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8. History browsing

Once you have used CVS to store a version control history--what files have changed when, how, and by whom, there are a variety of mechanisms for looking through the history.

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8.1 Log messages

Whenever you commit a file you specify a log message.

To look through the log messages which have been specified for every revision which has been committed, use the cvs log command (see section log--Print out log information for files).

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8.2 The history database

You can use the history file (see section The history file) to log various CVS actions. To retrieve the information from the history file, use the cvs history command (see section history--Show status of files and users).

Note: you can control what is logged to this file by using the `LogHistory' keyword in the `CVSROOT/config' file (see section The CVSROOT/config configuration file).

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8.3 User-defined logging

You can customize CVS to log various kinds of actions, in whatever manner you choose. These mechanisms operate by executing a script at various times. The script might append a message to a file listing the information and the programmer who created it, or send mail to a group of developers, or, perhaps, post a message to a particular newsgroup. To log commits, use the `loginfo' file (see section Loginfo). To log tags, use the `taginfo' file (see section Taginfo). To log commits, checkouts, exports, and tags, respectively, you can also use the `-i', `-o', `-e', and `-t' options in the modules file. For a more flexible way of giving notifications to various users, which requires less in the way of keeping centralized scripts up to date, use the cvs watch add command (see section Telling CVS to notify you); this command is useful even if you are not using cvs watch on.

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