Chapter 7: svn:ignore

Ben Collins-Sussman sussman at
Sat Aug 12 08:16:00 CDT 2006

I totally agree.  The first sentence of the section in our book is
"The svn:ignore property contains a list of file patterns which
certain Subversion operations will ignore."  Sure, if you keep reading
the whole section, it goes into a detailed example of how 'svn status'
will ignore patterns you set, and then at the very end, it mentions
that 'svn add' and 'svn import' honor the ignores as well.

But from years of #svn and users@ experience, let me say that this is
one of the top-5-all-time newbie confusions:  everyone thinks that
svn:ignore means "this versioned thing won't get committed".  I think
we need to make the book section more like the FAQ, and say *right* at
the beginning that it only affects unversioned files.

On 8/11/06, Yury V. Zaytsev <yury at> wrote:
> Hello, list.
> I am an SVN newbie and probably my feedback on the book as a
> first-read resource would make some sense.
> I feel that the svn:ignore option should be explained a bit more
> clearly. Notably I've got a wrong impression that I can use it to
> exclude a file in a wc from the version control even if it is already
> in the repository. I have bothered people on #svn with this stupid
> question and was eventually given a link:
> Sure I have read the FAQ BEFORE reading the book but of course I
> forgot about it AFTER ;-)
> Then, another misunderstanding was that I though I could put entries
> like
> includes/settings.php
> in the property which was a wrong assumption and I've got it right on
> the channel.
> Thus I think that
> 1) Including this (very important) FAQ item right into the book will
> make it clear for other beginners and
> 2) It should be noted specifically that not only it's not recursive,
> but it won't work on the entries like above.
> Tried to post a trac issue ticket, but it seems that I should rather
> use the list.
> Thank you everybody for this great SCM and documentation!
> --
> Sincerely yours,
> Yury V. Zaytsev
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