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Christopher Fields
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cvs2cl_by_file.pl - convert cvs log messages to changelogs


cvs2cl [options] [FILE1 [FILE2 ...]] cvs2cl_by_file.pl --delta bioperl-release-1-5-1:bioperl-release-1-5-2


This is a quick hack version of cvs2cl.pl that simply outputs in a file-centric way. Only CVS::Utils::ChangeLog::EntrySet::Output::output_changelog was altered

Usage: cvs2cl_by_file.pl --delta bioperl-release-1-5-1:bioperl-release-1-5-2 Generates a file called ChangeLog showing, per file, all the commit messages since tag bioperl-release-1-5-1 up to tag bioperl-release-1-5-2

Original cvs2cl docs now follow, but some things may not work because of the hack!

cvs2cl produces a GNU-style ChangeLog for CVS-controlled sources by running "cvs log" and parsing the output. Duplicate log messages get unified in the Right Way.

The default output of cvs2cl is designed to be compact, formally unambiguous, but still easy for humans to read. It should be largely self-explanatory; the one abbreviation that might not be obvious is "utags". That stands for "universal tags" -- a universal tag is one held by all the files in a given change entry.

If you need output that's easy for a program to parse, use the --xml option. Note that with XML output, just about all available information is included with each change entry, whether you asked for it or not, on the theory that your parser can ignore anything it's not looking for.

If filenames are given as arguments cvs2cl only shows log information for the named files.


-h, -help, --help, -?

Show a short help and exit.


Show version and exit.

-r, --revisions

Show revision numbers in output.

-b, --branches

Show branch names in revisions when possible.

-t, --tags

Show tags (symbolic names) in output.

-T, --tagdates

Show tags in output on their first occurance.


Show dead files.


Read from stdin, don't run cvs log.


Output to stdout not to ChangeLog.

-d, --distributed

Put ChangeLogs in subdirs.

-f FILE, --file FILE

Write to FILE instead of ChangeLog.


Use this if log data is in FSF ChangeLog style.


Attempt strict FSF-standard compatible output.

-W SECS, --window SECS

Window of time within which log entries unify.

-U UFILE, --usermap UFILE

Expand usernames to email addresses from UFILE.


Use system passwd file for user name expansion. If no mail domain is provided (via --domain), it tries to read one from /etc/mailname, output of hostname -d, dnsdomainname, or domain-name. cvs2cl exits with an error if none of those options is successful. Use a domain of '' to prevent the addition of a mail domain.

--domain DOMAIN

Domain to build email addresses from.


Get user information from GECOS data.

-R REGEXP, --regexp REGEXP

Include only entries that match REGEXP. This option may be used multiple times.

-I REGEXP, --ignore REGEXP

Ignore files whose names match REGEXP. This option may be used multiple times. The regexp is a perl regular expression. It is matched as is; you may want to prefix with a ^ or suffix with a $ to anchor the match.

-C, --case-insensitive

Any regexp matching is done case-insensitively.

-F BRANCH, --follow BRANCH

Show only revisions on or ancestral to BRANCH.

--follow-only BRANCH

Like --follow, but sub-branches are not followed.


When using -F, only track changes since the BRANCH started.


By default, entries generated by cvs for a file added on a branch (a dead 1.1 entry) are not shown. This flag reverses that action.

-S, --separate-header

Blank line between each header and log message.


Add CVS change summary information.


Don't auto-wrap log message (recommend -S also).


Don't indent log message

--gmt, --utc

Show times in GMT/UTC instead of local time.


Add to an existing ChangeLog (incompatible with --xml).

-w, --day-of-week

Show day of week.


Don't show times in output.


Output log in chronological order (default is reverse chronological order).

--header FILE

Get ChangeLog header from FILE ("-" means stdin).


Output XML instead of ChangeLog format.

--xml-encoding ENCODING.

Insert encoding clause in XML header.


Don't include xmlns= attribute in root element.


Don't show filenames (ignored for XML output).


Don't shorten directory names from filenames.


Handle filenames from raw RCS, for instance those produced by "cvs rlog" output, stripping the prefix CVSROOT.

-P, --prune

Don't show empty log messages.


