Monday, September 18, 2006


Eiffel repositories and svk version control

Most open-source Eiffel projects use Subversion ("svn") for version control. Typically, the server is configured to allow anyone with an internet connection and a svn client to access the entire version control history (logs, revisions, etc).

Instead of the svn client, you can use the svk client. This enhahces the functionality of the svn client by allowing you to mirror the entire repository on your local system (and keep the two in sync). Furthermore, svk supports distributed version control - you can maintain different patched versions, and synchronise with other svk users without needing to go through the project's central Subversion server.

Svk can be used on any Subversion-hosted project; no special server settings are needed. But beware of trying to mirror the entire history of the project on your local machine. For a large or long-running project this sucks up huge amounts of bandwidth, and takes up huge amounts of space on your local machine, for data that you are unlikely to ever need.

Better is to use svk to synchronise with the latest version of the project "trunk", then to mirror forward from that point.

If you must have the entire history, it's much more efficient if you start from a history dump that has been prepared on the project server.

The level of interest in svk has been growing, and the SmartEiffel project has recognised this by offering an svk history dump for those who want it.

Instructions on using svk with the SmartEiffel repository are provided, whether you wish to use it for the trunk going forward, or for the entire project history.

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