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SVN need to delete/create-temp/rename files instead of simply ove rwriting them (suggestion how to workaround)

From: Teblin, Ivan <Ivan_Teblin_at_avertlabs.com>
Date: 2004-12-02 15:06:56 CET

(Mailing here seems to be the only way to leave feedbacks, according to info
from SVN site)

I use SVN in Windows (don't know what is the version because svn.exe refuses
to show it despite all my efforts but I downloaded it couple of months ago).

After excitement about great abilities and smartness of server part of the
system, I've fallen to disappointment about exceptionally stupid way the
client part works with local files. The main problem: it does not honour any
FS-specific file data like extended attributes, permissions, linking info,
etc - nothing. I did not get my hands to source code yet, but after
experimenting with NTFS-permissions, my strong guessing that SVN client
creates temp files than tries to rename them into target names, so breaking
hard-links and spoiling NTFS ACLs.

If you, dev-guys, want to keep your code as much cross-platform as possible,
you should not do such weird thing because it's catastrophic for concistency
of various local attributes that SVN does not (and right: should not!) be
aware of. I guess that this way of treating files is necessary to work
around some other problems and I do appreciate your work of resolving them.
However, people must have choice, don't they? So, why not to introduce an
option of only-basic-file-io, so disabling such complicated and destructive
behaviour but enabling simply overwriting files instead? This modification
is excellently cross-platform, no needs to know just anything about NTFS,
Windows, whatever, except normal UNIX-like file I/O operations.

P.S. Before writing you I googled about the problem and have seen many
opinions something like "it's only for people working on Win2000+ _and_
using NTFS, hence it's quite rare, so no reason to bother with it". I can
bet that such opinions were issued by *NIX-only users not strongly involved
in Windows administration and development, so I strongly disagree with their
opinion because:

- Win2000 is the first Windows version providing (at last!) OS-level
security and good usability, and its default FS choice _is_ NTFS, in fact M$
strongly discourages using FAT FS.

- Despite the fact Explorer is stupid about NTFS-links, it does work with
NTFS-ACLs and many popular file managers (like FAR that I use) work with
NTFS-links as well without any problems. SVN is targeted to advanced users
and computer specialists, so don't expect those people would restrict
themselves from using this great FS feature simply because of some stupid
M$-programs like Explorer (and regretfully, current SVN-client... :-((( ).

- All new computers in all my local computer shops do contain pre-installed
WinXP, of course with NTFS as default FS. And most corporate
IT-administering and software development is based on Win2000+ OSes and
there's no any evidence about changing the things from that direction in
near future (despite of my personal preferences to keep away from M$).

I do hope, my report and my SVN impressions will help you to make the right
decision and improve even more your great product.


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Received on Fri Dec 3 18:19:55 2004

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