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The use of source control management tools is nowadays a standard practice in the software industry. Furthermore, it seems that there is quite a strong consensus (for deliverables) to have an instable branch where new features arrive and one or several stable branches where only bugfixes are added. I am interested into the history of the emergence and consolidation of these practices. Can anybody provide information about the following milestones?

  • When SCM was used for the first time in an organisation developing software?
  • When was released the first free-software SCM?
  • When was released the first SCM shipped by a software company?
  • When was given the first talk about SCM in a developer's meeting of international importance?
  • Which alternative schemes to the one unstable and one or more stable branches scheme are used today, by a significantly large community (e.g. a large company).

(Note that if a project uses topic branches, development happens in numerous branches, but none of them correspond to deliverables.)

marked as duplicate by gbjbaanb, gnat, Bart van Ingen Schenau, user53019, user40980 Dec 13 '13 at 0:26

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  • the "alternative schemes" part of your question is very broad - I've worked with all kinds of setups, several being quite unique to the company's needs and its processes. – gbjbaanb Dec 10 '13 at 16:45
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SCCS is one of the oldest ones, dating back to 1972. It has been introduced to early versions of Unix and is now part of the Single Unix Specification.

  • +1 And still in use today – andy256 Dec 10 '13 at 14:27
  • But not used outside of Bell Labs until the commercial release of Unix System III in 1982? – paulkayuk Dec 10 '13 at 16:21
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The first free source management system was RCS developed by Walter F Tichy in 1982.

If you follow the references in his original 1982 paper, cited in the Wikipedia article, you will get answers to some of your other questions.

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