Subversion : Java Glossary
aka SVN (Subversion). A source code version control system to replace
CVS (Concurrent Versions System). It is available as source or as binaries for
11 different operating systems, including W2K/XP/W2003/Vista/W2008/W7-32/W7-64/W8-32/W8-64/Linux/OSX. The
latest version is 1.7.10 Last revised/verified: 2013-06-01. Subversion fixes many of the infuriating CVS
Eclipse is still using CVS, but gradually the world is flipping over to Subversion. You can monitor the trend
looking at which repository the various open source projects use. Subversion was designed originally for
Linux/Unix. It does not dodge various inefficiencies of Windows and is hence about only half the speed of
- Subversion versions not only file contents and file existence, but also directories, copies, and renames.
You have to do these file operations with a Subversion client. It is not smart enough to track such changes
done with the OS (Operating System) or other programs. It versions directories as well as files. This means you can
delete and restore directories. You don’t have to keep dead empty directories around forever as in
also means that Subversion keeps track of the history of the renaming of a file. In CVS
renaming looks like the
deletion and creation of a new file with no record of the connection.
- Lack of atomic commit. With Subversion, no part of a commit takes effect until the entire commit has
succeeded. Revision numbers are per-commit, not per-file. This especially important with flaky dial up
connections. Also someone fetching while you are saving won’t get an inconsistent set of files.
There are five ways to access the Subversion server:
Ways to access the Subversion server
There are also groups who will host your Subversion project for you if you use one of the official open source
licences. See distributing Java Source for details.
|Ways to Access the Subversion Server|
||Direct repository access (on local disk), e.g. file://localhost/D:/svnrep where
snvrep is the directory where the repository is stored.|
||Access via WebDAV (Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning Protoctols) protocol
to Subversion-aware Apache server over the Internet|
||Same as http://, but with SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)
||svn://localhost or svn://mindprod.dyndns.org will get
you to the configured repository. Access via custom TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)
protocol over port 3690 to an svnserve server.
You will need to poke a hole is your firewall to allow communication over that port. Subversion usually
runs as a Windows service you set up with
Your installer may do this for you automatically. Usually you configure your router to tunnel that port
through your firewall to the outside so it is visible to the Internet world, possibly using Dyn to make your face IP (Internet Protocol) and port 3690 known and visible to the public. Users will need a username/password for access.
SVN will authenticate it using an MD5 (Message Digest algorithm 5)
challenge scheme that does not require the password to be sent over the
Internet, either in plain text or encrypted. You have to manually maintain the list of users and
passwords in a file something like this:|
harry = sesame12
sally = sparkle76
||Same as svn://, but through an SSH (Secure Shell)
When you install Subversion, it uses three directories:
- C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Subversion for the configuration
- F:\Program Files\CollabNet Subversion Server for the program files.
- F:\svn_repository for the repository files.
The server has no UI (User Interface) other than the config files. To control it you need some sort of client, e.g svn,
svnadmin, Tortoise SVN.
There is no step-by-step set of instructions to install a simple system. They want you to understand it in
fullness before you use it. Here is an abbreviated get started instructions:
The catch is this will capture all your files. There is no point in capturing class files, jars etc since they
can easily be recreated from source code. I have not yet learned to teach Subversion to avoid capturing class
- Download and install the Subversion server, the appropriate binary. Set it up for purely local access.
- Download and install Tortoise SVN client.
- Go to F:\svn_repository in my computer.
- Right click to wake up Tortoise, then create the repository files.
- Edit the config file. Keep in mind these instructions are for when you are
hosting the SVN repository on your own machine. Normally it will be on some other machine, e.g.
wush.net. In particular set up these fields:
- Go into IntelliJ Idea and use Import into Subversion to make a snapshot of your development files in
subversion. If you don’t have Intellij, do this with Tortoise.
- Use Tortoise to browse the repository using the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) file://localhost/D:/svn_repository
- Then you must check out to a directory where you can then start editing the files. You must checkout even
though there are no changes from the ones imported.
- I would suggest doing an experimental tiny repository to start till you get he hang of how to make sure your
excludes work, and how to check things into the correct place in the hierarchy, then throwing it away as many
times as necessary before you do your production version.
- There are two places I have found so far to control what to exclude from the repository, the Subversion
server configuration file, the TortoiseSVN settings.
- The blame command lets you view a listing showing the age of each line of code,
in what revision it was last modified.
- The diff command compares two revisions pointing out the differences, usually the
current and one back.
- Every directory tree under Subversion control gets an embedded .svn subdirectory
hanging off the root directory. (Formerly, every directory in the tree got one.) In the pristine directory off that are a snapshot of all your files the last time you committed them to
or fetched them from the repository, without any additional information, headers or footers or compression.
They have globally unique digest names. Be careful not to disturb these files, especially when running
utilities that act on your directory tree containing the .svn tree. Happily, the
pristine files have the extension .svn-base, so most
utilities will not touch them.
You can use a subversion hosting service instead of hosting it yourself. For example, if you register with
wush.net you (or others) can access the Subversion
server with https://wush.net/svn/mindprod where mindprod is your account. You may also permit https://wush.net/websvn/ mindprod
for browser-based WebSVN access to your repository without an SVN
There are many advantages to hosting your repository with an ISP (Internet Service Provider)
rather than hosting it on your own machine:
- You don’t have to configure Subversion. The ISP handles that for you. You can be up and flying in minutes
rather than a day or so.
- Adding users and controlling access is done with a simple checkbox web app.
- The repository is offsite. It won’t be stolen or damaged if your own computer is stolen or
- The ISP makes nightly backups as a matter of course.
- You don’t have to fool with configuring your firewall to pass traffic through.
- When you reboot your development machine, it will not interfere with anyone accessing Subversion from the
Internet as it would if you hosted your subversion server there.
- People on the Internet accessing the server don’t put any load on your development machine.
- The people who run the hosting service are Subversion experts and will be able to help you over the rough
- Access to your repository will be considerably slower than on your local machine. Not only are their net
delays, there are delays from other users of other repositories on the ISP
server machine. I get only
about 100K bytes/second transfer rate to my remote Subversion server.
- If Internet access to the server goes down, you can’t get at your repository.
- You don’t get access to the fancy Subversion configuring features.
- You have to do your wildcard excludes completely in the client e.g. *.class *.obj *.zip
*/javadoc */jetpdb temp.* temp?.*
- If your code in top secret, you have to trust the ISP not to peek at it.
Mindprod Subversion Repository
You don’t have to download the entire package to browse the source code of any Canadian Mind Products
programs, even ones not released officially, by looking in the Subversion repository which also track the history
of changes.browse mindprod source in repository
access mindprod source in repository with [Tortoise] Subversion client on wush.net/svn/mindprod/com/mindprod/