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vadm - manipulate and administer version object base


vadm [ version binding options ] [ options ] [ action ] name..

Options: [ -?fq ] [ -cache ] [ -force ] [ -help ] [ -nomail ] [ -quiet ] [ -stdin ]
[ -version ]

Actions: [ -alias version alias name ] [ -attr attribute ] [ -chaut user ]
[ -chmod protection ] [ -chown user ] [ -delattr attribute name ]
[ -d (or -delete) ] [ -l (or -lock) [version binding] ] [ -newgen ] [ -promote ]
[ -set description | note | intent ] [ -setc comment leader ]
[ -unlock [version binding] ] [ -unpromote ]

vattr [ version binding options ] attribute name..

vrm [ version binding options ] name..

sbmt [ version binding options ] name..

publ [ version binding options ] name..

accs [ version binding options ] name..

frze [ version binding options ] name..


vadm is a general purpose command to perform all sorts of actions upon parts of an AtFS
object repository. It can be used to lock or unlock an AtFS object for modification, to
delete a particular object instance, to associate symbolic (alias) names with version
objects, to promote or unpromote certain version objects from one status to another, to
modify an objects access permissions, to set or modify a descriptive entry of particular
version objects, to set or modify an eventual change intention, and to set or unset
various object attributes such as the author or any user defined attributes.

vattr and vrm are short forms for vadm -attr and vadm -delete. See the descriptions of the
-attr and the -delete options for details.

sbmt, publ, accs, and frze are alternate program names for vadm that represent status-
change operations for version objects. See the description of option -promote for details.

The typical command invocation is supplemented by one or more command options, version
binding options defining the versions to be acted upon, an action specifier indicating
the sort of action to be performed, and a set of object names defining the initial subset
of the object base that's going to be manipulated.

Object names may be given in bound version notation, i.e. a notation that identifies a
particular version of an object (e.g. mkattr.c[2.4]). It is also possible to use a
previously assigned symbolic name rather than a numerical version identification (e.g.
mkattr.c[tools-V4R3]). Make sure to escape the bracket-symbols when using csh(1) or
tcsh(1) because they have meaning to these shells.


For version selection, any version binding option, as described on the vbind(1) manual
page, may be given, or a version bind directive may be given in brackets added to the file

-?, -help
print brief instructions about using vadm

-cache apply the requested operation to objects residing in the derived object cache. The
set of actions that may be performed on binary pool objects is limited.

-f, -force
don't ask for confirmation when deleting versions from a history.

Suppress the notification mail to the user who holds the lock on a history when
breaking this lock (-unlock option).

-q, -quiet
suppress any prompts, informal messages and user dialogues. Default values are
assumed for everything that might otherwise be inquired interactively. This option
is useful for batch operation.

-stdin forces vadm to read a descriptive text, note or intent from standard input if
action -set is selected. The note is used for all specified AtFS objects. Otherwise
your favorite editor (taken from the EDITOR environment variable) is invoked.

print version information about the vadm program itself. No action will be
performed on the database.

vadm will perform all of its operations upon a specified set of AtFS version objects. In
case no such set is specified, the operation will be applied to the most recently saved
versions of the named object(s).


The kind of action to be performed upon a specified set of AtFS objects is indicated by a
keyword. The following actions are defined:

-alias version alias name
assigns the version alias name to the specified version. The name works as an alias
for the version number, so it must be different from any other symbolic name
assigned to any version object in a particular object history. It is, however,
possible to assign the same symbolic name to version objects in different object
histories. An object history is usually denoted by a name, similarly to a files
The use of alias names is a simple but effective way to associate component members
of a system configuration. Typical symbolic names will look something like
Mysystem_Release_4.22, indicating that version objects with this name are part of
release 4.22 of the system in question.

-attr attrname
Return rthe value of the named attribute. This may be a standard attribute or a
user defined attribute. Check the list below for a complete list of standard
attribute names.

