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managing shared sub-project release files

From: John Waycott <jwaycott_at_cox.net>
Date: 2005-10-15 18:08:32 CEST

I've been thinking about how to solve a problem with getting large
binary files that projects use in their builds. This includes library
modules, PDF files created in Marketing, tools, etc. I know that SVK
could solve some of our problems but for various reasons is currently
not an option for us.

Some background...

We have several departments and offshore offices contributing to
projects. They release their sub-components separately. This is
necessary because the components may be used in more than one parent
project; A library may be used in dozens of final product lines.

For example, the Marketing department uses FrameMaker to create an
installation guide. When they are done, the final output is a PDF file.
This file is then used as source to the final build which uses scripts
for creating ISO images from all of the pieces. The scripts are stored
in Subversion.

There are two usual approaches for saving the output files: 1. Store the
files in a separate file share releases area, 2: Store them in a release
area in Subversion.

The first solution requires a script to get the files, the second would
use something like svn:externals to get the files.

Here is the problem we have using svn:externals:
In some cases, the external files can approach 100MB in size. It is
impractical to use svn:externals for our purpose, because the checkouts
over a slow link could take literally hours. Also, these files should be
read-only; the developer would not be able to modify them since they
don't have the tools nor expertise for working on those projects.

Storing the output files in a shared releases area solves the speed
problem for us because we can mirror the shared releases area in the
various development centers.

My proposal:

What I'd like is for svn checkout to run the script to grab the needed
release files.

A folder property 'svn:run' folder would reference a script in the
current folder. svn checkout would execute the script referenced in
svn:run. You could get around platform dependence by specifying
different scripts for different platforms. So for example, the svn:run
property may have as its value:

win32:getfiles.bat linux:getfiles

I'm sure there are all kinds of issues with doing something like this
that I haven't thought of, but I'd be interested if others have had
similar issues.

-- John Waycott

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Received on Sat Oct 15 18:13:57 2005

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