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Re: svn commit: rev 4988 - in trunk: . notes

From: William Uther <willu_at_cse.unsw.edu.au>
Date: 2003-02-21 04:13:10 CET

On Friday, February 21, 2003, at 01:44 PM, mark benedetto king wrote:

> On Fri, Feb 21, 2003 at 11:06:47AM +1100, William Uther wrote:
>> iii) The students take a while to pick up on the concept of a
>> working
>> copy and .svn directories. They like to copy bits of working copy
>> around between users/machines. This doesn't work well... :)
> What doesn't work well about this? The WC is design to handle exactly
> this sort of thing.

I've never been able to extract from the students involved an exact
recipe. Some of them still use the random walk method of getting
things to work, and they usually don't record their steps while walking
(one of the reasons version control is such a huge advantage).

The sort of thing that causes problems:

check out a working copy
Decide you want some changes your friend has, but that are not checked
scp the dir with your friends changes over your local dir.
try to update/commit

Usually, after they have a working copy with 'DirA', 'oldDirA' and
'johnsDirA' (all of which are the same dir in the repos), an error
during update or commit that 'svn cleanup' wont fix, and an inability
to tell me where all the stuff actually came from, I just give up and
get them to check out a clean working copy. Hmm. I wonder if they are
copying their friend's dir while he has locks, but because it is not at
the top level it isn't being caught.

BTW, (and you should ignore this at this point in development) I think
the current WC design is too complex. ACID properties are important
for the repository; I think they are much less important for the
working copy. The working copy is trying too hard to handle rare
failures and making the common failure modes much more complex and hard
to fix.


Will :-}

Dr William Uther                            National ICT Australia
Phone: +61 2 9385 6926             School of Computer Science and 
Email: willu@cse.unsw.edu.au             University of New South Wales
Jabber: willu@jabber.cse.unsw.edu.au          Sydney, Australia
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Received on Fri Feb 21 04:14:08 2003

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