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Question: "cannot replace a directory from within" -- what happened?

From: Jochem Schulenklopper <j.schulenklopper_at_gmail.com>
Date: 2005-01-05 11:05:56 CET

I stumbled into a vague problem, I searched the archives, found
similar postings of this symptom... but no clear answer/solution was
given. It's a non-blocking but confusing issue, hence this mail.

The problem: suddenly I decided that my project's name needed to be
changed. I have a local file system BDB-type repository, and the top
directory in my repository also needed to change since it carried the
project's name. I moved that folder... and relocated my working copy
since its URL to a place in the repository changed.

After this, svn commit-s and svn log-s seemed to be working fine...
but svn update-s fail consistently with the mysterious "Cannot replace
a directory from within" error message. I closely examined the change
log and the result of svn info on typos, but didn't find any.

From the investigations I did, I found that the repository seems to be
fine. A fresh checkout of a new working copy is functioning without
problem. So, somehow, the working copy seems to be corrupted or
out-of-sync, but the cause is not clear. Moving a repository folder
without relocating the working copy will surely give an (the same)
error, because the current registered URL (for the root of the working
copy which happens to be at some deeper level in the repository)
doesn't exist anymore. Apparently, the relocation of the working copy
doesn't solve this inconsistency, in contrast to my expectation. (But
I could be wrong.)

While communicating with Joel Alexandre (who also mentioned this
problem in December 2004), he mailed:
<quoting relevant parts>
I've never used move or relocate. [...] I did a checkout and after
that i only used update. [...]
When [...the problem...] happend for the first time, i contacted the
repository administrator asking if he had changed something. The
answer was that he didn't. The repository didn't change, i didn't
change my WC.
</quoting relevant parts>

So, apparently the problem does not seem to be 100% correlated to my
moving and relocating... but what is? Another poster replied something
along the lines of "this seems to be a bug that they just haven't
started working on". (Without offense:) Is that the current state, or
is it still in the unknown?
In case this behavior is exactly as designed ("it's not a bug, it's a
feature!"), it would be a solution to clarify the error message, or
improve the documentation on this point. I couldn't find a reference
to this message in the documentation nor the FAQ.

Kind regards,

Jochem
(happy Subversion advocate in our R&D department)

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Received on Wed Jan 5 16:57:54 2005

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