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Subversion in Embedded Devices

From: Davis Ford <davisford_at_gmail.com>
Date: 2005-02-25 18:48:51 CET


I have a couple of questions. I am thinking of a usage scenario for
Subversion, and I want to pass it through the group here to get
technical opinion on whether it seems reasonable.

Perhaps this has been done before, and I would appreciate anyone with
this type of scenario to provide lessons-learned.

I would like to deploy subversion as a remote management solution for
embedded devices out in the field. It would essentially work like

1) Create embedded file system with directory structure and binaries
on remote host (back end server).

2) Send a command to embedded client device to do a checkout from this
back end server.

3) Embedded client device contacts server over HTTPS and checks out
majority of it's file-system with all binaries, etc. This requires a
small framework to pre-exist on the embedded client. It must have (at
   a) RTOS
   b) SVN Client
   c) Comm Stack and the ability to receive remote commands that can
be translated into SVN client commands
   d) Pre-existing file system directory structure equal to back
office -- the checkout simply fills a lot of the stuff into the
directories (binaries, conf files).

4) Now, if you want to make a change, you can drop a new binary into
the filesystem on the Server side, and send a command to the remote
client to do an update. This requires a framework be in place such
that after the update is made, the system knows how to deal with the
change. This is software that will have to be written, of course.

Questions I have:

a) How portable is the SVN command line client code to other
architectures (e.g. PPC, ARM)?
b) What is the protocol overhead that SVN imposes? Aside from
TCP/IP/HTTPS, and the payload, what is the SVN protocol overhead?
c) What is the robustness of SVN over WAN communication links that are
unreliable? Has the system been constructed to deal with network
failures in the middle of an update/checkout? I realize there are DB
utilities to fix these things on the server side...and there is SVN
cleanup on the client side. We need to expect that this can be a
common scenario (lose connectivity in the middle), and I want to
understand if there is a solid mechanism to recover from it that is
d) What is the file system overhead of the .svn directories?

Thanks in advance for any feedback!


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Received on Fri Feb 25 18:51:20 2005

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