FCM 1.5 Release Notes
22 January 2010

These are the release notes for FCM release 1.5. You can use this release of FCM freely under the terms of the FCM LICENSE, which you should receive with this distribution.

FCM is maintained by the FCM team at the Met Office. Please feedback any bug reports or feature requests to us by e-mail.


What's New?

fcm branch --list --show-all
New option to list all branches in a project.
fcm keyword-print: new command
A command to print registered FCM keywords.
New method to manage revision keywords and other keywords related settings.
See FCM User Guide > System Administration > FCM keywords for detail. Note: the SET::TRAC declaration is no longer supported.
fcm update: improvement
The fcm update command applies to a whole working copy. If the working copy contains local changes, the command will prompt the user for confirmation.

Minor Enhancements & Bug Fixes

fcm build: new NO_DEP declaration to switch off dependency checking
A new declaration to switch off dependency checking for a given name-space. See the FCM User Guide > The Build System > Further dependency features for details.
fcm build: incorrect behaviour when dealing with the removal of TOOL declarations in incremental mode
fcm build did not always handle the removal of TOOL declarations from the build configuration correctly in incremental mode. This has been fixed.
fcm build: new TOOL::FC_MODSEARCH declaration
While most Fortran compilers search for the compiled module definition files (i.e. *.mod files) using the same option as the include search path (i.e. -I), some require a special option such as -M. The new TOOL::FC_MODSEARCH declaration allows such an option to be specified in the build configuration file.
fcm build: incorrect logic for handling INHERIT::SRC declarations
The logic for handling this declaration was incorrect. This led to deleted files being incorrectly inherited. This has been fixed.
fcm build: incorrect logic for generating exclude dependency files for directory-based libraries
These files were not being generated corectly. This has been fixed.
fcm build: incorrect logic for handling SRC_TYPE
The system was unable to search for an include file whose type was declared via a SRC_TYPE declaration. This has been fixed.
fcm build: improvement to the Fortran interface file generator
The logic to extract the calling interfaces of top level subroutines and functions from Fortran source files has been rewritten, based on the original logic developed by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). In particular, the new logic will correctly handle 1) pre-processor directives with continuation lines, 2) continuation and comment markers in quotes, 3) BLOCKDATA program units in the source file, 4) TYPE components in variable identifiers, and 5) multiple program units in the source file. There are also improvements in the new logic to reduce the number of useless declarations and module imports in the generated interface block.
fcm commit: improvement to the commit message delimiter
Some users found the old delimiter line confusing. This has been improved.
fcm commit: svn:special and svn:executable
A symbolic link pointing to an executable target can cause a subsequent svn checkout to fail if the target is removed. To avoid the potential problem, fcm commit has been altered to remove the svn:executable property if a path is a symbolic link.
fcm extract: handling of file permission changes in incremental mode
fcm extract did not handle file permission changes in incremental mode. This has been fixed.
fcm extract: handling of symbolic links
Symbolic links cannot be handled safely by fcm extract. They are now removed from the extract.
fcm extract and fcm build: machine hostname
The machine hostname will now be printed with the destination in the diagnostic output of these commands.
fcm extract: missing RDEST in the on-success configuration file
Some RDEST declarations were missing from the on-success generated configuration file. This has been fixed.
fcm extract: improved options for the mirror sub-system
It is now possible to specify the options of the rsync command in the extract configuration file. In addition, ssh is now the default remote shell command.
fcm cmp-ext-cfg: changed verbose option
The --verbose option now requires an argument.

Known Issues

Build inheritance limitation: handling of include files
See the FCM User Guide > The Build System > Inherit from a previous build for detail.

System Requirements


The core part of FCM is a set of Perl scripts and modules. The following core/CPAN Perl modules are required to invoke the fcm command:


The following Perl modules are also required if you want to use the fcm gui command:


At the Met Office we are currently using FCM with Perl 5.8.2 on AIX 5.3 and Perl 5.8.5 on RHEL 4.


To use the code management commands (and relevant parts of the extract system) you need to have Subversion installed.

