You can tell RCS and CVS whether to use locking for a file or not (see section Concepts of Version Control, for a description of locking). VC automatically recognizes what you have chosen, and behaves accordingly.
For RCS, the default is to use locking, but there is a mode called non-strict locking in which you can check-in changes without locking the file first. Use `rcs -U' to switch to non-strict locking for a particular file, see the `rcs' manpage for details.
Under CVS, the default is not to use locking; anyone can change a work file at any time. However, there are ways to restrict this, resulting in behavior that resembles locking.
For one thing, you can set the
CVSREAD environment variable to
an arbitrary value. If this variable is defined, CVS makes your work
files read-only by default. In Emacs, you must type C-x C-q to
make the file writeable, so that editing works in fact similar as if
locking was used. Note however, that no actual locking is performed, so
several users can make their files writeable at the same time. When
CVSREAD for the first time, make sure to check out all
your modules anew, so that the file protections are set correctly.
Another way to achieve something similar to locking is to use the
watch feature of CVS. If a file is being watched, CVS makes it
read-only by default, and you must also use C-x C-q in Emacs to
make it writable. VC calls
cvs edit to make the file writeable,
and CVS takes care to notify other developers of the fact that you
intend to change the file. See the CVS documentation for details on
using the watch feature.
You can turn off use of VC for CVS-managed files by setting the
nil. If you do this, Emacs
treats these files as if they were not registered, and the VC commands
are not available for them. You must do all CVS operations manually.
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