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[gopher] Gopher, CVS, Xdelta

So I was bored yesterday as I was updating the mirrors on quux.org and
the thought occured to me: quux is, in large part, an archive of
historical stuff: literature, software, papers, whatever.  People can
see what the UMN gopher server used to look like, etc.

The thought occured to me: wouldn't it be great for people to also be
able to see what THIS site used to look like?  And it also occured to
me that it would be good for me to make archives of previous versions
of it too.

Making periodic checkpoints of stuff is prohibitive space-wise -- the
site is 7.8GB.  Not a good option.  It would be possible to put the
entire thing into CVS, but then there's the problem of having to have
the entire thing checked out also -- it would more than double the
space requirements.  Not a good option either.  So then the thought
occured to me: what about a gopher server that natively understands
RCS files and serves them up directly?

So, point the server at the cvsroot and let it fly!  People could
request regular documents as usual, or maybe some special syntax like


Would give them a document.txt from June 1.  The server would have to
rewrite the .Links so that the date is inserted at the proper part in
the selector for directories, but other than that it could be really

However, it's not QUITE that easy: there's the question of deleted
files (the CVS Attic), deleted directories, etc, etc.  Possibly code
from something like cvsweb could be used.

There's also xdelta, which is much more suited for this purpose than
RCS but which lacks the whole-system management features of CVS --
that is, xdelta will manage one file like RCS, not a whole directory
or something like CVS.  xdelta is faster and has an API already,

Thoughts?  I'm wondering what server might be most useful for this.
I've also realized that Roxen includes gopher and CVS support, so I
might look into that.  Last I looked (which was, admittedly, an old
version) its gopher support was rather weak, however.

-- John

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