Another small amendment to the svn-book

C. Michael Pilato cmpilato at
Mon Nov 20 08:10:36 CST 2006

Flemming, I think you've got some good ideas in this text.  My sense is
that it shouldn't all be destined for the same final resting place in
the book's text -- maybe keep the "when to version" stuff in one
early-in-the-book place, and move some of the other stuff (backup; using
'mv' and 'cp'; etc.) elsewhere in relevant sections of the book.

We'll chew on this some more.  Thanks.

Flemming Bjerke wrote:
> For me, it was a bit difficult to understand when to use subversion because I 
> did not really understand the principle. I, and probably many others, would 
> have helped quite a lot if you in the introduction had a subsection 
> called: "When and when not to use Subversion"
> Probably, you can make this subsection much better. Feel free to do it. But, I 
> think it is important to explain to newbies when Subversion is good, and why 
> it is not good for everything.
> Flemming Bjerke 
> --------------------------------------------------------
> When and when not to use Subversion
> Subversion should be used if you have good reasons saving old versions of 
> files. One good reason is of course that it is important for you be able 
> return to former versions of your files, e.g. you need to be able to find 
> deleted files or parts of files. Another good reason is when you are several 
> person who share some files and you all change them. Subversion will help you 
> keeping record of the changes others (and yourself) have made so you can act 
> correctly when such changes have been made.
> But, everything has its price. Since subversion keeps track of changes, it has 
> to be told when changes happen. Therefore, you cannot copy, mv, rename etc. 
> among your subversion files in the normal way. You have to use the special 
> svn commands to do such things. You also need to have a svn repository where 
> all the old versions are saved. But, that repository is not readable for 
> humans. If the repository is damaged, you risk to loose old version of your 
> files. Therefore, it is important that you back up the repository. You may 
> use the script as described in this book.
> An example illustrates the point. You would like have your datafiles on your 
> laptop and your home-pc syncronised. In many cases, you don't care about 
> older versions of the files. Therefore, you should use a much simpler 
> syncronisation program like unison that has no special repository and allows 
> you to do all the normal file manipulations. But, if it is important for you 
> to have old versions of certain files (if you write articles, a book, 
> software, or whatever) then it is probably a good idea to make a 
> svn-repository for these files at your home-pc (or at a server) so you can 
> check relevant versions out from your laptop, and your home-pc as well. 
> _______________________________________________
> svnbook-dev mailing list
> svnbook-dev at

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

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: signature.asc
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 191 bytes
Desc: OpenPGP digital signature
URL: <>

More information about the svnbook-dev mailing list