Tag Archive for 'mime'

Subversion Tip of the Week

SmartSVN’s Project Settings Menu 

SmartSVN’s ‘global preferences’ is a method of specifying settings across all your SmartSVN projects for efficiency and simplicity. However, sometimes you need to change settings for a single project, which is where the ‘Project Settings’ menu comes in handy.

In this week’s tip, we’ll look at some of the SmartSVN settings you can apply using this menu.

Accessing Project Settings

To access SmartSVN’s Project Settings, open the ‘Project’ menu and select ‘Settings.’ The different options are listed on the dialog box’s left-hand side.

project settings

1) Text File Encoding

This affects how file contents are presented. Choose from:

  • Use system’s default encoding – SmartSVN uses the system’s encoding when displaying files. This is the default setting for SmartSVN.

  • Use the following encoding – Select your own encoding from the dropdown menu. This is useful if you’re dealing with international characters, which may otherwise be encoded incorrectly.

Note, if you’ve specified a file type using the MIME-Type property, SmartSVN will choose this over the text file encoding settings.

2) Refresh/Scan

SmartSVN can either scan the ‘whole project’ or the ‘root directory only’ when you open a project. In most instances, you’ll want to scan the entire project, but if you’re working with particularly large repositories, the ‘root directory only’ option can speed up this initial scan and avoid high memory consumption.

3) Working Copy

Clicking on ‘Working Copy’ presents you with several checkboxes:

working copy

  • (Re)set to Commit-Times after manipulating local files – tells SmartSVN to always use a local file’s internal Apache Subversion property commit-time. This is useful for ensuring consistency across timezones, and between clients and the Subversion repository.

  • Apply auto-props from SVN ‘config’ file to added files – tells SmartSVN to use the auto-props from the SVN ‘config’ file. With auto-props enabled, you can perform tasks such as automatically inserting keywords into text files and ensuring every file has EOLs that are consistent with the operating system. Not only are auto-props a time-saving feature, but they can help you avoid human error within your project.

  • Keep input files after merging (monitored merge) – tells SmartSVN to always keep the .aux files following a merge, even for non-conflicting files. These files are stored in the ‘merged’ state and can be used to gain a deeper insight into what has changed during the merge.

4) Locks

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’re working on image files, which cannot easily be merged. SmartSVN has full support for locking and unlocking files, but if you’re going to make heavy use of locks, you can configure SmartSVN to automatically flag certain files as requiring locking before anyone begins working on them. This is a useful reminder, especially if your project contains multiple non-mergeable files. Open the ‘Lock’ section of the Project Settings dialog and select either ‘all binary files’ or ‘every file,’ if required. The default is ‘no file.’

You can also choose whether SmartSVN should suggest releasing or keeping locks whenever you perform a commit, which is a helpful reminder if your team are working with multiple locks. Finally, the ‘Automatically scan for locks’ option tells SmartSVN to scan for locked files at specified intervals.

Find out more about locks by reading our ‘Locking and Unlocking in SmartSVN’ blog post.

5) Conflicts

When SmartSVN encounters conflicts, it adds new extensions to the conflicting files to help distinguish between them. By default, SmartSVN will take its cues from the config file, but if you want to specify particular extensions, you can select ‘Use following extensions’ and type the desired extensions into the textbox.

Remember, you can download your free edition of SmartSVN Professional at www.smartsvn.com/download

Subversion’s SVN Annotate Command

Apache Subversion’s ‘svn annotate’ command allows users to view a line-by-line breakdown of all the changes that have been applied to a human-readable file in your working copy. This information is printed alongside details on:

  • The person responsible for each change
  • The revision number where each change occurred

Note that this line-by-line attribution is based on the file as it currently appears within the working copy.

To run ‘svn annotate’ on a file, enter:

svn annotate (working-copy-location)/file-being-examined

In this example, we’re examining all the changes for the ‘Changelog’ file, which is located inside the trunk of our working copy.

svn annotate

If you need a more comprehensive printout, the -verbose (-v) switch adds the full datestamp to each line.

svn annotate 2

The –force Switch

The ‘svn annotate’ command uses Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) types to automatically detect whether a file is human-readable. By default, ‘svn annotate’ will block any file that’s non human-readable. If you attempt to perform an ‘svn annotate’ on a file that Subversion judges not to be readable, you’ll get an error message.

svn annotate 3

If you want to go ahead regardless, you can add the –force switch. Of course, this may result in a screen full of strange symbols if the file truly is non human-readable!

svn annotate 4

Not yet started with SmartSVN, the easy-to-use graphical client from Subversion? Get your free 30 day trial at www.smartsvn.com/download

Subversion Tip of the Week

Intro to Automatic Properties 

Properties are a powerful and useful feature of Apache Subversion, but they can be easily overlooked. If you’re regularly using properties in your project, it’s a good idea to configure Subversion to add properties to new files automatically.

Subversion already sets some properties automatically: whenever you add a new file, it sets a value for the MIME type and decides whether the file is executable. You can extend this by leveraging Subversion’s automatic property setting feature “svn:auto-props.” With auto-props enabled, you can perform tasks such as automatically inserting keywords into text files and ensuring every file has EOLs that are consistent with the OS.

