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Converts SCCS files to elements


ProductCommand type
ClearCase LTcommand



clearexport_sccs [ –r ]
[ [ –s date-time ] [ –p date-time ] | –I { now | date-time } ]
[ –V ] [ –t temp-dir-pname ] [ –T translation-file ]
[ –o datafile-pname ] [ source-name ... ]


The clearexport_sccs command exports Source Code Control System (SCCS) files so that they can be imported into ClearCase or ClearCase LT elements and versions. The source data can range from a single file to an entire directory tree.

During the export stage, you invoke clearexport_sccs in the area where the SCCS files reside. clearexport_sccs creates a datafile (by default, named cvt_data) that contains descriptions of elements, branches, and versions. If any of the files to be processed reside below (rather than in) the current working directory, clearexport_sccs includes descriptions of the corresponding directory elements in the datafile. clearexport_sccs follows symbolic links it encounters during the export stage.

In the import stage, you invoke clearimport on the datafile to import information into the new VOB.

clearexport_sccs ignores information in SCCS files that is not related to version-tree structure; this includes flags, ID keywords, user lists, and Modification Request numbers. You can specify a translation file to control naming, enforcing consistency over multiple invocations of clearexport_sccs. You can use the –V option to preserve SCCS IDs as attributes of the corresponding ClearCase or ClearCase LT versions.

clearexport_sccs and clearimport use magic files to determine which element type to use for each element that clearimport creates. For more information about magic files and file typing, see the cc.magic reference page.

Note: You cannot run clearexport_sccs on UNIX and then run clearimport on Windows to import the data, or vice versa. However, you can transfer data in either direction between UNIX and Windows by mounting the UNIX VOB or file system on your Windows machine and running both clearexport_sccs and clearimport on the Windows machine.

S-Files, G-Files, and P-Files

clearexport_sccs works directly with the structured SCCS s-files, which have the s. file name prefix. It does not process the g-files created with get and get –e commands. Be sure to check in such files with the delta command before running clearexport_sccs. clearexport_sccs issues warning messages when it encounters checked-out files, but it still processes them.

Other than issuing warning messages for checked-out files, clearexport_sccs ignores the p-files created by get –e.

If s-files are stored in SCCS (or sccs; case is not important) subdirectories, clearexport_sccs collapses the subdirectory level. For example, SCCS file ./proj/SCCS/s.main.c becomes element ./proj/main.c.

Multiple-Pass Export

You can process an SCCS file in several passes. For example, you can use clearexport_sccs to process major revision level 1, and use it again to process major revision level 2. On the subsequent passes, clearimport updates an existing element correctly if that VOB element has not been modified in the interim.

Special Characters in File Names

During import, clearimport invokes a shell to extract data from the datafile. clearimport can handle some, but not all, characters that are special to shells. Import fails for any file name that includes any of these characters:

‘   '   “   <Tab>   [   ]   ?   *   %

For example:

file namefile*name

Before running clearexport_sccs, rename any file whose name contains these characters.

Note: If any datafile-pname or source-name that you specify include spaces, the file name requires special treatment. On UNIX, you must escape the space characters:

% clearexport_pvcs src\ files 

On Windows, you must enclose the name in double quotes:

> clearexport_pvcs "src files" 

Translation File

An SCCS branch ID is a name for a particular branch of an SCCS file. clearexport_sccs translates the symbols to names of branch types. Suppose an SCCS symbol, rls_1.3_fixes, names a branch 3.5.1. clearexport_sccs exports a description of branch type rls_1.3_fixes, and clearimport creates a branch of that type at the ClearCase or ClearCase LT version created from SCCS revision 3.5.

You can enforce consistency of translation by using a translation file to control the names of branches created from SCCS branches. If you name such a file using the –T option, clearexport_sccs uses it as follows:

  • To look up each SCCS branch ID to see how to translate it to the name of a branch type. If a match is found, the branch ID is translated the same way.
  • To record each translation of a new SCCS branch ID for use in future lookups.

The first time you use clearexport_sccs, use –T to create a new translation file. On subsequent invocations of clearexport_sccs, use –T again, specifying the same translation file for consistent name translation.

Syntax of Translation File

The translation file consists of one or more lines in the following form:

branch old-name new-name 

For example, to rename the branch type pre_import_work to post_import_work and the branch type old_tests to obsolete_tests, the translation file contains the lines:

branch pre_import_work post_import_work 
branch old_tests obsolete_tests 

No blank lines are allowed in the file.

Handling of Objects That Cannot Be Exported

When clearexport_sccs encounters a file or directory that cannot be exported (for example, a file with format problems or a broken symbolic link), it prints an error and continues. After creating the data file, the command prints a summary of the files and directories that could not be exported.




Handling of Directory Arguments

If you specify a directory as a source-name argument: (1) clearexport_sccs processes the files in that directory but ignores the contents of the subdirectories; (2) clearimport creates a directory element for source-name and for each of its subdirectories.

clearexport_sccs descends recursively into all source-name arguments that are directories.

