Re: We Need A Website Update Procedure Tip

Subject: Re: We Need A Website Update Procedure Tip
From: Sandy Harris <sandy -at- storm -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 09:50:00 -0500

Sylvia Braunstein wrote:

> We are looking for information on what procedures you use to keep your
> websites updated with valid and authorized information.

Given some Unix boxes and a bit of Unix expertise, this is straightforward
to do using the free, open source, CVS version control system.

CVS and similar tools are also available for Windows, but I'm extremely
hazy on details.

What you do is set up a CVS repository that holds the master copy of your
web site. Use CVS access control features to control who can "check in"
new versions of various things.

Each developer can "check out" one or more copies and experiment with
various modifications in his or her personal "sandbox". However, only
those with the right permissions can check their changes into the master

A developer can do "cvs update" to get any changes that others may have
checked in applied to the local sandbox, putting that in sync with the

Your webmaster then just does a checkout to get a copy on the web server
and sets up a script to do "cvs update" to grab changes from the master
every so often.

Among other things, this is great for backups. If your web server fries
a disk or is trashed by some EvilDoer, just do a checkout on a new
machine and all your data is restored. If someone blunders and checks
in an awful update, there are CVS commands that let you go back to any
previous version. If the machine with the CVS repository croaks and you
have no backups (shame on you), any of the sandboxes can provide an
almost correct version.

It can also support multiple web servers, perhaps a public one and an
internal company-only site. CVS allows the repository to be broken up
into modules; put private stuff in separate modules and don't check
them out on the public server.

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We Need A Website Update Procedure Tip: From: Sylvia Braunstein

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