I've just started footling about with CVS, so I was very interested in this article by Joey Hess about storing his whole home directory in CVS. I don't think that going to those kinds of extremes would help me a great deal--partly because I have to write a lot of documents in binary formats, so I wouldn't get the benefits of diff and so forth. In fact, I'm a bit hazy on whether CVS can deal with binary format files at all. No doubt someone will enlighten me...

Nevertheless, it's quite inspiring, and I can see that the benefits would be enormous. I've often had the experience of binning some document, only to find (amid much grinding of teeth and tearing of hair) that I needed it a few weeks later, and I have a lot of trouble keeping track of all the numerous revisions of co-authored papers. It would be fantastic to be able to see the differences between the current version and the one three revisions back in a clearer and more reliable way than Word allows--not to mention the hideous privacy problems involved with revision tracking in Word. I certainly want to start using CVS consistently with my web sites, so that when I break something disastrously while tinkering (and I do mean 'when' rather than 'if'), I can roll back to the last good version fairly easily. I've got to do some serious studying of this article to work out the best way of doing it.

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