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[archive] Scm

[Migrated content. Thread originally posted on 16 May 2003]

Anyone interested in starting a discussion on SCM products and the pluses and minuses you may have experienced? I've been using PVCS for a few years now but I have been going back and forth with setting it up using the acubench. Anybody have any experiences with this?


Ted
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RE: [archive] Scm

I'm new to AcuBench, am trying to use it with cvs (see new thread I just posted). I've used cvs successfully with other IDE's (specifically eclipse) and am hopeful we can integrate it with AcuBench - can't beat the price!
Mark
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RE: [archive] Scm

We are using CVS on a Linux machine with CVSweb as a great repository browsing tool. It can show all current and previous versions of your files and also has the ability to show colored diffs between versions.

We haven't integrated it in Acubench, but we don't need to because the only things we store in the repository are .psf en .cbl files and we have all kinds of shell scripts to help us getting files out of the repository and to commit them again. We also use different branches to help us maintain more the one release of our product (changes in the working version are automaticilly merged in de developing version).

I think CVS is a great tool, and above all: it's FREE. And that's a feature Dutch people like the most 😄
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RE: [archive] Scm

I highly suggest using cvs. As I stated in mark's other cvs post I think getting source control to work from within the IDE itself is overrated. There are some very powerful client side tools with specialized dialogs that can do the same thing.

That being said, there is no reason not to add cvs functionality to acubench. Some things will work right out of the box (generally, updates) and some things will not (commits). The commits will work as well but there is no way to insert the commit comments unless you write your own specialized dialog to do that. It would actually be quite simple to write a COBOL program which did that, cvs commands are very straight forward.

This assumes you are using windows clients, for *nix the instructions will be a little different

Steps:
Install latest wincvs 1.3 beta.
In acubench environment settings for version control, add command: CVS Update
Add a source control command:
Command: C:\Program Files\GNU\WinCvs 1.3\cvs.exe
Arguments: update {FileName}
Working Directory: {FileDir}
Make sure use ouput window is checked: you will now be able to update files from within acubench!


To update the current project:
In acubench environment settings for version control, add command: CVS Update Project
Add a source control command:
Command: C:\Program Files\GNU\WinCvs 1.3\cvs.exe
Arguments: update
Working Directory: {ProjectDir}

If you are using cvs and windows, install tortoisecvs, it integrates cvs into windows explorer, extrememly powerful.

If you are into extreme technology, check out subversion. This is a scm which is superior to cvs in almost every way, although it is somewhat new. The commands are almost the same so you could get it working in acubench almost the same as above.


Merlin
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RE: [archive] Scm

I highly suggest using cvs. As I stated in mark's other cvs post I think getting source control to work from within the IDE itself is overrated. There are some very powerful client side tools with specialized dialogs that can do the same thing.

That being said, there is no reason not to add cvs functionality to acubench. Some things will work right out of the box (generally, updates) and some things will not (commits). The commits will work as well but there is no way to insert the commit comments unless you write your own specialized dialog to do that. It would actually be quite simple to write a COBOL program which did that, cvs commands are very straight forward.

This assumes you are using windows clients, for *nix the instructions will be a little different

Steps:
Install latest wincvs 1.3 beta.
In acubench environment settings for version control, add command: CVS Update
Add a source control command:
Command: C:\Program Files\GNU\WinCvs 1.3\cvs.exe
Arguments: update {FileName}
Working Directory: {FileDir}
Make sure use ouput window is checked: you will now be able to update files from within acubench!


To update the current project:
In acubench environment settings for version control, add command: CVS Update Project
Add a source control command:
Command: C:\Program Files\GNU\WinCvs 1.3\cvs.exe
Arguments: update
Working Directory: {ProjectDir}

If you are using cvs and windows, install tortoisecvs, it integrates cvs into windows explorer, extrememly powerful.

If you are into extreme technology, check out subversion. This is a scm which is superior to cvs in almost every way, although it is somewhat new. The commands are almost the same so you could get it working in acubench almost the same as above.


