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Welcome to the home page of the Vesta Configuration Management System!

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Project summary

For substantial software systems (say, 500k source lines or larger), effective software configuration management (SCM) is a serious problem. It is not generally known how to make a configuration management system that is both easy to use and general enough to handle multi-million line software projects. As a result, the world is full of easy-to-use, small-scale configuration management tools and large-scale, hard-to-use ones.

Vesta is a portable SCM system targeted at supporting development of software systems of almost any size, from fairly small (under 10,000 source lines) to very large (10,000,000 source lines).

Vesta is a mature system. It is the result of over 10 years of research and development at the Compaq/Digital Systems Research Center, and it was in production use by Compaq's Alpha microprocessor group for over two and a half years. The Alpha group had over 150 active developers at two sites thousands of miles apart, on the east and west coasts of the United States. The group used Vesta to manage builds with as much as 130 MB of source data, each producing 1.5 GB of derived data. The builds done at the eastern site in an average day produced about 10-15 GB of derived data, all managed by Vesta. Although Vesta was designed with software development in mind, the Alpha group demonstrated the system's flexibility by using it for hardware development, checking their hardware description language files into Vesta's source code control facility and building simulators and other derived objects with Vesta's builder. The members of the former Alpha group, now a part of Intel, are continuing to use Vesta today in a new microprocessor project.

In the latter half of 2001, Vesta was released by Compaq under the GNU LGPL.

Vesta: Roman goddess


There are several papers and other publications about Vesta 2:
  1. Allan Heydon, Roy Levin, Timothy Mann, Yuan Yu.
    The Vesta Approach to Software Configuration Management (abstract) (pdf) (pdf, alternate host) (postscript)
    Compaq Systems Research Center Research Report 168, March 9, 2001

    An introduction to the main concepts used in Vesta. It describes Vesta's advantages over traditional software configuration management tools, how those benefits are achieved, and the system's overall performance.

  2. Allan Heydon, Roy Levin, Timothy Mann, Yuan Yu.
    Software Configuration Management Using Vesta (hardcover)
    Springer-Verlag, 2006, ISBN: 0-387-00229-4

    The definitive research report describing the entire system in detail. This is the most complete reference for the system. (Note that this is a research report, not a user's manual.)

    1. Allan Heydon, Roy Levin, Timothy Mann, Yuan Yu.
      The Vesta Software Configuration Management System (abstract) (pdf) (pdf, alternate host) (postscript)
      Compaq Systems Research Center Research Report 177, January 22, 2002, 231 pp.

      An earlier version of the book-length research report.

  3. Allan Heydon, Jim Horning, Roy Levin, Timothy Mann, Yuan Yu.
    The Vesta-2 Software Description Language (html) (abstract)
    Compaq Systems Research Center Technical Note 1997-005c, Revised June 2, 1998.

    A technical note defining the Vesta software description language. Slightly outdated. Refer to the language specification instead.

  4. Timothy Mann.
    Partial Replication in the Vesta Software Repository (abstract) (pdf) (pdf, alternate host) (postscript)
    Compaq Systems Research Center Research Report 172, August 17, 2001.

    This report explains the concepts behind Vesta's replication capabilities, which are central to distributed development using Vesta.

  5. Allan Heydon, Roy Levin, Yuan Yu.
    Caching Function Calls Using Precise Dependencies (pdf) (postscript)
    Appeared in Programming Language Design and Implementation 2000.

    A technical paper on fine-grained dependency analysis and caching. These techniques are the basis for Vesta's incremental build support.

  6. Kenneth Schalk
    Presentation from CodeCon 2004 (html)

    Slides describing Vesta presented at CodeCon 2004.

To the Vesta-mobile!

Reference documentation

Man pages

Most components of the system are documented by man pages in html format, some of which have helpful diagrams.

Hosting donated by:

Enertron LLC and SourceForge Logo

Hardware, and original research, provided by:

Compaq Logo (formerly DEC Logo)

Several components of Vesta use the Boehm-Demers-Weiser conservative garbage collector.

Some components of Vesta use zlib for compression.

Last modified: Wed Mar 29 22:59:42 EST 2006