Documentation of svn:ignore

C. Michael Pilato cmpilato at
Thu Jul 13 08:54:02 CDT 2006

David Glasser wrote:
> The SVN Book doesn't particularly document the format of the
> svn:ignore property, unless I'm missing something.  I ended up
> grovelling through the Subversion and APR sources to eventually find
> that the respected metacharacters are *?[\, and specifically *not*
> parentheses.

I agree we could have been more forthright in this section.  The respected
metacharacters are basically just those supported by fnmatch(), and that's
why we toss the word "file patterns" around so much.  It's not that
Subversion specifically disallows parentheses -- it's that parentheses have
no special meaning in the fnmatch() system.

> Is this lack of documentation intentional, to allow room for later
> expansion of svn:ignore (I've heard mumblings about regexps, for
> example)? Or is it something you'd appreciate patches for?

A lack of documentation in this project will never be because of planned
future expansion.  It's not as if the book is immutable once composed or
something.  Patches are always appreciated.

C. Michael Pilato <cmpilato at>

"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting.  It has
 been found difficult; and left untried."  -- G. K. Chesterton
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