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IBM Rational ClearCase 7.0: Master the Tools That Monitor, Analyze, and Manage Software Configurations by Tatiana Shpichko, Marc Girod

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Replicas and mastership

The solution to the dilemma is for every site to have, not an identical copy of the vobs, but a replica of it: this replica is a workspace which can only be modified locally, and is prevented by the system from diverging from the other replicas. In the absence of a global time, it would be meaningless to say that the data is the same: by the time one would have asserted the state on one site and brought this information to another site for comparison, it would be unavoidable that this state would have changed in either or both replicas. What is important is that the differences do not grow, and that the past, up to a recent date, is common.

This is implemented in the concept of epochs: ever growing figures that represent ...

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