Contributing to
ViSta's Development

ViSta's Open Source and
the Concurrent Versioning System

The source code and documentation for ViSta 6.0 is open to those who wish to enhance ViSta for the benefit of ViSta's user community. Access is provided via a CVS (Concurrent Versioning System) server.

The UNC-CH's ViSta-CVS server provides a central "repository" of the most recent version of the ViSta code and documentation files. ViSta developers may at any time create a personal copy of these files. If at a later date newer versions of the files are put into the repository, you can update your copy.

You may edit your copy of the files freely. If new versions of the files have been put in the repository in the meantime, doing an update merges the changes in the central copy into your copy. (It can be that when you do an update, the changes in the central copy clash with changes you have made in your own copy. In this case cvs warns you, and you have to resolve the clash in your copy.)

CVS supports branching, multiple users, and remote collaboration. It maintains a history of all changes made to each directory tree it manages. Using this history, CVS can recreate past states of the tree, and show a user when, why and by whom a given change was made.

CVS runs on a Unix server, as described at the Cyclic Software site. CVS  works with clients on Windows, Mac and Unix. It also works via FTP and over NT, AFS and NFS network file systems. For more about CVS see, in particular, the MacCVS site. A description about UNC's installation is available at About CVS at UNC. Also, we recommend the following book, which contains philosophical chapters on open source development, as well as "how-to" chapters on CVS:

Fogel, Karl. Open Source Development with CVS. CoriolisOpen Press. ISBN 1-57610-490-7. $39.99

Next: Accessing UNC-CVS