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PERL script to "re-create" line-by-line change codes based on CMVC version history data Disclosure Number: IPCOM000014906D
Original Publication Date: 2001-Jul-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20

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In many situations during software development, it is helpful to be able to track the “history” of a piece of source code that is used to create a product. Version control systems are useful tools to help manage the many versions of a product’s source code that are in development, in service, or retired. These version control systems keep track of the revisions made to a file throughout the file’s life-span as a part of the product. It is sometimes necessary, however, to be able to see the history for individual lines of code within a source file. By keeping track of the last set of updates to “touch” a line of source code, it is possible to determine with greater accuracy the cause of problems if problems should arise. In the past, keeping track of which lines of code were touched as part of a source code update was a manual process by which developers would “mark” each line they updated with a “change code”. This change code would signify that the line of source code was modified in some way as part of that update to the source file. As new programming languages were introduced into the main-stream of software development, the practices of marking individual lines of code changed dwindled off. At present, marking individual lines as being updated is rarely, if ever, a followed practice, even though doing so would benefit problem determination later on in the product’s lifecyle. A PERL script has been developed which, given a file’s storage in a version control system, will insert change codes on every line of a source file. By using this tool, what was once a tedious, manual, error-prone process is now automated. This allows software developers to concentrate on the code additions and changes necessary to fix problems or provide new function while making the change codes available to programmers who must determine the cause of a problem found later in the product’s lifecycle. The PERL script performs the following steps: