Remove CVS folders from Git version control

Open a bash shell and just do:
$ find . -type d -name CVS -exec git rm -r –cached ‘{}’ ;

Is there an easier or more direct method just using Git commands?

Note the –cached option (there are two dashes there). This will ensure we don’t remove the CVS folders in the work area, only those in the index.

Note:
If your on Windows, the msysGit or Cygwin installs include a Bash shell. Git, though usable on Windoze, still has a lot of *nixisms.

But
before doing the above, make a backup or a backup clone of the project. Maybe even do a: git fsck

Check
if everything was done correctly. Do a git status and it should print a bunch of:
# deleted: some/path/to/CVS/cvs track file

and, a reminder to add the .gitignore and .cvsignore files that you finally created, right?

Then to make sure the folders and their content are in the work area do:
$ find -type d -name CVS -print

In a Windows shell this would be: dir /S CVS
but, I didn’t test that.

Update ignores
; the .gitignore file should contain a line: CVS/
Make sure there is no trailing space at the end of the line.

I did a: git add -n . | grep CVS
to make sure nothing was going to be added.

Or instead, add this line to the .git/info/exclude file.

Don’t forget to modify the .cvsignore file to ignore the .git folder.

Now do
git commit

But wait …

WARNING:
CVS keeps file tracking version information in CVS subfolders (Subversion uses SVN). These are in each subdirectory of your working files.

It is very important that only CVS manage these. Thus, using Git (or Mercurial, btw) should have valid ignore files set up.

Just the existence of these subfolders is a good reason to abandon these systems. They make the use of external tools, even search, even more complicated. You have to use filters for everything. To be fair, good tools already have these filters in place.

Why
would someone want to do all this? Well, if you forget to create a .gitignore file before you put all your CVS officially managed project files into Git. Of course, no one forgets to create the ignore file first.

Why
would you ever use Git parallel with CVS? Well, a centralized repository discourages checking in of code. You have to have perfect code before you commit stuff. Don’t even think about branching off a branch (twigs).

An aspect of a centralized VCS is:

When you check new code in, everybody else gets it.

Since all new code that you write has bugs, you have a choice.

You can check in buggy code and drive everyone else crazy, or
You can avoid checking it in until it’s fully debugged.

Subversion always gives you this horrible dilemma. Either the repository is full of bugs because it includes new code that was just written, or new code that was just written is not in the repository.

As Subversion users, we are so used to this dilemma that it’s hard to imagine it not existing.

— from HgInit

So, if you can’t use the VCS to check in your work what do you do? Make manual backups? If you say use the IDE to manage it, you can’t. For example, an IDE (in my experience) cannot do “undo” and “redo” across separate source files, thus the ‘undo’ can only get you so far. For small changes not really an issue. But, if your working on a subsystem or module, or a small team, this can be an issue.

An alternative is
to just add a DVCS to the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to do true local versioning (maybe embedded Git?). That way I can just indicate to the IDE that I want to mark my current work as a milestone, for example, and it will know what to do. Now I can proceed and do all the fancy little versioning stuff, like branch, log, etc. It is just local.

I don’t even need to know about the arcana of the embedded VCS, it is just the IDE doing its thing. Further, higher-order functions like tasks, bug tracking, could also relate to the IDE’s repo, not only the centralized repository.

When it is finally debugged brilliant code, as usual, I just push to the ‘real’ local version control system, which could just be the same DVCS or a centralized one like SVN or CVS, and then commit as usual.

I bet some IDE already does this. Oh well.

Updates
5Sep11: Took a look at the IntelliJ site. Their IDE does allow directory history and ability to set a version labels. Nice.

System
Git: git version 1.7.3.1.msysgit.0
OS: Windows 7 64bit Professional
PC: AMD quad-core, 8GB ram.

Further Reading

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