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Can't copy to new branch because file exists?? (was Re: Confused about branches and partial switches)

From: Brett Coon <brett.coon_at_gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 11:14:20 -0700

In a discussion last month, BRM provided this helpful hint:

On Thu, Jul 9, 2009 at 5:34 PM, BRM <bm_witness_at_yahoo.com> wrote:

> Also, svn makes it really easy to branch from a working copy - even if you
> haven't committed the changes to the current tree location. I've found this
> very useful, especially when I made changes I didn't want to commit to that
> tree but wasn't sure I wanted to toss out yet - just do 'svn copy .
> http://svn/svn/project/branches/brett/branch-name' (not the period beween
> 'copy' and 'http').

I filed this away for later use because it seemed like such a great feature,
and finally tried to use it today (I just got back from vacation, and wanted
to save my uncommitted pre-vacation changes to a branch before updating my

Unfortunately, when I try to do this, the copy fails with this message (file
and directory names changed to hide internal project name references):

svn: Commit failed (details follow):
svn: File '/svn/project/branches/bcoon/b2/hw/b/f/v/TEF.v' already exists
svn: Your commit message was left in a temporary file:
svn: 'svn-commit.tmp'

But there is no b2 branch yet!! So how could a file exist in this branch?
Here's what svn list reports:

svn list ^/branches/bcoon

svn list http://svn/svn/project/branches/bcoon/b2
svn: URL 'http://svn/svn/project/branches/bcoon/b2' non-existent in that

I tried doing the copy to a different *new *branch, "b3", and got the same

For the record, here is the copy command I'm using:

svn copy . http://svn/svn/project/branches/bcoon/b2

I'm perplexed. And stumped. And grumpy about my vacation being over.


Brett Coon - brett.coon@gmail.com - http://brettcoon.smugmug.com
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Received on 2009-08-17 20:15:08 CEST

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