-attr attrname[+|-]=[@|^|!|*]value
defines a user defined attribute with name attrname and sets it to the value value
for all specified version objects. This option may also be used to set the value
of certain standard attributes (see list below). If attrname is followed by a
single equal-symbol, the respective value of the object is set (or reset) to the
specified value. Any previous values will be overwritten. If attrname is
immediately followed by the symbols ``plus-equal'' (+=), the specified attribute
value will be appended to the current value of the referenced attribute.
Accordingly, ``minus-equal'' (-=) should remove the specified value from the given
attribute. In the current implementation, removal of single values is not
There are four basic kinds of user defined attribute values: genuine values,
reference values, execution values, and pointer values. The kind of an attribute
value is determined when it is set. If the first character of value is an at
character (@), the rest of value is taken to be the name of a file the contents of
which will be taken as the value of the attribute. This substitution takes place
immediately, i.e. the attribute has a genuine value. If the filename is specified
as ``-'', the attributes value will be read from standard input. If the first
character is a circumflex character (^), the rest of value is interpreted as the
name of a file whose contents will be substituted for the attribute when it is
cited. If the first character of value is an exclamation mark character (!), the
rest of value is interpreted as the name of a program whose standard output will be
substituted for the attribute when it is cited. Execution values can be used to
generate highly dynamic attributes or even a primitive form of event triggers. An
asterisk (*) as first character of value indicates a pointer to another version. In
this case, the remainder of value must be a valid bound filename.
User defined attributes may be of arbitrary length. Any sequence of ASCII
characters - with the exception of \01 (control-A) - is allowed to make up an
attribute value. If attrname was already set to some value, the previous value
will be replaced by the newly specified one.

-attr @attrfile
With a @filename argument, the -attr option reads names and values of user defined
attributes from the named file Each entry (each line) in the attribute file must
have a format as described above. The files last character must be a newline

-chaut user
sets user the author of a particular revision. Normally, the author of a revision
is considered the user who saved that revision. However, as certain permissions are
tied to the author attribute of a revision, circumstances may occur that make it
necessary to change the author.

-chmod protection
changes the access permission code of the specified version objects to the supplied
three-octal-digit protection. Currently, the access permissions are centered around
UNIX' notions of owner, group, and world access as well as the access categories
read, write, and execute. These permissions are inherited upon save from the
permissions of the file representing the busy object of an AtFS history. See
chmod(2) for details.

-chown user
sets user the owner of an entire object history. This option is not supported on
BSD type systems, as only the superuser may change the owner of a file.

-delattr attrname
deletes the user defined attribute attrname from the set of attributes associated
with the specified version objects.

-d, -delete
removes the specified version objects from the object base, provided the objects'
status is saved. Any other status indicates that some kind of project interaction
concerning this object might be in progress. If the programmer wants to delete such
a version object anyway, he has to -unpromote the respective objects status to
saved before it can actually be deleted.

-l, -lock [version binding]
tries to reserve the privilege to add a new version to an objects history, thus
preventing multiple programmers working upon the same object base from interfering
with each other by saving concurrent updates. If the locking operation succeeds,
write permission is given for the corresponding files in the development directory.
When setting a new lock on an object history, the requesting user is prompted for
an optional description of the planned changes.
In order to lock an object history successfully, the history must not be locked by
any other programmer, and the programmer requesting the lock must have write
permission on the AtFS subdirectory hosting the object base.
As ShapeTools allows locking of single generations within a history, -lock
optionally expects an argument denoting a generation. Default is the most recent
generation. The argument may be a generation number (e.g. 2), a version number
(e.g. 1.4), or a version alias (e.g. release-4.7).

opens a new generation by duplicating the identified version. The version must be
locked. Any existing busy versions are ignored by this action. If no version
binding is specified, the last saved version is taken by default.

assigns the next-better value to the specified objects' state attribute. There are
six states that an object instance can be in: busy, saved, proposed, published,
accessed, and frozen. Version states are intended to relate to visibility and
operational restrictions (see for example -delete) within a complex project
Due to the current lack of project library support, the version states have very
little actual functionality. Implemented to its full extent, certain state
transitions may only be triggered by appropriately authorized users. The
transitions busy→saved and saved→proposed will be triggered by regular programmers,
whereas the remaining transitions have to be initiated by the project
Each transition corresponds to a specific action or interaction within a general
software project communication scheme. As these actions/interactions will be
functionally supported by the project support system currently under development,
the explicit manipulation of object states will no longer be necessary (except,
perhaps for manual adjusting of ill situations).
The following actions relate to the state transitions:
save (busy→saved, performed by programmer)
sbmt (saved→proposed, performed by programmer)
accpt (proposed→published, performed by project administrator)
accs (published→accessed, performed by any project member)
release (accessed→frozen, performed by project administrator)
A different interface to the status control facilities of vadm is provided by the
program aliases sbmt, publ, accs, and frze. These commands correspond to conceptual
project interactions like submit, publish, access, and freeze.
Submit is the operation performed by a team programmer when a work result (such as
a completed change request) is proposed for inclusion into the official system
configuration. The associated status is proposed.
Publish is an operation that is typically performed by members of the quality
assurance group, when a work result, as proposed by a team programmer is approved
and thus included into the current official system configuration. The associated
status is published.
Access is an operation that is performed during configuration identification, when
component versions of a (sub-)product are incorporated into some other (partial)
(sub-)system configuration. The associated status is accessed.
Freeze is an operation that is performed during configuration identification, when
a global release of the entire system configuration is established. The associated
status is frozen

