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IBM Journal of Research and Development  
Volume 28, Number 1, Page 74 (1984)
Software Quality
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Managing Multi-Version Programs with an Editor

by V. Kruskal
When more than one version of a program must be maintained, generally much of the code is repeated unchanged in many versions. Techniques such as “deltas” and conditional compilation are commonly used to avoid duplicating these common parts. In addition to saving storage, these methods aid the programmer greatly in managing updates to the versions. Unfortunately, these representations of multi-version programs can appear very unlike a program, making them difficult to edit. Described here is a new method of automating much of the bookkeeping involved in dealing with multi-version programs. It entails use of a special editor that enables a multi-version program to be seen and modified in a fashion that is far closer to that normally permitted for a single-version program.
Related Subjects: Programming, programs, and programming languages; Software reliability