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I did a checkout recently, and one of the files was not the file that I checked in, but rather it was a diff of that file and the previous version.

Is cvs known for this kind of error?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Are you sure it was a 'diff' of that file and the previous file?

I aske because if two developers work on the same line(s) of the same file, the second cvs commit can cause cvs to leave two versions of the same line(s) in place, with extra lines that have '>>>>>' or '<<<<<' in them.

Do cvs log thefileinquestion and see what the commit history looks like. You may see the problem there.

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In other words, this is an unresolved merge conflict. Some human being has to decide how to resolve the conflict. – David Schwartz Oct 28 '11 at 0:24

It seem that someone forced a commit, but there were conflicts. You should check who committed this version, because it is a signal of uneducated use of CVS.

If the cvs status or a failing cvs commit indicates unresolved conflicts you have to search through the conflicting file for >>>>>> lines and decide on which of the two conflicting parts (on until ++++ the other from that to <<<<) is the valid one, edit and merge the 'unconflicted' version.

You can also use xxdiff to unmerge these conflicts. That program is also availble with many distros

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