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Re: Older versions through http-repository browsing

From: Matthias Wächter <Matthias.Waechter_at_tttech.com>
Date: 2005-03-04 18:23:04 CET


Ben Collins-Sussman <sussman@collab.net> wrote on 04.03.2005 17:20:08:

> Matthias: you keep saying that the ability to look at an arbitrary
> repository object in a browser is some sort of "killer" or "critical"
> feature of Subversion. Let me eradicate that idea from your mind:
> this is *not* a core feature of Subversion. It's an accidental
> artifact of the fact that one of our servers just happens to use HTTP,
> and that HTTP GET just _happens_ to grab the latest version of the
> file. It's not a designed feature, nor is it a planned one. We don't
> go around bragging about it or listing it in any whitepapers. Remember
> that half of all svn installations don't even use apache as their
> server!

Hmmm ... at least the documentation is going around and bragging. let me
again point you to

Compare the first two paragraphs of the section to my citation where I use
"[...]" to remove the unwanted limitations:

"Repository Browsing
One of the most useful benefits of an Apache/WebDAV configuration for your
Subversion repository is that [the youngest revisions of] your versioned
files and directories are immediately available for viewing via a regular
web browser. Since Subversion uses URLs to identify versioned resources,
those URLs used for HTTP-based repository access can be typed directly
into a Web browser. Your browser will issue a GET request for that URL,
and based on whether that URL represents a versioned directory or file,
mod_dav_svn will respond with a directory listing or with file contents.
[Since the URLs do not contain any information about which version of the
resource you wish to see, mod_dav_svn will always answer with the youngest
version.] This functionality has the wonderful side-effect that you can
pass around Subversion URLs to your peers as references to documents, and
those URLs will always point at the latest manifestation of that document.
Of course, you can even use the URLs as hyperlinks from other web sites,
too. "

The only thing missing in "passing around Subversion URLs" is the revision
number. It's none of the properties including author and commit message,
just the revision number.

> Meanwhile, there are at least two other options for "browsing" a
> repository. Either (1) use your commandline client ('svn ls', 'svn
> cat', or TortoiseSVN's 'browser'), or (2) install one of many
> tried-and-true CGI programs (ViewCVS, WebSVN... heck, there's even a
> mod_svn_view.)

... making the "Repository Browsing" section above as well as the decision
to use WebDAV rather useless.

I am surprised that you argue that repository browsing was not a planned
feature! It is a planned feature the moment you choose WebDAV. And that's
why WebDAV is made how it is made.

- Matthias

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Received on Fri Mar 4 18:26:16 2005

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