Merlin
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RE: [archive] Scm

I highly suggest using cvs. As I stated in mark's other cvs post I think getting source control to work from within the IDE itself is overrated. There are some very powerful client side tools with specialized dialogs that can do the same thing.

That being said, there is no reason not to add cvs functionality to acubench. Some things will work right out of the box (generally, updates) and some things will not (commits). The commits will work as well but there is no way to insert the commit comments unless you write your own specialized dialog to do that. It would actually be quite simple to write a COBOL program which did that, cvs commands are very straight forward.

This assumes you are using windows clients, for *nix the instructions will be a little different

Steps:
Install latest wincvs 1.3 beta.
In acubench environment settings for version control, add command: CVS Update
Add a source control command:
Command: C:\Program Files\GNU\WinCvs 1.3\cvs.exe
Arguments: update {FileName}
Working Directory: {FileDir}
Make sure use ouput window is checked: you will now be able to update files from within acubench!


To update the current project:
In acubench environment settings for version control, add command: CVS Update Project
Add a source control command:
Command: C:\Program Files\GNU\WinCvs 1.3\cvs.exe
Arguments: update
Working Directory: {ProjectDir}

If you are using cvs and windows, install tortoisecvs, it integrates cvs into windows explorer, extrememly powerful.

If you are into extreme technology, check out subversion. This is a scm which is superior to cvs in almost every way, although it is somewhat new. The commands are almost the same so you could get it working in acubench almost the same as above.


Merlin
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RE: [archive] Scm

Sorry to be digging up this old thread, but its pertinent to some of the things I've been looking into. I'm looking into using SubVersion and Eclipse, and so far they look like nice options. What I would really like to do is have a complete setup that includes an editor, source/version control, as well as a complete source management system (ideally something that would track which programs/files were related and how). I haven't had a chance to look at Acubench yet (even though we have a few licenses for it), but one of the other developers tells me that in the past acubench would add extra, unecessary code (similar to the extra "stuff" MSWord adds if you use it to edit an HTML file). Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

-Chris
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RE: [archive] Scm

No problem. By the way, since the time of that posting, I've moved our company's repository to SubVersion. I can testify that if you like cvs, you'll love svn. It has a similar feature set but a more robust design, providing atomic commits for example.

I'll try to address the rest of your questions.

Acubench. Acubench provides various roles. It is an IDE (replacing the traditional make file), text editor, and RAD tool for screens, reports, files, and various other things. You can use some or all of the features. The integrated debugger is pretty nice but they also provide an external debugger.

As a text editor it is decent, especiially if you are making ansi formatted sources. For terminal format it is roughly on par with other high quality text editors like ultraedit for example. As an IDE it is ok but there are some annoyances..its project files are huge and tend not to work very well in version control systems even though they are text.

As for the RAD tools, I agree with your friends...AcuCorp made a decent effort but AcuBench is no Delphi. Some people swear by the integrated designers but I personally don't care for them much. I prefer to make screens by hand and for reports I use ace reporter which hooks in quite nicely. The other rad components I don't use at all and the source completion is not very helpful (at least not compared with visual studio's).

I think if you want 'all in one' editor, scm integration, make and build system, I don't think you are going to get better than AcuBench when you are working with COBOL, unfortunately the open source support for the lanugage just isn't there and some really nice tools like doxygen simply can't be configured to support the language. Also, Tortoise SVN is so good you'll probably use that instead of whatever IDE integration you can dig up...including AcuBench. For dependency tracking, etc. I'd suggest just keeping some project documentation...maybe somebody else can chime in here. I almost never use Acubench's integrated scm commands except when I want to quick update a file...

