I am completely new to using VCS and haven't settled on Git or Hg, but I do know that I will be using it soon. My old project folder has versions of files labeled v1, v2, etc. How easily can I fold this into a new [local] repo? There are only a few sets of files with version counters (so commit, then copy paste, then commit is an option). I should also note that I am not a classically trained programmer but a self-taught former analytical chemist.

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    If there are only a couple then commit/copy/paste/commit sounds like a reasonable way to do it. If there are more than that a script would work. I know many people simply abandon their history when they move to version control (and you can of course always look at a backup if you need to).
    – U2EF1
    Mar 5, 2014 at 21:02
  • If you value that history, you can always keep them in branches. It's not a terrible use case.
    – BrandonV
    Mar 5, 2014 at 21:13
  • I would recommend keep the version history if possible. Easy to ignore if not wanted and impossible to add back in later.
    – mattnz
    Mar 6, 2014 at 2:44

1 Answer 1


Copy, paste, & commit is fine.

Many years ago, when starting out a tiny software company with a developer who wasn't comfortable with CVS (the then-current best-of-breed VCS), I just told him to take daily snapshots of his workspace and we'd fix things later. A few months down the road, I spent several days doing exactly this, even resetting my workstation clock so it looked like the commits happened on the date that matched the snapshot. File additions and deletions complicate things, but you can automate that by running the appropriate command to recognize files that are missing in the snapshot (and must therefore be deleted) or never committed (and must therefore be added). CVS, and early Subversion, littered the source tree with hidden subdirectories, which made for fun in cleaning up, but modern VCSes (including modern Subversion) don't have that problem.

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