Twenty years of history and counting
On Tuesday, March 12th, we will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the first commit on EiffelStudio (formerly known as EiffelBench). The first commit entry reads:
Date: Fri Mar 12 13:00:58 1993 UTC
Message: Initial revision
At the time, the source control management system used at Eiffel Software was RCS. We had one user grator who was in charge of committing any changes. The name grator is an abbreviation of integrator as it was too long for a username at the time (9 characters when 8 was the limit.) If your code was not satisfactory for grator you would have to go back and improve your work.
Starting in July 1995, the policy was relaxed and users were allowed to commit their modification themselves.
In 1997/98, we upgraded our source control management system to CVS. It made a huge improvements for our development work on Windows where we could now commit directly from Windows rather than having to create a tarball and move it to UNIX where the commit would be done.
At the end of 2005, we migrated to subversion a few month before open sourcing the code of EiffelStudio in April 2006.
Having 20 years worth of history is invaluable. Often we go back to find out why certain changes were made. We are lucky to have that much historical information. In addition, it is good way to track how things are done and how they evolve over the years.
What would be the next source control management system we will be using? Who knows? But one thing is sure, it has to preserve the whole history. No way we can remove this jewel of information.
Happy committing and Eiffeling!