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Question about svn:externals linking within a repository

From: Jason Harrison <harrison_at_koolhausgames.com>
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2008 18:19:00 -0700


I've tried to find a concise clear answer to these questions in the
mailing lists, and the SVN book doesn't seem to clarify it either. As
far as I can tell, when I do a commit with TortoiseSVN, it only commits
to a single repository. However, TortoiseSVN, and possibly SVN will
commit to svn:external files within a repository, because they are valid
checked out files in a working copy.

In my case I have arranged the repository like so, with a _Tags, _Trunks
and Roles folders. Roles represent job roles and can share data within
the repository. Svn:externals is used like soft-links to "copy" data
from one Role to another.

   + Art
   + Code

Artist has the svn:external properties:
Art svn://repository/project/_Trunk/Art

Engineer has the svn:external properties:
Art svn://repository/project/_Trunk/Art
Code svn://repository/project/_Trunk/Code

An svn checkout on the root of the repository gives me a working copy
with directories:

   + Art
   + Code
   + Art
   + Art
   + Code

Typically, an Artist or Engineer would only checkout their own directory of files, not the entire repository. Then they would svn commit their working copy, which would commit all of the sub folders, except that the SVN documentation seemed to state otherwise.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that TortoiseSVN was saying "all of the files from the current root repository will be commited...I'm not checking to see if the svn:externals command or any other WinXP file explorer mucking was involved, here is the commit dialog..."

So finally the questions:
- Is my analysis correct: TortoiseSVN commits only to a single working copy?
- Is my observation correct: TortoiseSVN commits folders checked out via svn:externals, as long as they are from the same repository as the current directory/file?
- Is my repository setup somewhat rational or totally screwy? Before I arrived here we didn't have a Trunk or Tags or Branches. All of the folders were right at the root, and people would check out the five or so that they needed to work with. Morning updates would grab way too much data.


Jason Harrison
Video Game Software Engineer
Koolhaus Games Inc.
206 - 896 Cambie Street
Vancouver, B.C. V6B 2P6
Studio Tel: 604 696 9797
Mobile Tel: 604 644 8611
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Received on 2008-03-11 01:19:19 CET

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