Output the number of lines added and the number of lines removed for each checkin (if applicable). At the moment, this only affects the XML output mode.

--ignore-tag TAG

Ignore individual changes that are associated with a given tag. May be repeated, if so, changes that are associated with any of the given tags are ignored.

--show-tag TAG

Log only individual changes that are associated with a given tag. May be repeated, if so, changes that are associated with any of the given tags are logged.


Attempt a delta between two tags (since FROM_TAG up to and including TO_TAG). The algorithm is a simple date-based one (this is a hard problem) so results are imperfect.

-g OPTS, --global-opts OPTS

Pass OPTS to cvs like in "cvs OPTS log ...".

-l OPTS, --log-opts OPTS

Pass OPTS to cvs log like in "cvs ... log OPTS".

Notes about the options and arguments:

  • The -I and -F options may appear multiple times.

  • To follow trunk revisions, use "-F trunk" ("-F TRUNK" also works). This is okay because no would ever, ever be crazy enough to name a branch "trunk", right? Right.

  • For the -U option, the UFILE should be formatted like CVSROOT/users. That is, each line of UFILE looks like this:


    or maybe even like this

           jrandom:'Jesse Q. Random <jrandom@red-bean.com>'

    Don't forget to quote the portion after the colon if necessary.

  • Many people want to filter by date. To do so, invoke cvs2cl.pl like this:

           cvs2cl.pl -l "-d'DATESPEC'"

    where DATESPEC is any date specification valid for "cvs log -d". (Note that CVS 1.10.7 and below requires there be no space between -d and its argument).

  • Dates/times are interpreted in the local time zone.

  • Remember to quote the argument to `-l' so that your shell doesn't interpret spaces as argument separators.

  • See the 'Common Options' section of the cvs manual ('info cvs' on UNIX-like systems) for more information.

  • Note that the rules for quoting under windows shells are different.

  • To run in an automated environment such as CGI or PHP, suidperl may be needed in order to execute as the correct user to enable /cvsroot read lock files to be written for the 'cvs log' command. This is likely just a case of changing the /usr/bin/perl command to /usr/bin/suidperl, and explicitly declaring the PATH variable.


Some examples (working on UNIX shells):

      # logs after 6th March, 2003 (inclusive)
      cvs2cl.pl -l "-d'>2003-03-06'"
      # logs after 4:34PM 6th March, 2003 (inclusive)
      cvs2cl.pl -l "-d'>2003-03-06 16:34'"
      # logs between 4:46PM 6th March, 2003 (exclusive) and
      # 4:34PM 6th March, 2003 (inclusive)
      cvs2cl.pl -l "-d'2003-03-06 16:46>2003-03-06 16:34'"

Some examples (on non-UNIX shells):

      # Reported to work on windows xp/2000
      cvs2cl.pl -l  "-d"">2003-10-18;today<"""


Karl Fogel
Melissa O'Neill
Martyn J. Pearce

Contributions from

Mike Ayers
Tim Bradshaw
Richard Broberg
Nathan Bryant
Oswald Buddenhagen
Neil Conway
Arthur de Jong
Mark W. Eichin
Dave Elcock
Reid Ellis
Simon Josefsson
Robin Hugh Johnson
Terry Kane
Pete Kempf
Akos Kiss
Claus Klein
Eddie Kohler
Richard Laager
Kevin Lilly
Karl-Heinz Marbaise
Mitsuaki Masuhara
Henrik Nordstrom
Joe Orton
Peter Palfrader
Thomas Parmelan
Jordan Russell
Jacek Sliwerski
Johannes Stezenbach
Joseph Walton
Ernie Zapata


Please report bugs to bug-cvs2cl@red-bean.com.


This script requires Text::Wrap, Time::Local, and File::Basename. It also seems to require Perl 5.004_04 or higher.


Should work on any OS.




(C) 2001,2002,2003,2004 Martyn J. Pearce <fluffy@cpan.org>, under the GNU GPL.

(C) 1999 Karl Fogel <kfogel@red-bean.com>, under the GNU GPL.

cvs2cl.pl is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2, or (at your option) any later version.

cvs2cl.pl is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You may have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with cvs2cl.pl; see the file COPYING. If not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA.