Revision control

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Revision control, also known as version control or source control (and an aspect of software configuration management or SCM), is the management of changes to documents, programs, and other information stored as computer files. It is most commonly used in software development, where a team of people may change the same files. Changes are usually identified by a number or letter code, termed the "revision number", "revision level", or simply "revision". For example, an initial set of files is "revision 1". When the first change is made, the resulting set is "revision 2", and so on. Each revision is associated with a timestamp and the person making the change. Revisions can be compared, restored, and with some types of files, merged.

Version control systems (VCSs - singular VCS) most commonly run as stand-alone applications, but revision control is also embedded in various types of software such as word processors (e.g., Microsoft Word, OpenOffice.org Writer, KWord, Pages, etc.), spreadsheets (e.g., Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice.org Calc, KSpread, Numbers, etc.), and in various content management systems (e.g., Drupal, Joomla, WordPress). Integrated revision control is a key feature of wiki software packages such as MediaWiki, DokuWiki, TWiki etc. In wikis, revision control allows for the ability to revert a page to a previous revision, which is critical for allowing editors to track each other's edits, correct mistakes, and defend public wikis against vandalism and spam.

Software tools for revision control are essential for the organization of multi-developer projects.[1]

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