rcs2atfs(1) convert RCS archives to AtFS format


rcs2atfs [-o outputfile] [ -q] archive ...
rcs2atfs [-o outputfile] [ -q] -R directory ...


Rcs2atfs converts version histories from RCS archives to ShapeTools' AtFS format. It uses rlog(1) to get information about an RCS archive and issues shell commands (usually through a pipe directly to /bin/sh) to check out the RCS revisions and check the files in as AtFS versions, trying to keep as many attributes as possible.

The RCS archives are left unchanged.

It is recommended to create a special directory with the name RCS for the RCS archives, but AtFS histories are always kept in a special directory AtFS.

Rcs2atfs treats its arguments as names of RCS archives. These can be the names of the archive files themselves, ending with ,v, or the names of the files stored in the archives.

If the -R option is given, the arguments are interpreted as directory names. Rcs2atfs recursively descends each directory tree (symbolic links are followed) and converts the RCS archives it finds. The correspondig AtFS archives are created where the RCS archives are found.

Rcs2atfs tries to keep the revision numbers of the RCS history also as AtFS version numbers. This is impossible if an RCS history contains branches. In this case the revisions are saved as AtFS versions in the order of their check-in date. In either case the RCS revision number is kept as a symbolic name for the corresponding AtFS version, e.g. the AtFS version of RCS revision 1.2 will have the symbolic name ``r1.2''.

Attributes that don't change:

  • author
  • log message
  • comment leader
  • description
  • symbolic names (with the exception of the additional symbolic name derived from the RCS revision number)

Other attributes:

set to the check-in date of the RCS revision
The value of this attribute is given to the AtFS attribute RCSstate. If it has the value Exp, the state of the AtFS version will be saved, if Stab, it will be proposed, if Rel, it will be published.


The arguments are treated as directories. Rcs2atfs recursively descends the directory tree (symbolic links are followed) and builds an AtFS archive for each RCS archive it finds.
-o outputfile
rcs2atfs writes shell commands to outputfile, not directly to /bin/sh, and no conversion is done. If this shell script is executed from the directory where rcs2atfs was invoked, the archives are converted as if rcs2atfs had been invoked without -o.
The main use of this option is to investigate problems with the conversion of archives.
The names and revision numbers of converted archives are not echoed on standard output.


The command
rcs2atfs -R $HOME/development

traverses the directory tree $HOME/development and converts every RCS archive in it into an AtFS archive. During the conversion, the name of every RCS archive and every revision number is echoed on standard output.

rcs2atfs -q RCS/*

Each archive in the RCS directory is converted to an AtFS history. The names and revision numbers of the converted archives are not echoed.



-R flag not set, directory skipped
If the -R flag is not set, directories given as arguments in the command line are ignored.
locked version(s) exist
A revision of the specified RCS history is locked. This is not really a problem, but perhaps rcs2atfs does not convert the most recent version of the file.
branches exist, can't keep revision numbers
If the RCS history contains branches, the numbers of AtFS versions cannot be the same as those of the corresponding RCS revisions.
symbolic name to non-existent revision
rlog has reported a symbolic name of a revision that does not exist in this archive. Probably this never happens (I don't know), but if, the symbolic name is ignored.


ATFS history exists, file skipped
The specified file is already known to AtFS as a history or a busy version. This file will nor be converted.

colon after symbolic name missing, file skipped
revision not found, file skipped
date not found, file skipped
author not found, file skipped
status not found, file skipped
rlog information missing, file skipped

These messages indicate problems with the rlog output, perhaps an old rlog version is used. (rcs2atfs works correctly with rlog version 5.5.)
The specified file will not be converted.
rlog command failed, file skipped
For some unknown reason rlog returned a non-zero exit status. rlog should have provided an explanatory message.

Fatal Errors

popen to rlog command failed
The rlog command could not be invoked.
popen to shell failed
The shell could not be invoked.
no more core
Rcs2atfs could not allocate enough memory. The amount of memory in your machine should be increased.

Internal Errors

Oops? Unknown reader state in readin_rcsfile!
revision numbers corrupted
number of revisions is wrong!

You should never see these error messages.


If rcs2atfs visits the same RCS archive twice (e.g. because a symbolic link is followed to a directory which is also accessed directly), the check for existing AtFS archives may be done a second time before the conversion commands from the first visit are executed by the shell. This results in lots of annoying messages and duplicate AtFS versions of RCS revisions. To avoid this, make sure that rcs2atfs doesn't reach a directory twice.


Rcs2atfs is rather slow since it invokes a shell command for every action.

Attribute citations in files are not translated from RCS to AtFS (e.g. ``$Header: ... $'' to ``$__Header$'').

Rcs2atfs strongly relies on the format of rlog's output. Since I don't know any other rlog than our version (5.5), it may fail to work with other versions.

Due to the lack of serious RCS archives, rcs2atfs isn't thoroughly tested yet. (Well, we use ShapeTools. :-)