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Re: Is it possible to distribute a folder with an edited .svn directory

From: Merul Patel <merul.patel_at_gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2009 17:26:10 +0000

Thanks to all the various answers given so far. I had tried to find
the answer earlier elsewhere and had posted the question as I hadn't
found the answer at the time.

I have now found a solution, and in case it helps someone else, and
since you've taken your time to reply, I thought I'd post it to the

First some context:

1. My application of SVN in this case is actually not for source code
management, but for centralised storage of documents for a small,
international NGO who are quite often out of reach of a good internet
connection while on the road. They all need a means of sharing
documents which can work offline and SVN has always proved more than
excellent for my SCM needs in just these scenarios. Windows users -
who are not technical - will be using TortoiseSVN to manage working
copies, and Mac users will have to suffice with svnX - which is
slightly more technical than I'd like (though an excellent program).

2. I've normally only ever accessed SVN repositories via svn+ssh,
since I have small teams of developers and it's easy to setup/
administer. When I looked at the contents of .svn/entries, I saw a
format which was readable, but not documented. The contents included
personalised URLs, which I presumed would cause problems when
distributing. However, I realise now that switching to Apache removes
these such details.

3. To provide granularised access-control, there are multiple
repositories each with their own access-control rules managed using
Apache authentication rules. Since there are multiple repositories,
there are of course multiple working copies, and I'd rather avoid
having to get my users filling out URLs and making mistakes etc.

The solution for me - which has taken a bit more than the 30 seconds
suggested - was to created a set of folders constructed as needed
(some representing organisational units, others working copies) and
then checking out just revision 1 of each repository to the respective
folder. I can then ZIP the folder structure and distribute to my users.

I did have some trouble generating the ZIPped archive on Mac, and also
on Windows XP, without losing the .svn directories, or making them
visible. In the end, I found that creating the ZIP archive worked well
on Windows XP using 7-zip, and the resulting archive can be used cross-

My users can now just download the archive, extract and then select
multiple working copy folders and just do an svn update to get the
current set of documents.

Thanks for all the inputs.



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Received on 2009-02-26 18:28:09 CET

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