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subversion link capability

From: Grégoire Welraeds <gregoire.welraeds_at_side-international.com>
Date: 2005-09-08 14:50:11 CEST

hi there,

I'm bit disappointed by the following problem:
We have our code stored in several subversion repositories (svn
installed under debian, version 1.2.0 soon to be migrated to 1.2.3).
We were previously working* with SourceSafe and we have happily migrated
some of our project to subversion.
One of the developper contacted me with a question today and I don't
know what to tell him.

In a project, he has file y in directory a which is a copy of file x in
directory b. These files must be identical to each other when commiting
changes to the repository otherwise it could break the application or at
least produce some unexpected side effects. In SourceSafe, this was an
easy situation as it seems that one can tell SourceSafe that file y is a
link to file x and when checking one of the file, the other is
automatically updated (I know almost nothing about SourceSafe). Since
the project was migrated to svn, he now have to __manually__ copy the
file before performing the commit. There is no need to think a long time
to understand that this situation is prone to errors.

At first, I told the developper that this was a bad idea to have the
same file copied from to directories in the same project and that having
a single file in a shared place would be a better design (in this case,
the file is a header file). The problem is that since this bad habbit
was well supported by source SourceSafe, it seems that there are a lot
of similar situations in the code which is still in SourceSafe and that
we would like to move to svn. As a consequence, migrating the remaining
project would request a lot of work as #include directives are to be
checked and makefiles have to be changed. Unfortunatly these projects
are several thousand lines of code.

I then had a look at svn:externals property but it only apply to
directories, so it is only partially helpfull in our case. I know that
subversion supports the Unix symlink but our applications are
multi-platforms and mainly developped under windows.

I also thought to implement a post-commit hook which would look in a
manually maintained list of copied file and then perform a svn copy each
time a commited file is found in the list. But I'm far from convinced
that this would be a good solution.

I know I'm not the only one to have the problem (see
http://svn.haxx.se/users/archive-2005-05/1342.shtml for example). I
haven't find a acceptable solution to this problem and I have not found
any reference to a future development that would solve this problem.

Any clue?

TIA and regards,

Grégoire Welraeds
All code is not created equal.
Qc engineer, S I D E
Received on Thu Sep 8 14:52:11 2005

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