Selective Conversion of Files

clearexport_sccs processes all SCCS revisions it finds.

–s date-time
clearexport_sccs processes only SCCS revisions that have been modified since the time specified. Use this option for regular, incremental updating of an element from an SCCS file that is still under development. Be sure to specify a date-time that covers the entire period since the preceding update. In other situations, it is probably better to use –I instead of –s.

clearexport_sccs determines whether to process an SCCS archive by using the last-modified date/time of the archive. If this date/time is before the date-time you specify with –s, clearexport_sccs does not process any of the revisions in the archive. If the archive's date/time is after the date-time you specify, clearexport_sccs processes the following revisions:

  • All revisions created since the specified date-time

  • All revisions from which branches sprout

Note: In an incremental updating situation, if you remove a branch from an SCCS revision, clearimport does not remove the branch from the ClearCase or ClearCase LT element.

–p date-time
Like -s, but processes only versions modified with new metadata (labels, branches, attributes, and so on) or created before the specified time.

–I { now | date-time }
Processes important revisions only, but includes all revisions created since the specified time. A version is important if any of these conditions is true:
  • It is the most recent version on its branch.

  • It has a label.

  • A subbranch is sprouted from it.

Specify the time as follows:

date.time | date | time |now where:

date :=day-of-week | long-date
time :=h[h] : m[m][:s[s]] [UTC [ [ + | - ]h[h][:m[m] ] ] ]
day-of-week :=today |yesterday |Sunday | ... |Saturday |Sun | ... |Sat
long-date :=d[d]month[[yy]yy]
month :=January |... |December |Jan |... |Dec

Specify time in 24-hour format, relative to the local time zone. If you omit the time, the default value is 00:00:00. If you omit date, the default is today. If you omit the century, year, or a specific date, the most recent one is used. Specify UTC if you want to resolve the time to the same moment in time regardless of time zone. Use the plus (+) or minus (-) operator to specify a positive or negative offset to the UTC time. If you specify UTC without hour or minute offsets, Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is used. (Dates before January 1, 1970 Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) are invalid.)

Preservation of SCCS IDs as Attributes

clearexport_sccs does not attach attributes to versions exported from SCCS revisions.

Attaches an attribute of type SCCS_ID to each newly created version. The string value of the attribute is the SCCS ID of the exported SCCS revision. (clearimport creates attribute type SCCS_ID, if necessary.)

If you use the –s option with this option, clearimport attaches SCCS_ID attributes only to revisions created after the date-time you specified.

Each attribute requires about 1 KB of storage in the VOB database.

Directory for Temporary Files

On UNIX systems, the value of P_tmpdir (set in the stdio.h system include file; you can override this value by setting the TMPDIR environment variable).

On Windows systems, the value of the TMP environment variable.

–t temp-dir-pname
Specifies an alternate directory for temporary files. This directory must already exist.

Branch Name Translation

Creates ClearCase or ClearCase LT branch names based on the SCCS revision IDs.

–T translation-file
Uses the specified translation file to control the mapping between SCCS branches and ClearCase or ClearCase LT branches. See also the section “Translation File”.

Storage Location of Datafile

clearexport_sccs creates the datafile cvt_data in the current working directory.

–o datafile-pname
Stores the datafile in the specified location. An error occurs if datafile already exists.

Specifying Files to Be Exported

clearexport_sccs processes the current working directory (equivalent to specifying a dot ( . ) as the source-name argument). If you specify a directory as a source-name argument: (1) clearexport_sccs processes the s-files in that directory, but ignores the contents of the subdirectories; (2) clearimport creates a directory element for source-name and for each of its subdirectories (except one named SCCS or sccs).

source-name ...
One or more pathnames, specifying s-files and/or directories:
  • For each specified s-file, clearexport_sccs converts some or all of its SCCS revisions to ClearCase or ClearCase LT versions.

  • For each specified directory, clearexport_sccs places descriptions in the datafile for all the s-files it contains. clearimport creates a directory element for the specified directory itself, and for its subdirectories (except one named SCCS or sccs).

Each source-name can be a simple file or directory name or a wildcard as described in wildcards_ccase. Specifying a parent directory (..) causes an error, as does any UNIX pathname that includes a slash or any Windows pathname that includes a slash or backslash. Run this command in a directory under which the elements to be exported reside. If the s-files reside in SCCS subdirectories, use the –r option to enable clearexport_sccs to find them.


  • Create a datafile for a single SCCS file.

    clearexport_sccs s.myprogram.c 

  • Process three SCCS files in the current working directory and store the datafile in file cvt_include.

    clearexport_sccs -o cvt_include s.bgr1.h s.bgr2.h s.bgr3.h 


cc.magic, clearexport_*, clearimport, delta, events_ccase, get, relocate, rcs(1), rsh(1) or remsh(1), sccs(1), wildcards_ccase



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