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1.6. Contributing

1.6.1. Registering at SF

Interested in contributing to the VCF project ? Great ! First you need to become a member of Source Forge. SourceForge membership is free, and only takes a minute to fill out the web form. It is a requirement for participating in any Source Forge sponsored project, like the VCF. You can join at the Source Forge New User page.

Next, you need to email me, and let me know to add you to the project. It usually takes a day or so for your Source Forge account to become activated, so keep that in mind. If your a developer, you'll be added with read/write privileges to the CVS source tree.

1.6.2. Setting up CVS

Once all of this is done, all you have to do is setup your machine to use CVS and SSH. CVS and SSH are must have tools, without these you'll not be able to check source code in or out from CVS, which is the standard version control program used by all Source Forge projects. You can get both of these tools from a variety of places, including the VCF Installer, as well as a smaller installer on the project that only installs CVS and SSH, and also configures your system to use them ( you can get this installer here). For documentation on how to use SSH on your Win32 system, SourceForge has some great articles, as well as some specific stuff just for Win32 (here, and here). There are some things you'll need to check for to make sure CVS and SSH will work together correctly so please verify the following:

  • You'll need a CVSROOT variable that equals

    :ext:<your username>@cvs.sourceforge.net:/cvsroot/vcf
    				

  • You'll need a CVS_RSH that equals "ssh"

1.6.3. Developing in the main VCF source tree

When developing in the VCF proper you need to be aware that there are at least two branches in CVS at any given time. There will be a dev branch for adding new features etc. Until this new set of features is tested and ready it will stay separate from the main branch, which should contain relatively stable code. When you are working on implementing these new features you should be working in this development branch, NOT the main branch. The main branch is only for checking in bug fixes for reported bugs on it. This allows people to download a stable branch, rather than pulling something down that is in a continuous state of flux.

As a developer you need to be aware of this and make sure that you are checking out the correct version. Please see this for instructions on how to access branches in CVS trees. For further help look at the cvshome.org pages for more detailed information on using cvs.

The recommended procedure is the following:

Create two directories, perhaps something like this:

<rootdir>
vcfcode/
	dev/
		vcf/
		    src/...
	stable/
		vcf/
		    src/...
			

This gives you a stable release directory to work on for bug fixing, and another directory to work on for new development code that may be unstable or untested and is not yet ready to go into the main branch.

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