Subversion Tip of the Week

Structuring Your Repository

Implementing a logical project layout in Apache Subversion right from the beginning, can save you from administrative hell later. Here are some general rules worth bearing in mind when creating a new Subversion repository, to ensure all that freedom doesn’t lead to complications.

  • The code in the trunk should be stable – all experimental development should be confined to separate branches.
  • Consider continuous integration and automated regression testing – these can help ensure there is no regression in the all-important trunk. uberSVN users can download the popular Jenkins open source CI server for free from inside their installation.
    • Make snapshots of your project – tags should be used to make snapshots of your project at certain points during the development process (e.g. tagging a snapshot as ‘Release 1.0.’) It is also good practice to make snapshots of your project before implementing major new features. This makes it easier to roll back and effectively ‘undo’ the new feature, if required.
    • Take care when making structural changes – structural changes should always be performed on the trunk, when there are no branches waiting to be merged. This can help development teams avoid serious and time-consuming conflicts.

    Mike Lester is WANdisco’s Director of Training. Mike has more than 33 years of experience in the software industry, having spent the past 26 years focusing on training and consulting for Subversion and other software configuration management systems. Mike delivers WANdisco’s free training webinars, and regularly shares his SVN know-how at the WANdisco blog. Mike is also available for Enterprise Training.

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