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New feature request: commiting files with last mod times?

From: Saulius Grazulis <grazulis_at_akl.lt>
Date: 2005-03-22 10:45:08 CET

Hi folks,

we are happily using Subversion for our crystallography projects -- its really
the best I could find on the Net ;). However, a problem surfaced when we
started committing files that are generated by make:

we need to commit automatically generated files that are under control of
'make'. Sometimes, a result file is checked in first, and then the source
scripts that generated it, thus upon checkout Make thinks that the files
should be remade when in fact they should not (we use use-commit-times=yes).
The rebuild may be rather long, and it also makes it difficult to have
identical trees in different user's work directories.

A (temporary) solution to execute 'make -t' upon every checkout is
unfortunately error-prone (sometimes it touches files that should not be

What about introducing option into svn that says: "use last modification time
upon commit and upon checkout"? The mod time could be stored as a property,
perhaps. Ideally, this option should be bound to repository (but if this is
too complicated, it could also be in the users' config files).

As a side benefit, this would also allow to import files without forgetting
their true creation dates. This would help for the projects that started
before putting them under Subversion, or for the projects that use files
generated externally (for example, we use data files generated by measurement
equipment, and data collection date is important parameter -- which is to
some degree reflected by the file creation date).

In a programming environment, I also see possible beefits of such feature. For
example, when writing a heavily optimizing compiler, outputs of the compiler
test runs are of interest for developers and might also be put under version
control. Since such outputs will most probably generated by Make, the same
problem would arise.

What others think about such feature?

If the subversion developers/community are positive about the feature, I would
post this suggestion to dev@subversion.tigris.org and maybe even try to
prepare a patch... ;)


Saulius Gražulis
Visuomeninė organizacija "Atviras Kodas Lietuvai"
P.Vileišio g. 18
LT-10306 Vilnius
Lietuva (Lithuania)
tel/fax:      (+370-5)-210 40 05
mobilus:      (+370-684)-49802, (+370-614)-36366
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Received on Tue Mar 22 10:44:22 2005

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