To enable auto-props:

1) Locate and open the config file on your local machine.

2) Scroll down to the [miscellany] section and uncomment the following line:

# enable-auto-props = yes

auto props

3) Just below this line, edit the ‘Section for configuring automatic properties’ text according to the properties you want to apply to your files.

Exploring SVN Properties: MIME-Type and Keyword Substitution

‘Properties’ in Apache Subversion are a valuable way of associating metadata with versioned files or directories. In this SmartSVN tutorial, we’ll explore some of the Subversion internal properties in greater detail, before showing you how to remove a property.


The ‘svn:mime-type’ property indicates a file’s MIME type and allows the client to decide if contextual merging is safe during updates. SmartSVN automatically determines the coarse MIME-type of a new file, but in certain cases you may want to change SmartSVN’s assignment using the svn-mime-type property.

To set the MIME type property in SmartSVN:

1) Right-click the file where the svn:mime-type property will be set, and select ‘MIME-Type..’ from the ‘Properties’ menu.

2) In the subsequent ‘Change MIME-Type’ dialog, you can choose from the defaults ‘Text’ or ‘Binary’ type. Alternatively, define a ‘Custom’ type by explicitly specifying the corresponding MIME-type, for example image/jpeg, application/pdf etc.

3) By default, SmartSVN checks whether MIME-Types are well-formed, and not arbitrary strings. If you want to disable this check, select the ‘Force’ option.

4) Select ‘OK’ to go ahead and apply this new property.

Keyword Substitution

Subversion has the ability to substitute ‘keywords’ into the contents of a file itself. These keywords are useful for automatically maintaining information (such as author, revision number, etc.) that would be too time-consuming to update manually.

Note, the Keyword Substitution property can only be applied to text files.

1) To activate keyword substitution, right-click on the file in question and select ‘Keyword Substitution…’ from the ‘Properties’ menu.

2) In the ‘Change Keyword Substitution’ dialog, choose from a list of supported keywords:

Author – the username of the person who created the revision.
Date –
the UTC the revision was created (note, this is based on the server’s clock not the client’s.)
Revision –
describes the last revision in which the selected file was changed in the repository.
ID –
a compressed combination of the keywords ‘Author,’ ‘Date’ and ‘Revision.’  
a link to the latest version of the file in the repository.
Header –
similar to ‘ID,’ this is a compressed combination of the other keywords, plus the URL information.

You can choose to ‘Unset’ or ‘Set’ each keyword. The ‘Don’t Change’ option maintains the current substitution from the keyword.

Deleting a Property 

Once you start working with Properties in Subversion, sooner or later you will need to remove properties. To set or delete a property to multiple files or directories:

1) Open the ‘Properties’ menu and select ‘Set or Delete Property.’

2) Open the ‘Property’ drop down menu to see the available Subversion internal properties.

3) Select the Property you wish to remove. In this example, we’ll remove all explicit mergeinfo from our project. To achieve this, select ‘svnmergeinfo’ and select the ‘Delete Property’ checkbox.

Select ‘OK’ to remove the mergeinfo.

Remember, you can download your free edition of SmartSVN Foundation at http://smartsvn.com/

Getting More out of Version Control with SmartSVN

In our previous SmartSVN posts, we covered essential functionality to get you off to a flying start with this cross-platform graphical client for Apache Subversion. In this post, we cover some more advanced options, including performing a reverse merge, reverting local changes and resolving any conflicts that occur when you try to perform a commit with SmartSVN.

Didn’t catch our intro to SmartSVN series? Get up to speed with the following links:

Reverse Merge

As Subversion remembers every change that’s committed to the repository, it’s possible to revert to previous revisions of your project. This is useful if you introduce a code-breaking feature in revision 15, and need to revert to a revision before it all went wrong. This is achieved by performing a ‘reverse merge’ i.e merging the changes in your current revision, to an earlier revision.

To perform a reverse merge with SmartSVN:

1) Select the ‘Merge’ item from the ‘Modify’ menu.

2) In the Merge dialog, enter the revision number you wish to roll back to.








If you need more information about the different revisions, click the ‘Select…’ button next to the ‘Revision Range’ textbox. The subsequent dialog displays the different revisions, alongside the commit message, time, author and path data for each revision. Note, the green arrows indicate revisions not yet merged.








3) Ensure the ‘Reverse merge’ checkbox is selected and finally, click ‘Merge.’

4) Remember to commit your changes to the repository, to make this reverse merge permanent!

Alternatively, right-click the revision you wish to reverse-merge in the Transactions tool window and select “Rollback.”


Revert overwrites any local changes made to the working copy, with the file content held in the repository. Note, this command should be used with caution: a revert effectively deletes all the changes made since your last commit, and once they are gone there is no way to recover them.

To perform a revert with SmartSVN, right-click on the file/directory you wish to revert, and select the ‘Revert’ option from the drop-down menu  (alternatively, select the ‘revert’ button from the toolbar.)








