Subversion Properties: Needs Lock

Apache Subversion is built around a ‘copy-modify-merge’ model, but there are times when a ‘lock-modify-unlock’ model may be appropriate (for example, when you are working on image files, which cannot easily be merged.) Once you’ve mastered locking and unlocking, you may want to look at Subversion’s dedicated lock property, which is useful to help prevent time wasted working on files that have already been locked by others.

If present on a file, the ‘Needs Lock’ property reminds users that they should lock the file before starting work on it. The SmartSVN Subversion client automatically sets files which require locking (due to this property) to read-only when checking out or updating. When a lock token is present, the file becomes read/write. This prevents users from making changes that are difficult to merge, on a file that is also being edited in another working copy (for example, two users simultaneously editing an image file.)

To add this property to a file using SmartSVN, select a file and click the ‘Change Needs Lock’ option in SmartSVN’s ‘Locks’ menu.

smartsvn needs lock

SmartSVN will automatically add this property to the selected file.

smartsvn properties change

To remove the ‘Needs Lock’ property, repeat the process: selecting ‘Change Needs Lock’ for a file that already contains this property, will remove the property instead.

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