It's great to see that Subversion now supports file locks. This make sit
much more useable for binary formats that don't have useful dif and
merge tools available yet for which version control and tracking is
still a vital thing. Common formats in that group are binary word
processor and spreadsheet formats for example.
Now I've started using it and am wildly pleased, but I think one small
feature would make it a dream and that is the ability to enforce file
locking rather than mere support of it.
I'm envisaging the power to say for example, that all files which match
a particular naming pattern (which might specify path and or extension,
a simple RE on the UNC name of the file would be fine) require locks.
The requirement is typical enforced in a soft way only using the
read-only attribute of files. Such files would essentially be made
read-only by default, and made writeable only when an update is done
(with a lock granted in the process). The Commit would then free the
lock and make the file read only again. The read-only flag is
traditional set on the first Update which creates the file (to kick
start the cycle).
Such a model pretty much avoids conflicts altogether. For that reason it
is useful for formats for which conflict resolution is mind bogglingly
difficult and hence worth preventing. This is the standard model of
products like VSS of course. Subversion adds enormous efficiency to
processes using code and text files, but we're hoping to use the
repository for more and more of these binary formats too, and siuch a
strategy to minimize the risk of inadvertent conflicts which are
hellishly difficult to resolve would be an enormous asset.
Just a suggestion anyhow.
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Received on Sun Dec 25 03:19:09 2005