SmartSVN will ask you to confirm the revert. Select the ‘Revert’ button to go ahead and remove all your local changes.






At some point during your project’s lifecycle, your repository may change location and therefore get a new URL. This can be solved by deleting your working copy and performing a checkout from the new repository location, but there is a quicker way to solve this problem: the ‘Relocate’ command can be used to rewrite all the URLs associated with the files and folders in your working copy, with the new URLs. This allows you to continue using your current working copy and, of course, to successfully commit all your hard work back to the repository.

1) Open the ‘Modify’ menu and select ‘Relocate…’

2) The ‘Relocate’ dialog displays the URL of the selected directory. In the ‘To URL’ option, specify the replacement URL.







3) Select ‘Relocate’ to change the repository for your directory.

Note, this operation should be used with caution, as if used incorrectly it can corrupt your working copy. The ‘Relocate’ command should not be used to:

  • move to a different Subversion repository.
  • switch to a different branch or directory within the same repository.

Resolving Conflicts

When you are performing a commit in Apache Subversion, you may occasionally encounter the dreaded Subversion conflict, and your commit will fail. Thankfully, SmartSVN comes with a ‘conflict solver’ to help resolve these conflicts when they do occur. To access this conflict solver, open the ‘Query’ menu and select ‘Conflict solver.’











In the ‘Mark Resolved’ dialog, you can opt to:

  • Leave the file/directory as it is.
  • Take the version in the working copy, as it was before the update or merge was performed.
  • Take the new version – the pristine copy after the update or merge was performed.
  • Take the old version – the pristine copy before the update or merge was performed.
Select the appropriate checkbox and select ‘Ok.’ The conflict should now be resolved, and you can commit your changes to the repository to make them permanent.
Set a Property
‘Properties’ in Subversion are useful for associating metadata with the files placed under version control. To set a property for your Subversion files or directories using SmartSVN, open the ‘Properties’ menu and click ‘Select or delete Property….’
Use the drop-down ‘Property’ menu to select the desired Subversion internal property. The default properties are:
  • svn:eol-style – makes the client convert line-endings in text files. This property is used when the working copy is required in a specific EOL style.
  • svn:executable – makes files on Unix-hosted working copies executable.
  • svn:externals – a multi-line value defined on a directory that allows parts of other repositories to be automatically checked out.
  • svn:ignore – a list of unversioned filename patterns that should be ignored by ‘svn status’ and other subcommands.
  • svn:keywords – Subversion has the ability to substitute keywords into the contents of a file itself when changes are made. Keywords are useful for automatically maintaining information (such as author, revision number, etc) that would be too time-consuming to keep changing by hand.
  • svn:mergeinfo – this property is used to track merge data and is automatically maintained by the ‘SVN merge’ command.
  • svn:mime-type – indicates the file’s MIME type and allows the client to decide if contextual merging is safe during updates. Note, this property affects the handling of diffs and merging.
  • svn:needs-lock – tells the client that files should be checked out with permissions set to read-only. This is designed to be used in conjunction with the ‘SVN Lock’ command, to remind the developer to obtain a lock before beginning work on a file. This saves the developer from spending time modifying a file and then discovering it’s locked when it’s time to commit.

Select a value for your property (if applicable) and hit the ‘Ok’ button to set the new property.

Visit http://smartsvn.com/ to claim your free download of SmartSVN Foundation.

SmartSVN: Set or Delete Property

‘Properties’ in Apache Subversion are useful for associating metadata with files under version control. In this post, we’ll begin to look at how properties can be used in SmartSVN, by exploring the ‘Set or Delete Property…’ option.

Remember, you can download your free edition of SmartSVN Foundation at http://smartsvn.com/

1) Open the ‘Properties’ menu and select the ‘Set or Delete Property’ option.






2) Open the ‘Property’ drop down menu to see the available Subversion internal properties. These are:

  • svn:eol-style – used to determine the processing that should be performed on a file. This property is useful for when commits are being made with different operating systems.
  • svn:executable – can be used to control a versioned file’s filesystem-level execute permission bit.
  • svn:externals – used to define or change externals.
  • svn:ignore – contains a list of file patterns that Subversion operations should ignore.
  • svn:keyword – instructs Subversion to substitute ‘keywords’ into the files themselves. These keywords could be a revision number, the name of the person who last changed the file, or other useful information.
  • svn:mergeinfo – used to query information related to merges.
  • svn:mime-type –  determines some of Subversion’s behavioral characteristics, and serves as a place to store a file’s MIME classification.
  • svn:needs-lock – if this property is set, the local copy of a locked file is automatically made read-only unless the user owns the lock in question.











3) From this screen, you can either set or delete a property. In this example, we’ll remove all explicit mergeinfo from our project. To achieve this, select svnmergeinfo and select the ‘Delete Property’ checkbox.











4) Select ‘Ok’ to remove the mergeinfo.

Note. This is a basic example of using Properties in SmartSVN. More information is available at WANdisco’s SmartSVN docs.

Catch up on the rest of our intro to SmartSVN series: