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What is CVS and why is it such a cool way to download or contribute to an application?

Even if you never intend contributing a single line of code to any project, ever, you should be aware that CVS (Concurrent Versions System) is a really cool utility.

Many software projects manage code using CVS and only release a stable version now and again. If you want access to the "bleeding-edge" code - i.e. the version which is at the forefront of development - you are going to have to download your code from the project CVS repository. This does, of course, have drawbacks:

Of all of these drawbacks, the only one which affects the "non-developer" is the last one - you have to learn how to download the code using CVS. CVS is a commandline utility in linux/unix - which means you can simply enter a directory, execute the appropriate command and voila, there is the bleeding-edge code downloaded from the CVS repository right in the directory in which you were working. In the case of the cmappCalendar, the following command on linux/unix should download the application right into your present working directory:

cvs -z3 -d:pserver:anonymous@cmappcalendar.cvs.sourceforge.net:/cvsroot/cmappcalendar co -P cmappCalendar

You can learn more about CVS on the Sourceforge CVS Help Site, or check out Wikipedia.

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