 5.5.

Installation notes:

RCS requires a diff that supports the -n option.
Get GNU diff (version 1.15 or later) if your diff lacks -n.

RCS works best with a diff that supports -a, -L, and (diff3 only) -m.
GNU diff supports these options.

Sources for RCS are in the src directory.
Read the directions in src/Makefile to set up the options
for building RCS on your system.
If `make' fails to build src/conf.h, look in src/conf.error
to see what went wrong in the src/ shell file.
If all else fails, create src/conf.h manually by editing a
copy of src/conf.heg.

Manual entries reside in man.

To test your installation of RCS, run the shell file src/rcstest.

Troff source for the paper `RCS--A System for Version Control', which
appeared in _Software--Practice & Experience_, is in

RCS compatibility notes:

RCS version 5 reads RCS files written by any RCS version released since 1982.
It also writes RCS files that these older versions of RCS can read,
unless you use one of the following new features:

checkin times after 1999/12/31 23:59:59 GMT
checking in non-text files
non-Ascii symbolic names
rcs -bX, where X is nonempty
rcs -kX, where X is not `kv'
RCS files that exceed hardcoded limits in older RCS versions

Features new to RCS version 5 include:

RCS can check in arbitrary files, not just text files, if diff -a works.
RCS can merge lines containing just a single `.' if diff3 -m works.
GNU diff supports the -a and -m options.

RCS can now be installed as a setgid or setuid program
if the setegid() and seteuid() system calls work.
Setid privileges yield extra security if RCS files are protected so that
only the effective group or user can write RCS directories.
RCS uses the real group and user for all accesses other than to RCS files.
On older hosts lacking setegid() and seteuid(), RCS uses the effective group
and user for all accesses; formerly it was inconsistent.

New options to co, rcsdiff, and rcsmerge give more flexibility to keyword

-kkv substitutes the default `$Keyword: value $' for keyword strings.
However, a locker's name is inserted only as a file is being locked,
i.e. by `ci -l' and `co -l'. This is normally the default.

-kkvl acts like -kkv, except that a locker's name is always inserted
if the given revision is currently locked. This was the default in
version 4. It is now the default only with when using rcsdiff to
compare a revision to a working file whose mode is that of a file
checked out for changes.

-kk substitutes just `$Keyword$', which helps to ignore keyword values
when comparing revisions.

-ko retrieves the old revision's keyword string, thus bypassing keyword

-kv retrieves just `value'. This can ease the use of keyword values, but
it is dangerous because it causes RCS to lose track of where the keywords
are, so for safety the owner write permission of the working file is
turned off when -kv is used; to edit the file later, check it out again
without -kv.

rcs -ko sets the default keyword substitution to be in the style of co -ko,
and similarly for the other -k options. This can be useful with binary file
formats that cannot tolerate changing the lengths of keyword strings.
However it also renders a RCS file readable only by RCS version 5 or later.
Use rcs -kkv to restore the usual default substitution.

RCS can now be used by development groups that span timezone boundaries.
All times are now displayed in GMT, and GMT is the default timezone.
To use local time with co -d, append ` LT' to the time.
When interchanging RCS files with sites running older versions of RCS,
users may encounter discrepancies of up to 13 hours in old time stamps.
The list of timezone names has been modernized.

Dates are now displayed using four-digit years, not two-digit years.
Years given in -d options must now have four digits.
This change is required for RCS to continue to work after 1999/12/31.
The form of dates in version 5 RCS files will not change until 2000/01/01,
so in the meantime RCS files can still be interchanged with sites
running older versions of RCS. To make room for the longer dates,
rlog now outputs `lines: +A -D' instead of `lines added/del: A/D'.

To help prevent diff programs that are broken or have run out of memory
from trashing an RCS file, ci now checks diff output more carefully.

ci -k now handles the Log keyword, so that checking in a file
with -k does not normally alter the file's contents.

RCS no longer outputs white space at the ends of lines
unless the original working file had it.
For consistency with other keywords,
a space, not a tab, is now output after `$Log:'.
Rlog now puts lockers and symbolic names on separate lines in the output
to avoid generating lines that are too long.
A similar fix has been made to lists in the RCS files themselves.

RCS no longer outputs the string `Locker: ' when expanding Header or Id
keywords. This saves space and reverts back to version 3 behavior.

The default branch is not put into the RCS file unless it is nonempty.
Therefore, files generated by RCS version 5 can be read by RCS version 3
unless they use the default branch feature introduced in version 4.
This fixes a compatibility problem introduced by version 4.

