WebObjects/Web Applications/Development/WebObjects and Subversion

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Notes about using subversion with WebObjects, Interface Builder, and Mac OS X.


Versions Used:

  • Mac OS X 10.4.2
  • subversion 1.2.3
  • Interface Builder 2.5.1 (439)
  • XCode 2.1
  • WebObjects 5.3

Appendices C and D of the Apple XCode User Guide (Using Subversion and Configuring Your SSH Environment) were fairly helpful in getting things set up although I would recommend installing subversion via the download links on the main subversion web page rather than using DarwinPorts. The binary version available via these links is easier to install since it uses a traditional double clickable package installer. Note that your install path will be /usr/local/bin instead of /opt/local/bin.

I also found the book "Version Control with Subversion" by Ben Collins-Sussman, Brian W. Fitzpatrick, and C. Michael Pilato to be very helpful.

  • When creating the repository it seems preferable to use the file system rather than the Berkeley DB. To do this, pass the --fs-type fsfs flag to the create command.

For example: svnadmin create --fs-type fsfs /path/to/repos

  • There are at least three different ways to authenticate to the repository. I used the svn+ssh method although I'm sure the others would work as well.
  • If you use the ssh+svn method, it's helpful to provide a virtual repository path so that end users don't have to type the entire path. For example, in my authorized_keys file, my key begins with:
 command="/usr/local/bin/svnserve -t -r /Users/svn/svnrep/" ssh-dss

This allows users to use a path like "svn+ssh://server-name/project-name" rather than "svn+ssh://server-name/Users/svn/svnrep/project-name".

  • When using ssh with multiple users, in order to prevent file permission issues, each subversion command on the server should be wrapped by a shell script which first calls umask, ie:
 $ cat /usr/local/bin/svn
 umask 002 
 /usr/local/bin/svn-real "$@"

So this means you should rename each command and create a shell script wrapper which calls the actual command.

  • If you create trunk, branches, and tags directories as suggested in the book, you should only checkout the trunk.
  • The subversion support in XCode has a few problems, and I have had better luck using the free "svnx" which is available on the web.
  • Subversion leaves ".svn" directories in each directory that it's managing which causes problems with earlier versions of Interface Builder and EOModeler which delete all of these directories upon save. Make sure you're using the latest version available of each of these tools.
  • If you're developing a Java Client program using Interface Builder, your nib file will contain a java file buried under several directories. Each of these directories contains an ".svn" directory which even the newer versions of Interface Builder delete. In order to correct this problem, you'll have to download and install the "SubversionPalette.palette"; from http://www.rtlabs.com/downloads/. Even though this is apparently fairly old, it still seems to work (9/2005).

That's it! Good luck and enjoy subversion.

Peter Vandoros[edit]

I have ported the EOModeler fix from http://www.rtlabs.com/downloads/ to Windows. Get it from http://wocode.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/WOCode.woa/wa/ShareCodeItem?itemId=451.