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Problem with spaces in svn:externals working copy paths

From: Rob Hubbard <rob.hubbard_at_softel.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 2009 10:37:36 -0000

Henrik Sundberg recently posted a question about specifying spaces in
ignore patterns (globally or in svn:ignore). I've recently encountered a
similar problem trying to specify spaces in svn:externals. This question
has been addressed on this mailing list before, but my experiments seem
to show either that the solution posed there doesn't work, or that the
behaviour has been broken (perhaps with the introduction of relative
The thread starts here (this is TortoiseSVN rather than SVN, but the
discussion is still valid):
    [TSVN] can't set svn:externals property to reference a directory
with a space
It is possible to specify a space in a URL with '%20'. But, I have found
no way to specify a (corresponding) space in the working copy path.
I'm using the following version of the command-line client:
    $ svn --version
    svn, version 1.5.3 (r33570)
       compiled Oct 9 2008, 09:01:49

[I'm using Windoze XP with Bash in Cygwin, but I get the same results
using plain old MS DOS.]
I have the following externals set on a directory:
    $ svn propget svn:externals .
    -r8 file:///C:/svn_experiment/repos/dir%20with%20spaces/
    dir%20with%20spaces2/ -r8

(Here, I've tried the old and the new formats.)
Following an update, I get
    $ ls -1p

So, a '%20' in the working copy path part of the externals definition
results in literally that rather than a space. The best I can currently
I've tried various things, such as using spaces, '%20', '&#32',
'&#x20;', '\s', '[[:space:]]', '[\s]', and 'single' and "double"
quotation marks, but none have worked. Some of these were, admittedly,
"grasping at straws", and I had no expectation that they'd work. The '\'
in '\s' is interpreted as a directory separator. The spaces and quotes
are not even parsed.
Is there any further information on this now? I'm not sure what would be
a good syntax if this is added as a feature to SVN. Really something is
needed as a delimiter or escape character that is not permitted in a
valid path on any operating system.
Many thanks,
Rob Hubbard

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Received on 2009-01-22 11:39:33 CET

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