RCS can now emulate older versions of RCS; see `co -V'.
This may be useful to overcome compatibility problems
due to the above changes.

Programs like Emacs can now interact with RCS commands via a pipe:
the new -I option causes ci, co, and rcs to run interactively,
even if standard input is not a terminal.
These commands now accept multiple inputs from stdin separated by `.' lines.

ci now silently ignores the -t option if the RCS file already exists.
This simplifies some shell scripts and improves security in setuid sites.

Descriptive text may be given directly in an argument of the form -t-string.

The character set for symbolic names has been upgraded
from Ascii to ISO 8859.

rcsdiff now passes through all options used by GNU diff;
this is a longer list than 4.3BSD diff.

merge's new -L option gives tags for merge's overlap report lines.
This ability used to be present in a different, undocumented form;
the new form is chosen for compatibility with GNU diff3's -L option.

rcsmerge and merge now have a -q option, just like their siblings do.

RCS now attempts to ignore parts of an RCS file that look like they come
from a future version of RCS.

When properly configured, RCS now strictly conforms with Posix 1003.1-1988.
Normally, RCS file names contain `,', which is outside the Posix portable
filename character set; but in impoverished Posix environments, you can
compile RCS so that the RCS file for Foo is named just RCS/Foo.
RCS can still be compiled in non-Posix traditional Unix environments,
and can use common BSD and USG extensions to Posix.

RCS is a conforming ANSI C program, and also compiles under traditional C.

(note however that the comments in some source files use
the C++ "\\" instead of the "\* *\"; if you use a pure
C compiler, just change them)

Arbitrary limits on internal table sizes have been removed.
The only limit now is the amount of memory available via malloc().

File temporaries, lock files, signals, and system call return codes
are now handled more cleanly, portably, and quickly.
Some race conditions have been removed.

A new compile-time option RCSPREFIX lets administrators avoid absolute path
names for subsidiary programs, trading speed for flexibility.

The configuration procedure is now more automatic.

Snooping has been removed; it did not work in version 4.

Version 4 was the first version distributed by FSF.
Beside bug fixes, features new to RCS version 4 include:

The notion of default branch has been added; see rcs -b.

Version 3 was included in the 4.3BSD distribution.

Further projects:

Improve performance when checking out branch revisions;
see the `piece table' comments in
Joe Berkovitz of Stratus has written some fast revision extraction code;
unfortunately there wasn't enough time to integrate it into RCS version 5.
It's probably best to use mmap() here if available.

Let the user mark an RCS revision as deleted; checking out such a revision
would result in no working file. Similarly, using `co -d' with a date either
before the initial revision or after the file was marked deleted should
remove the working file. For extra credit, extend the notion of `deleted' to
include `renamed', i.e. when an RCS file gets renamed.

Use a better scheme for locking revisions; the current scheme requires
changing the RCS file just to lock or unlock a revision.
The new scheme should coexist as well as possible with older versions of RCS.

Permit multiple option-filename pairs, e.g. co -r1.4 a -r1.5 b.

Add rcs options for changing keyword names, e.g. XConsortium instead of Id.

If there are multiple locks by a user, ci should fall back on ci -k's
method to figure out which version it is.

Add frozen branches a la SCCS. In general, be able to emulate all of
SCCS, so that an SCCS-to-RCS program can be practical.

Improve RCS's method for storing binary files.
Although it is more efficient than SCCS's,
the diff algorithm is still line oriented,
and often generates long output for minor changes to an executable file.

Port binary file handling to non-Unix hosts where fopen(F,"r") and
fopen(F,"rb") are quite different beasts.

Extend the grammar of RCS files so that keywords need not be in a fixed order.

Clean up the source code with a consistent indenting style.

Update the date parser to use the more modern getdate.y by Bellovin, Salz,
and Berets.

Internationalize messages; unfortunately, there's no common standard yet.

Prune the unnecessary keyword substitution baggage from the rcs command.

Break up the code into a library so that it's easier to write new programs
that manipulate RCS files.


RCS was designed and built by Walter F. Tichy of Purdue University.
RCS version 3 was released in 1983.

Thomas Narten, Dan Trinkle, and others of Purdue supported RCS through
version 4.2, released in 1989. Guy Harris of Sun contributed many porting
fixes. Paul Eggert of System Development Corporation contributed bug fixes
and tuneups. Jay Lepreau contributed 4.3BSD support.

Paul Eggert of Twin Sun wrote the changes for RCS version 5, released in
1990. Ideas for setgid support were contributed by Bill Hahn of Stratus.
Test case ideas were contributed by Matt Cross of Stratus.
Adam Hammer of Purdue QAed.

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