Version control systems are packages that can record multiple versions of a source file, usually storing the unchanged parts of the file just once. Version control systems also record history information such as the creation time of each version, who created it, and a description of what was changed in that version.
The Emacs version control interface is called VC. Its commands work with three version control systems--RCS, CVS and SCCS. The GNU project recommends RCS and CVS, which are free software and available from the Free Software Foundation.
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