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SnapshotCM Newsletter for December, 2011


  • Editor's Blog
    • 1.85 release update
    • Product-line beta release available
  • SnapshotCM in Depth: Viewing History
  • Recommended Releases
  • Links We Like

Editor's Blog

This month we have two releases for you: an incremental update to 1.85, and a beta release.

1.85 Update

The primary difference you will notice with the updated 1.85 release is a new SnapshotCM tree icon. The new icon is easier to see, especially on the Windows 7 task bar, while retaining the same recognizable version-tree look. It supports the full range of Windows 7 / Windows Vista sizes, looks much better on dark backgrounds like the Windows 7 task bar, and better represents the quality of SnapshotCM. The new icon is featured on the web site, and is visible in the Windows installation package, the start menu, the Windows 7 task bar and GUI short-cuts.

This updated release also fixes several relatively minor problems you can read about in the Change List. Release replaces on the download page.

Product Line Dependency Beta

The second release is a beta of the next step in the product-line functionality. The beta supports creating and displaying relationships between snapshots in different projects, and using those relationships when creating a workspace. This release primarily focuses on creating, displaying and maintaining the relationships in the GUI and it is on that that I'm primarily interested in feedback. We've added a basic use of that in creating new workspaces, but envision much more, like being able to update existing workspaces to match a changed set of relationships, and using the mappings in a workspace to set or update relationships as well.

In addition, we believe many opportunities exist for using these relationships to do group operations upon a set of snapshots.

We anticipate monthly "beta" releases as we polish and expand the functionality. If you are interested in participating in the beta, send me an e-mail indicating your interest and I'll send you the beta package link.

As always, we welcome your feedback and ideas.

Scott Kramer

SnapshotCM In Depth: Viewing History

SnapshotCM provides several options for viewing the history of changes to files and directories in your projects. You can view an active history of an individual item, or view a history report of several items in a merged format sorted and filtered by several criteria. You can even view the history containing only the differences between two snapshots.

Active History

The Active History dialog shows the revision history of a single file in tabular form. It can be sorted by revision/change time (default), by author, by change type or by description. A blue, triangular marker indicates the active revision for your current snapshot, and an asterisk indicates revisions which are referenced by one or more snapshots. Tool tips show which snapshots reference each revision (hover over the version column).

The Active History dialog also allows performing actions upon the history: Unreferenced and unused revisions can be discarded. Any two revisions can be compared, including any revision compared to the working copy of the file in an associated workspace. The contents of any revision can be viewed or retrieved. Finally, the active revision for the associated snapshot can be changed. It is also possible to filter out branch revisions not contributing to or derived from the active revision. There is a lot of functionality in this dialog!

History Report

The History Report displays history for a group of files. It's useful to think of running a History Report using three steps:

First, you specify the files to include in the report. This is as simple as selecting files in the Workspace Browser (where you have lots of filtering options), and then invoking the Show History action. This opens the History Options dialog, where you can expand your selection by recursively traversing selected directories, and narrow your selection by filtering for files, directories, or both, only files which are in the workspace, and only locked files.

Next, once the files are selected, the history records themselves can be filtered by the user who made the change, or to show only changes made since a given date. Finally, revisions which are not ancestors of the active revision (those on other branches) can be omitted from the list.

Finally, the selected history records may be displayed verbosely by file, or merged together and sorted either by file name, or by change date, in forward or reverse order. In addition, one has the option to only report the headers of the selected files, as well as the option to report on which snapshots use each revision.

Snapshot Differences History

The History Report is also accessible from the Project and Compare Browsers, where you can display the history records showing what is different between two snapshots. From the Project Browse, select a relationship in the graph or an item in the tree and then select the Compare Snapshot History menu. From the Compare Browser, select the Show History Compare button.

These actions open the History Compare Options dialog where you can filter the output. You can show some or all of non-conflict source differences, non-conflict target differences, and conflict differences. You also can sort them by name or time, and have the option to show which snapshots use each revision.

History From the Command Line

The full History Report functionality is also available using the whist command. Whist provides additional, command-line only filtering options (such as filter by file name using the -j option and filter by user using the -W option) plus all the functionality available in the normal report format.

SnapshotCM's history functionality enables you to quickly understand what's changed, whether it be in one file or in hundreds. It's what we use during a release to update the ChangeList. We use it to track down in which revision a feature (or bug) was introduced. We use it to figure out which snapshots use a particular revision or feature, and for so much more. And we hope you can make better use of it now too.

Recommended Releases

The following releases are recommended:

  • - The newest features and fixes.
  • 1.84.2 / - A known stable release.
  • 1.82.06 / 1.82.07 / 1.82.08 - stable version with the old (single mount) workspace model.

If you are running any other release, we recommend that you update to the latest recommended version that your license allows.

For a complete list of user-visible changes, see the Change List.

Links We Like

Links we find interesting, fun, or occasionally useful.

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