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Feedback on Subversion Book

From: Jennifer Bevan <jen_at_bounce.alouysius.net>
Date: 2003-12-01 08:22:25 CET

I just read Chapters 1-8 of the Subversion book. It was
very helpful, but I did notice some errors, clarity problems,
and consistency issues. So, I'm posting my feedback so that
those working on the Book can peruse it in their infinite
free time.



Where: Chapter 5, Repository Creation and Deletion:
Current Value:
$ ls repos
dav/ db/ format hooks/ locks/ README.txt

With the exception of the README.txt file, the repository directory
is a collection of subdirectories.
"format" is a plain file too.

Where: Chapter 5, Repository Recovery
Current Value:
Make sure that you run this command as the user that owns and manages
the database, not just as root. Part of the recovery process might
involve recreating from scratch various database files (shared memory
regions, for example). Recovering as root will create those files such
that they are owned by root, which means that even after you restore
connectivity to your repository, regular users will be unable to access it.
Shouldn't svnadmin create also be run in this manner?
Otherwise, you have to chown/chgrp just like you would if you
ran svnadmin recover as root. Of course, with svnadmin create
there could be a problem writing the top-level directory if
apache/nobody doesn't have write permission there, so that should
perhaps be mentioned too.

Where: Chapter 6, Advanced Topics, ssl-authorities-file
Current Value:
This specifies the path of a file that contains the certificates of the
certificate authorities (or CAs) that are accepted by the Subversion
client when accessing the repository over HTTPS.
The CA acronym, when introduced, should just be "(CAs)", not "(or CAs)".
Acronyms also should not be introduced unless they're going to be
used again fairly soon, but I don't see it being used again.
Of course that doesn't mean you can't just introduce the acronym
for the heck of it. Some people like them.

Where: Chapter 6, Manipulating Properties, first example
Current Value:
property `copyright' set on 'calc/button.c'
why a backquote?

Where: Chapter 6, Manipulating Properties, propedit
Current Value:
When you run the command, svn invokes your editor program on a temporary
file that contains the current value of the property
You may want to add that if you try this on a binary file then
the result may be ugly (maybe in a footnote, those are usually

Where: Chapter 6, svn:keywords
Current Value:

    This keyword is compressed combination of the other keywords....
Except for HeadURL. This sentence implies *all* of the other

Where: Chapter 6, General Vendor Branch Management Procedure
Current Value:
svn copy http://svn.example.com/repos/calc/vendor/libcomplex/current \
                http://svn.example.com/repos/calc/vendor/libcomplex/1.0 \
                -m 'tagging libcomplex-1.0'
svn copy http://svn.example.com/repos/vendor/libcomplex/1.0 \
                http://svn.example.com/repos/calc/libcomplex \
                -m 'bringing libcomplex-1.0 into the main branch'
Either the first copy has an extra "calc" or the second
copy needs one, right? The follow-on example has no "calc" in
the libcomplex/current path either. This whole example probably needs
to be re-inspected.

Where: Chapter 7, The Transaction Distraction, 1st sentence
Current Value:
The notion of a Subversion transaction, especially given its
close proximity the database code....
"*to* the database code"?

Where: Chapter 7, Using Languages Other than C and C++
Current Value:
As you know, only a human can botch up the input to a program
as well as they do and the scripting-type language simply handle
that misinformation more gracefully...
Number disagreement, twice. (a human -> humans, language -> languages)

Where: Chapter 8, svn Switches
Current Value:
Everything else seems to be in alphabetical order.

Where: Chapter 8, svn Switches
Current Value:
--new ARG
    Uses ARG as the newer target.
--old ARG
    Uses ARG as the older target.
Unclear (after having read chapters 1-7). This probably
would make sense after seeing an example with a "newer"
and "older" target, but up to this point such terminology
hasn't been used. Hmmm. Neither --new nor --old are
listed as a legal switch for *any* of the svn subcommands.

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Received on Mon Dec 1 08:23:01 2003

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