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SnapshotCM Newsletter for February, 2012


  • Editor's Blog
    • Scorch Update
    • Release Update / SCC fix
    • Feedback Wanted!
  • SnapshotCM CLI: wls
  • Recommended Releases
  • Links We Like

Editor's Blog

Scorch Update

A few customers have started adopting the scorch (wupdate -C) command in their Continuous Integration (CI) processes and the numbers are starting to come in. One customer reports their build time on one project dropped from 76 minutes to 52 minutes, a 30% reduction. Their build pulls from multiple snapshots, and the update from one snapshot dropped from about 10 minutes to under 10 seconds! If you haven't checked out scorch, what are you waiting for? It is fast, it's robust, and uses fewer local and server resources than a full check out.

This same customer reported one difference between scorch and a remove + check out that led to an installation issue. The difference was the time-stamps on the workspace files. Removing and checking out causes all files to have the current time, while scorch doesn't change the time-stamp of an existing file unless it is updated. When they packaged one such version controlled file into an install image, that difference became visible.

At the moment, we haven't decided to do anything about that difference, though we are considering adding touch functionality to scorch, perhaps as an option. As a work-around if this affects only a few files, I recommend removing or touching just the affected files before scorch runs, which will force the time-stamp update of just those files.

Release Update

I had hoped to have an updated Product Line beta to announce by now, but have had too many distractions to make the necessary progress. So I will take this opportunity to highlight one fix in the most recent release. In short, the Refresh Status command within the Visual Studio SnapshotCM integration has been fixed. Most often the symptom was a disabled Compare action icon/menu when wanting to review changes to a local file (a good practice before checking in), even after selecting Refresh Status.

Feedback Wanted

I recently visited a couple of long-time customers. My goal was to solicit feedback on how they were using SnapshotCM, the performance they were seeing, what they wanted/needed from SnapshotCM, etc. The feedback was very valuable to me, and will be incorporated in changes you all will see in the coming months. Yet, I always welcome additional feedback. So don't be shy - I can't fix or improve what I don't know about. And the more customers I hear from, the more clearly will be the priorities. So send me your thoughts today!

Scott Kramer

SnapshotCM CLI: wls

The wls command provides a large number of options. Here are a few of which you might not be aware:

  • wls -1 (one) forces output to one file or directory name per line.
  • wls -I shows local files which have been modified since they were checked out. Typically, these are the files waiting to be checked in. Use this to get a quick idea of uncommitted work.
  • wls -jpattern-list filters the output to names matching a file name pattern-list. Example:
    wls -R -j'*.html' will recursively display all files with suffix .html.
  • wls -KKK lists local files which are not managed by SnapshotCM. Use this to display candidates for import. Combine with the -j option to avoid cluttering your output with intermediate files you always want to ignore. Example:
    wls -R -KKK -j'!*.o|*.a' will display unversioned files, while ignoring those matching patterns *.o and *.a.
  • wls -uu lists the files and directories which can be recovered (undeleted).
  • wls -l -U displays the long form output with modes and time in a numeric format, which can be easier for scripts to parse.
  • wll is a short-cut for wls -l, the long form output.
  • wlsf is a short-cut for wls -F. -F appends a / to directory names.
  • wlsr is a short-cut for wls -R, which displays files recursively.
  • wls -XX shows combined snapshot and file paths. The output format is the snapshot path followed by two slashes and the file path.

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.

Have an interesting link to share? Please send it to

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