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Re: import files preserving timestamps

From: Mark Reibert <svn_at_reibert.com>
Date: Fri, 06 Jun 2008 22:22:35 -0700

On Fri, 2008-06-06 at 21:04 +0200, Erik Huelsmann wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 6, 2008 at 1:44 PM, stephan herschel <stephan0h_at_gmx.net> wrote:
> > Hello group,
> >
> > I've done a little research now, and this seems to be a rather long-running topic. And I understand that subversion up to this day does not preserve timestamps when importing files into a repository (although one workaround seems to be available). As I'm working for a project now where this feature is vital - i.e. if we don't find a feasible way to preserve timestamps subversion is out - I want to know if and when this feature will be available . (suspecting the answer is no and never ;-)
> The answer is 'no' and 'not any time soon'. Detailing on the second
> answer: we're trying to work out a new structure for our working copy
> library. The new design should at least provide an easy way to support
> this request - not saying the first incarnation will actually
> implement it.

I am always a bit suspicious when people request this "feature". At
least if you are managing compilable software this seems to be, in fact,
quite undesirable. Let's say I have a WC based on r5, and it is
successfully compiled. Then I want to see how things change if I back up
to r4 of foo.c. So I type "svn co -r4 foo.c && make". If my tool
preserves timestamps then foo does not get rebuilt. Doh!

Most often when I hear this request and ask "Why?", I get a response
like the following (and this is a quote):

"When you synchronize a configuration to your local drive, the
timestamps on all the files and directories written to the local drive
are set to the time of the synchronization (current time), not the
time/date when the file or directory was last changed; Therefore, you
can not sort the files by timestamp to see what was recently changed.
Everything looks like it just changed. This is probably the worst
feature of SVN."

There seems to be a real conceptual disconnect here. The history of the
files is in the repository, not the working copy. "svn log" is your

I do not know if this applies to the OP's situation. Perhaps there is
some other rationale for preserving timestamps with which I am not

Mark S. Reibert, Ph.D.
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Received on 2008-06-07 07:22:57 CEST

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