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Re: Configuration area in the repository

From: John Peacock <jpeacock_at_rowman.com>
Date: 2004-03-31 16:21:25 CEST

Lele Gaifax wrote:
> John, I do know the matter, and I even chatted with Ben and others
> before issueing it. Ben said that at one point he will create a
> meta-issue to collect these ideas.

That's good. Since I am working on a custom Properties patch, I may be a little
more sensitive to the issues involved.

> John> 1) Initialization - is the global config used when creating
> Uh? My proposal simply add a new place to look for settings, that is
> look also in './.subversion' after '~/.subversion'. The suggested
> approach has several advantages over a per-repository new conf/
> setting.

Then you can take away the discussion that your proposal was not clear (to me at
least ;) as to what you were actually proposing.

> John> 2) Collision - are repository-wide settings additive with
> John> user config, or do the globals trump the user settings (or
> John> more likely vice versa).
> The proposal is an /alternative/ to having such repos-wide settings.

You still have to deal with the possibility of the same settings in both
locations and how they interact. In my mind, this is a far more important part
of the design discussion than the actual location of the additional config stanzas.

There is also the issue of Namespace collision in the repository. If I decide
to place my entire home directory under version control (not unheard of), your
proposed './.subversion' will collide with the existing '~/.subversion'
directory. This is not a killer problem, but the code would have to deal with
the fact that in this case the local /directory/ config and the local /user/
config are one and the same.

Additionally, there are existing issues with Win32 development (specifically
Visual Studio Web projects) when a directory or file starts with a period (only
an extension and no filename). Given that it is already a problem to have .svn,
it would not be good to then go ahead and add yet another problem case. The
Win32 people are very sensitive to perceived slights of their worldwide
dominance. ;~0

> John> I'm not even sure where you intend the './.subversion' file
> John> to be located.
> No, *each* subdirectory of a repository may contain the .subversion
You mean Working Copy here, right?

> settings folder, that applies on the containing directory and its
> subtree. This way you can get different policies in different part of
> the repository.
Again, you are proposing a WC-centric configuration file, that just may be
stored in the repository sometimes.

I have to say that I would not find this (directory centric configs) as useful
as, for example, a property associated with a containing directory. In both
cases, to do it right would involve the tough discussion of inheritance and
collision. I would rather set the project-centric configuration once at the top
level of the project (as a property), and have that inherited by the entire
project. Your method would require that I add possibly duplicated .subversion
folders to each and every directory in a potentially very large project.


John Peacock
Director of Information Research and Technology
Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group
4501 Forbes Boulevard
Suite H
Lanham, MD  20706
301-459-3366 x.5010
fax 301-429-5748
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Received on Wed Mar 31 16:21:36 2004

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