-set [description | note | intent]
allows to set or modify the descriptive text for an AtFS history object (i.e. an
entire version history), the note usually describing the differences of a version
object with respect to its preceding version, or an entry describing a planned
change. (Re-) setting the change intention may be appropriate, if a previously set
change intent has been consumed by a sbmt command that retained the lock on an
object history.
vadm will check the callers environment for the EDITOR variable and invoke the
program identified therein. If the EDITOR variable is not set, the systems default
editor will be activated. The user may write an arbitrary length descriptive or
note entry using the editor. When the user leaves the editor, the resulting text is
stored with the object history or the specified version objects.

-setc comment_string
sets commentstring as the (sequence of) character(s) that opens a comment line
within the formalism of the document. This comment_string will be prepended to the
lines of the log history when the $__log$ attribute is expanded within the text of
a revision.

gives up the previously reserved privilege to update the history of an AtFS object
and clears the write-permission for the corresponding files. -unlock may be used by
the owner of an object history to break a lock previously set by any programmer.
This option is useful to resolve deadlock situations resulting from careless use of
-lock, or exceptional circumstances that require immediate updating of an object
history, even if the lock holder is not present. The previous owner of a broken
lock is notified by a mail message. Under some circumstances mail-notifications
upon broken locks can be annoying (e.g. when a development tree has been moved to
another system or domain with locked busy-versions; in this case the owner must
break the locks to check the busy-versions back into the version archives at the
new site). To avoid this effect, the switch -nomail can be used to suppress mail
An eventually expressed change intention (see -lock) will be cleared.
Technically, the owner of an objects history is the owner of the AtFS subdirectory
hosting the object base.

reverses a state transition carried out through a prior -promote. The same remarks
about functional embedding (and thus hiding the state transitions) of state
transitions made for -promote hold for -unpromote.


Name Meaning Value Remarks

alias version alias names list of alias names, like1,3
``vadm-4.2pre7'' or ``ShapeTools-1.4''
atime time of last access e.g. ``Tue Jan 14 18:47:06 1992''3
author user who saved a version [email protected] (domain name does1,3
usually not include the hostname)
cachekey unique key for cached versionscompound numeric built from3
creation date, process id, and a serial
number e.g. ``740148430.18469.6''
clead comment line leader symbol dependent on file type1
e.g. ``# '' for Shapefiles
ctime time of last status change as atime
Description descriptive text for modulemulti line text2
dsize size of delta to previous numeric
version in bytes
generation major revision number numeric1,3
Header RCS-style version header text
Intent change intent multi line text 2
host name of current host e.g. ``avalanche'' 3
Log cumulative descriptive entries multi line text
of all versions from the first
up to this one
lock/locker user who locks a historyas author3
ltime time of last lock transaction as atime3
mode access pprotection e.g. ``-rw-r--r--'' 1
mtime time of last modification as atime3
name name part of an object identifier e.g. ``foo'' for ``foo.c''3
note short note describing the multi line text1, 2
changes in this version
owner user who owns the repository in as author1,3
which this version is archived
pred bound version identifier of e.g. ``foo.c[3.22]'' or ``n/a''
preceding version
revision minor revision number numeric1,3
rtime last time when history was locked as atime
self bound version identifier for e.g. ``foo.c[3.23]''
this version
selfpath bound version identifier fore.g. ``/usr/proj/sample/foo.c[3.23]''
this version including path
size size of the version in bytes numeric3
state/status version status symbolic integers (busy,1,3
saved, proposed, published,
accessed, and frozen)
stime time when the version was saved as atime3
succ bound version identifier of as pred
successive version
syspath pathname part of an object e.g. ``/usr/proj/sample''3
identifier for ``/usr/proj/sample/foo.c''
type suffix part of an object e.g. ``c'' for ``foo.c''3
unixname UNIX file name of this versione.g. ``foo.c''
unixpath UNIX file name of this versione.g. ``/usr/proj/sample/foo.c''
including path
version compound version number e.g. ``3.22''1,3
consisting of generation
and revision number
vtime version time, modification time as atime
for busy versions od save time
for saved/cached versions
xpoff pseudo attribute that turns none
off subsequent attribute
xpon pseudo attribute that turns none
subsequent attribute
expansion on

1 - may be modified by vadm -attr name=value.
2 - may be modified by vadm -set <type>.
3 - recognized by attr* predicates in version bind rules (see bindrules(7)).



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