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Re: Customizing default svnserve.conf file?

From: Ben Collins-Sussman <sussman_at_collab.net>
Date: 2005-02-18 16:25:35 CET

On Feb 18, 2005, at 8:38 AM, Philippe Auphelle wrote:

> > CVS allows remote users to effortlessly create new repositories on
> the
> > server? That's news to me. ;-)
> :)
> Weeeeeellll... As far as we're concerned, a single repository is all
> it takes with CVS: TortoiseCVS allows us (users!) to create a fully
> independant project in the CVS repository thru its one-click "Make New
> Module" command.

What? So all your existing CVS projects *are* in one big CVS
repository already! Every project lives in a separate directory of the
CVS repository.

In Subversion, you'd do the exact same thing. There's no magic button
called "create module". All you need to do is create a new directory
in the repository, and declare it (through human imagination) to be a
new project. It's just as "fully independent" as any CVS project.
When you checkout a CVS 'module', you get a working copy of exactly 1
directory in the CVS repository. When you checkout a SVN project
(URL), you get exactly 1 directory in the SVN repository. There's no
difference here at all. In both CVS and SVN, each "project" is just a
directory in the repository. Very simple.

> And even though I'm far from being a hardcore CVS specialist, no
> Tortoise checkout I know of will let me inadvertently get all the
> projects, and trunks, and branches and tags repositorywide on my local
> disk at once!

That's because CVS stores branches is an a separate dimension, whereas
SVN represents branches as ordinary directories. So, "don't do that".
Don't checkout the project/branches/ dir, don't checkout the
project/tags/ dir. *Do* checkout the project/trunk/ dir.

> IOW, those are two CVS features we like because they allow us to
> 1) Be independant (look ma', no admin!)
> 2) Better protect ourselves against ourselves.

I fail to see any difference between SVN and CVS in this regard. A
"project" directory in a CVS repository is just as "independent" and
"protected" from other projects as a "project" directory in an SVN

> > Well, duh... don't checkout the root of the repository. (That's
> > always a horrible idea, since you'd end up getting a copy of every
> > branch and tag!)
> I admit we are biased on this one:
> On the very first test we did after installing svn and converting a
> test CVS project, that's exactly what we did using TortoiseSVN (cuz it
> looked natural to do so at the time!). We of course got precisely the
> 'great' results you mention :-) ...

If you guys don't read the docs and don't understand the basic concepts
of SVN, I can't help you. You're right, SVN isn't 100% identical to
CVS. If you start blindly using SVN assuming it's a complete drop-in
transparent replacement for CVS, you're going to get burned. Read the
book, learn the subtle differences, make tiny adaptations. :-)

> > "Inadvertent alteration"? That's why access control exists. And
> > besides, even if somebody accidentally commits to the wrong place,
> you
> > just undo the change. That's the whole point of version control,
> > right?
> Hmm, so far, we have only been thinking about protecting ourselves
> from not-so-inadvertent-alteration while trying to implement stuff.
> I sure like the idea of being able to create as a user new independant
> "containers" for my project(s) better than that of using a single
> source tree for (mostly) everything.

Yes, these 'containers' are called directories. They live in the
repository. You're already doing this for your CVS projects.

> But among the non-imaginary topics, we definitly think svn makes it a
> bit too hard on the admin:
> Not having a way to spec the default fs-type falls in the same
> category as not being able to spec a default svnserve.conf template
> over the hard-coded default one: Just yet another possible cause for
> an administrator mistake! (in case you didn't guess, we decided to use
> Not to mention the impossibility for the admin to delegate repository
> creation to users through the plain svn client interface, of course
> :-^)

I think we're talking in circles now. Here's my recap of the

Q: We want users to be able to create separate repositories for their
A: Not possible.
Q: But CVS lets us do that!
A: No it doesn't.
Q: Sure it does, users just create a new module.
A: Ah, so then all your projects are in *one* big CVS repository.
Your users are simply creating new directories in the repository.
Sure, SVN can do the exact same thing. You're all set.
Q: But... SVN doesn't make it easy to create new repositories!

...so, uh, I'm at a loss here. Maybe mail this has cleared things up.

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Received on Fri Feb 18 16:27:58 2005

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