Stansa | How long has version control been around

How long has version control been around

In computer software engineering, revision control is any kind of practice that tracks and provides control over changes to source code. Software developers sometimes use revision control software to maintain documentation and configuration files as well as source code. Revision control is also embedded in various types of software such as word processors and spreadsheets, collaborative web docs and in various content management systems.

Version control history

In 1982 RCS was released. RCS is not a huge piece of technology, but you can still find it around in Unix distros. It is simple and straight to the point.

CVS (Concurrent Version System) was released in 1990. It was able to handle multiple versions being developed concurrently on different machines and stored on a central server. The client-server age was upon us and developers took major advantage out of it.

In 1992, one of the major beasts in the SCM world was born. ClearCase was clearly ahead of its time and for some it is still the most powerful SCM ever built.

Perforce (P4) is one of the independent vendors who are totally focused on SCM, battling for the SCM gold. It is still one of the market leaders among mid-range companies with huge teams, and it has a strong presence in some market niches, such as the gaming industry.

Subversion (SVN) was conceived as “enhanced CVS” and its developers hit their target: it is better than CVS. Period.

Although systems like ClearCase were perfectly capable of branching and merging, SVN educated an entire developer generation on the following dogma: fear branching and merging at all cost! This caused environmental damage that persists to this day, only starting to be healed by the new DVCS generation.

Linus Torvalds, the father of Linux himself, designed and implemented the first version of in 2005 to give his kernel developers an alternative to BitKeeper. Linus not only did the original design (simple, clean, genius), but helped promote the project with his unique style.


Remember to save your files using Stansa version control. This way you can keep track of all of your versions easily!