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Coping with repository bloat

From: Pete Gonzalez <pgonzalez_at_bluel.com>
Date: 2004-05-14 07:26:47 CEST

Our project relies on some data files and source files generated
by various tools with lots of dependencies. It is important that
team members are able to check out the project and compile it
without a lot of extra setup steps and tool installations.
In order to accomplish this, our Subversion repository has to
store a lot of source code and binary data that changes frequently,
and the result is that our database is accumulating a lot of dead
wood. (The Berkely database is already approaching 1GB in size,
whereas the project itself is only around 50MB.)

When we were using SourceSafe, this problem was solved using a
feature called "story only latest version", which allowed the
revision tracking to be disabled for specific files. Although
it was a little awkward to use, it enabled us to dramatically
reduce the database size by discarding these histories (which
were not needed anyway).

Does Subversion have something like this? If not, it seems like
it would be pretty trivial to implement, since it basically
involves subtracting existing functionality rather than implementing
something new. :-)

A related feature would be the ability to delete old revisions.
For example, we have some relatively ancient revision histories
in our repository, and it would be nice to issue a command such
as "Collapse all changes between Jun 1, 2003 and Jan 1, 2004
into a single revision." This would not only reduce the database
footprint, it could also dramatically reduce the amount of time
you have to wait for operations such as the revision history
window in TortoiseSVN. (I realize that it might be possible to
accomplish this with a 200-step manual procedure involving
"svnadmin dump," but maybe it could be automated?)

Is anyone else working on large projects? A lot of the postings
on this list seem to be from people who are just setting up
Subversion or who have relatively small projects.


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Received on Fri May 14 08:26:02 2004

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