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Re: Subversion is brittle in an annoying way

From: Max Bowsher <maxb_at_ukf.net>
Date: 2004-09-18 16:10:57 CEST

Eric S. Raymond wrote:
> A pattern I'm seeing that is beginning to bother me is that Subversion
> is very pleasant to use when everything is working perfectly, but an
> impenetrable stone bitch when anything goes the least bit wrong.
> esr@snark:~/svn/gpsd$ svn diff -r307:308
> http://svn.berlios.de/svnroot/repos/gpsd/trunk/ svn: PROPFIND request
> failed
> on '/'
> svn: PROPFIND of '/': 200 OK (http://svn.berlios.de)
> What is one supposed to do with this? The message is cryptic, there
> is nothing in the book, nothing in the FAQ, and no obvious reason
> for the command to have failed since there is in fact a repository
> at that URL.
> I don't just want the symptom fixed for me, I want the error message
> fixed so that future users will know how to recover from this error.

It's true we have some unilluminating error messages. We do try fix them as
they are brought to our notice, though.

In this case, there actually *isn't* a repository at that URL. There should
be, but there isn't. BerliOS appears to have accidentally deactivated

In fact, the remote server appears to be treating PROPFIND as equivalent to
a GET. That's bizarre.

I'm not sure how to describe that usefully concisely in an error - "The
remote server is acting weird" isn't really an improvement.


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Received on Sat Sep 18 16:17:29 2004

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