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Rolling Back Web Site Changes and Versions

Have you ever wanted to pull up last year's version of a web site to show yourself, your development team, the client, or a trade show audience the evolution of a site over time? A site maintained under CVS version control makes this easy to do. Just as a library often maintains older editions of a book for readers to check out, a CVS version control repository tracks every variation of each web site and allows you to make a working copy of the site as it appeared at any point in history! Here is a sample CVS command to retrieve a copy of a web site as it appeared one year ago today:

$ cvs checkout -D '1 year ago' provenwinners.com

A site under CVS version control can quickly and conveniently revert to an earlier stage of its life. If the lawyers suddenly get around to reading the new bulletin board area and determine it must be taken offline immediately, CVS can be used to quickly restore the previous preferred version of the site--even if the developers who created the bulletin board module are not available to put things back. For example, a site might be running with full legal approval at version 1.4. Then an outside consultant develops a bulletin board application, tests it, and checks it into the site repository, automatically updating the site repository to version 1.5.

When the legal team determines that the bulletin board application is a liability, the site can quickly be restored to the legally compliant version, without the need to track down and re-hire the outside consultants who developed the bulletin board. Here is a sample CVS command to restore a particular version of a web site to active duty:

$ cvs checkout -r1.4 provenwinners.com

There are many subtle controls you have at your disposal when labeling (tagging) existing project states or calling up older versions of a site or project to work with. The two examples here should be enough to get you started and solve the two most common needs. For more information see the cvs documentation, available on the UNIX server by typing man cvs or on the web at this URL address: http://durak.org/cvswebsites/


next up previous contents
Next: After a Project Up: CVS Version Control for Previous: Publishing Completed Work to   Contents

copyright © 1997-1999 sean dreilinger.