SUMMARY: software project control tools on Solaris (and new q)

From: Oscar Goldes (
Date: Sat Jul 19 1997 - 16:19:58 CDT

It is not easy to summarize this issue, I am including all the answers
received so far.
The "most voted" were ClearClase, Razor, CVS and SCCS/RCS
Opinions about TeamWare seem to be divided...
However, ClearCase and Razor seem to be full featured products, as compared
to "crude" SCCS and RCS.

I have a new question, this is about project managing policies:
Is it better to keep under control only source files, and build the whole
project before each release, or to keep under control the binaries too, and
just collect previously compiled files to make a new release? I am NOT
concerned about saving some disk space, but I want to make each release as
controlled and traceable as possible. I have to simultaneously maintain
several different versions of the product, each customized for a different

Thanks to all who answered.

Original question:
Im looking for a good version and revision control and project
administration tool for software project development on Solaris. Im about
to use SparcWorks Teamware 1.0.3.
I would like to have some feedback about it, is it good, is there anything
better around?
Project has files in C, Java, SQL, PowerBuilder for Unix and other languajes.


Received answers:


Gary Merinstein:
We're using Clearcase by Atria, but it costs $$$.


Harvey M Wamboldt:
We use "Razor" from Tower Concepts, Inc. It has a reasonable GUI for
those that need pretty windows, and it supports threads, versions, builds,
"issues" etc and reportedly is good for tracking changes in response to bug
reports, change reqeusts etc. I haven't used it myself, so what I can say
about it is pretty limited. I think the manual is available on the Internet.

You can check it out for yourself at "". They may even have an
evaluation version available on the net.


PK Shiu:
I use teamware. Just upgraded to the latest version that comes with the C++
VWS 3.0 suite of compilers and tools. It is not the most sophisticated
tools but it works.
It is really two products -- the versiontool is just a GUI on top of SCCS.
The codemanager (which is now twconfig) is a meta tool for managing
multiple SCCS projects. I use the codemanager to implement a two tier
environment where all developers have their own workspace and a central
parent workspace to keep the current complete project. We try to keep
developers working on naturally exclusive
subprojects so that we don't have code merging problem to begin with. But
codemanager at least let us know if two person accidentally decided to work
on the same files and help resolve the conflicts when the second person
check her files back into the parent workspace.
The other thing I do is to create additional child workspace when I have to
cut a major release so that you can have a full image of a release. For
smaller release you can do the same using the freezepoint tool to take a
snapshot of the SCCS history.
On the versiontool side, I sometimes just use command line SCCS command to
manage my own workspace. versiontool seems to be able to "see" all the
command line changes and allow me to mix the two modes.
I have tried to use PVCS two years ago and it was a horrible experience.
My view of teamware is that it is simple enough that it does not get in the
way too much.


Sanjiv K. Bhatia:
I like RCS. It is free ;-)


Peter Schauss:
For a small project, I find that SCCS does the job quite well. Our project
has been running for 3 1/2 years with 3 to 5 people programming.
If I were starting from scratch, I would most likely use RCS from gnu
since it has more features.
I find that the biggest problem with any of these tools is getting the
programmers to check their code in regularly. They seem to have the
notion that they should not do this until the program is "finished"
and we all know that code never really reaches that stage.


Marc S. Gibian:
I strongly recommend ClearCase from PureAtria, though they are a bit pricy.
You very definitely get the features for the price and you will find that
the more development you do, the more of ClearCase you use.


Rich Kulawiec:
I use RCS for small projects, CVS for large ones, usually via the tkCVS
front end. Advantages: full source code is available, runs on numerous
Unix platforms, simple, quick, and meets all of my needs without all kinds
of bells and whistles that I don't care about. I find Teamware far too
cumbersome and full of useless features that somebody thought were worth
putting in...but which I find to be so much excess baggage.


Mike Youngberg:
Check out Razor by Tower Concepts.


Joe Block:
I've been using CVS lately on Linux and BSDI. It has worked very well for
me, although I haven't had a chance yet to try it on the Suns here (I see
that one of my predecessors installed it, but they didn't get around to
actually configuring it). I'm told the latest version will also allow you
to check in binary files, but that hasn't been something that I've had a
need for.

I've only used it with small numbers of developers though since my main use
has been to maintain system configuration files, and typically I've been at
locations where a max of 3 people had root and needed to work on the configs.

On the minus side, each developer working with a checked out source tree
needs enough disk for that tree. On the plus side, each developer has a
current copy of the source tree, so if you keep their home dirs on
different disks you're a lot less likely to lose your changes to the source
since your last backup if your repository disk decides to crash.


-- Oscar Goldes
-- Orden Argentina SA

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