Anyway, my toolset reccomendation would be:
Text editor: UltraEdit or Acubench
SCM: Subversion (no brainer)
Make/Build: Acubench, GNU make, or UltraEdit, or combination thereof.
Reports: Acubench, Ace Reporter, or any ODBC based reporting system (crystal, etc.).
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RE: [archive] Scm

MerlinM;
Thank you for your thorough post. Your input is very helpful. I have a SubVersion install setup, but have not yet started to use it, b/c I want to get as much information as possible before I try to convert everyone to a new system. One other option that I have some interest in researching is the Eclipse platform, for which Acucorp has committed to create a plugin. http://www.acucorp.com/company/press/articles/article_73.php
I sent Acucorp support an e-mail requesting the status of this plugin, and any information on when it will be available, beta testing, etc.
Any thoughts on Eclipse (assuming I am able to get the Acucorp plugin?).

I am disappointed to hear that no-one has found a good method of tracking dependincies. One of the biggest problems I am trying to get our programming department to deal with is keeping track of how changes will affect other programs, files, etc, and right now, I believe that it is all tracked mentally, which I find a little scary. The other problem this creates is that once I settle on a method to track it, it will take a significant amount of work to get all of this information generated in the first place.

-Chris
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RE: [archive] Scm

I really don't know much about eclipse. If you can make it do what you need please post back here, I'd be quite interested. I'm a big believer in open source tools but only if they can deliver the goods. If you are on windows and plan to stay there, check out ultraedit.

As for dependency tracking, COBOL is notorious for dependency and maintenance problems. This comes from two places primarly, the first from limiatations of the language itself and the second from the habits and tendencies of the programmers. C Programmers are always perplexed and amazed that COBOL programs call one another without any type validation whatsoever (in fairness, COBOL programmers are perplexed and amazed about the archaic use of pointers :-). However it possible to write good code in COBOL just as in any other language. Here are some tips:

1. try and use as few file copybooks in program as possible. having 20-30 file copybooks in monolithic program is maitnenance enemy #1.

2. create APIs based around clean separation of components. Do not read and write to files directly but through API calls espeically across modules (see #1). Document those APIs with distinction between user level and developer level visibility.

3. do not hard code picture clauses in your program cut copy them in:
01 Account-No copy "Account-No.pic". .

4. Get off ISAM filesystem and onto a SQL database. This is key to getting your product integrated with 3rd party components. AcuODBC driver is a start but it is no where near as powerful and robust as, say, oledb for ms sql server. Make very, very, sure that you pick the right databse :).

5. once on sql server, gradually have your application read/write to views instead of raw tables. also, move key processing logic to stored procedures. Views have automatic dependency tracking and provide a backwards compatibilty layer to old programs if necessary.

6. Use copybooks for all linkage between programs, always, no matter what.

Merlin
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RE: [archive] Scm

Originally posted by GMCfourX4
MerlinM;
... One other option that I have some interest in researching is the Eclipse platform, for which Acucorp has committed to create a plugin. http://www.acucorp.com/company/press/articles/article_73.php
I sent Acucorp support an e-mail requesting the status of this plugin, and any information on when it will be available, beta testing, etc.
Any thoughts on Eclipse (assuming I am able to get the Acucorp plugin?)...


I've found the plugin under the download section of the acucorp site. To be honest, i was a little disappointed. It seems like there's no implementation of an editor, so you're still dependend on the plain-text editor to maintain your cobol sources. Can somebody confirm this? Is it plannend to be implemented (roadmap)?

Mark
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RE: [archive] Scm

Well, I'm going to be frank here. I think the existence or lack thereof should have zero impact on your choice of a text editor, should it be AcuBench, UltraEdit, Eclipse, or notepad. The reason for this is that most scms work more effectively outside of the code editing environment. In the case of svn, the tool you want to be working with is TortoiseSVN (on windows)...iIt is a shell extension to windows explorer and gets the job done in the same place you copy delete, and rename files. It is far, far ahead of all other gui alternatives and exposes most of the features of the command line tool.

IMO, it's actually more efficient to do scm related work here instead of within the IDE. The IDE is simply not built to handle more complex aspects of scm related work, such as branching, merging, and keeping multiple copies of a repository on different branches.

Why duplicate the wheel? At best, you'r most likely going to get the ability to do simple updates/commits from within the IDE, which saves you a single click to pull up the explorer window sitting in your taskbar.

Merlin
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