At the Met Office we are currently using Subversion 1.4.3. Note: FCM 1.5 requires Subversion 1.4.x (but it has not been tested on Subversion 1.5.x or above).

Note: you can use the extract system to mirror code to a remote platform for building. Therefore it is only necessary to have Subversion installed on the platform where you do your code development. If you use other platforms purely for building and running then you do not need to have Subversion installed on these platforms.


The use of Trac is entirely optional (although highly recommended if you are using Subversion).

At the Met Office we are currently using Trac Note:

Other Requirements

The fcm conflicts command requires xxdiff. At the Met Office we are currently using version 3.1. The fcm diff --graphical command also uses xxdiff by default although other graphical diff tools can also be used.

The extract system uses diff3, (which is part of GNU diffutils), to merge together changes where the same file is modified by two different branches (compared with the base branch). At the Met Office we are currently using version 2.8.1.

The extract system uses rsync to mirror source file to another machine. At the Met Office we are currently using version 2.6.3

The build system requires GNU make. At the Met Office we are currently using version 3.80.

FCM is intended to run on a Unix/Linux system. It is currently used at the Met Office on Linux (RHEL 4.8) and AIX 5.3.


FCM is distributed in the form of a compressed tar file. Un-pack the tar file into an appropriate location on your system. Add the bin/ directory into your PATH environment variable. Once you have done this you should now have full access to the FCM system, assuming that you have met the requirements described in the previous section.

You should find the following contents in the distribution:

The README file contains the internal revision number of the release.
The FCM license and other copyright information.
Contains the fcm command and other utilities.
System documentation.
Contains these release notes. It also contains the release notes for all previous versions which may be useful if you have skipped any versions.
Contains the FCM User Guide.
Contains the FCM Perl and Fortran coding standards. The Perl standard describes the standards followed by the FCM code. The Fortran standard contains some specific advice on the best way of writing Fortran code for use with FCM as well as more general advice on good practise.
Contains the External Distribution & Collaboration for FCM Projects document which discusses how projects configured under FCM can be distributed externally.
Miscellaneous items, including the fcm.cfg.eg file. If you wish to define keywords for your systems you will need to create the etc/fcm.cfg file. An example file, fcm.cfg.eg, is provided which is a copy of the file currently used at the Met Office. For further details please refer to the section FCM keywords in the System Admin chapter of the User Guide.
Contains various example scripts which you may find useful. Note that these scripts are all specific to the Met Office and may contain hard coded paths and email addresses. They are provided in the hope that you may find them useful as examples for setting up similar scripts of your own. However, they should only be used after careful review to adapt them to your environment.
An example of how you might set up a cron job to make use of the <repos>.latest file (see examples/svn-hooks/post-commit-background).
Contains the FCM::Admin::* Perl library, which implements the functionalities of the FCM admin utility commands.
Contains a selection of useful admin utility commands.
This script restricts write-access to the repository by checking the following:
A simple post-commit hook script which runs the script post-commit-background in the background.
This script runs in the background after each commit This script is installed as standard in all our repositories.
An example of how you may want to set up a background_updates.pl script to perform post-commit tasks for a specific repository. This script uses a lock file to prevent multiple commits in quick succession from causing problems.
A simple pre-revprop-change hook script which runs the script pre-revprop-change.pl.
If a user attempts to modify the log message of a changeset and he/she is not the original author of the changeset, this script will e-mail the original author. You can also set up a watch facility to monitor changes of log messages that affect particular paths in the repository. For further details please refer to the section Watching changes in log messages in the System Admin chapter of the User Guide.
A simple post-revprop-change hook script which invokes the trac-admin command to resync the revision property cache stored in the corresponding Trac environment.
Contains the Perl library of FCM.
Contains a basic manual page for fcm.
Contains unit test for FCM.
Contains regression tests for FCM.
Contains the files necessary to set up a Subversion repository for the FCM tutorial. This will allow you to follow the tutorial section in the User Guide. See tutorial/README on how to set it up.