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Re: [E-devel] cvs, servers and stuff.

On 8/14/06, Michael Jennings <e-devel@kainx.org> wrote:
On Monday, 14 August 2006, at 13:42:19 (+0900),
Carsten Haitzler wrote:


> checkouts from svn are just ridiculous. agreed. but its the server
> side i am asking about. as i said - i HEARD it is easier on the
> server - i am after details from those having been there, done that.

I have not run an anon SVN server, so I can't speak to that point.  I
can only say that it makes no sense that a standalone, dedicated
server like cvs would have less overhead than Apache, which we all
know is a web server, a shared filesystem server, an embedded language
engine, a proxy server, an authentication and authorization system,
...need I go on?  :-)

> yeah - bdb - oh yay. lets break format all the time.. ;)

If you think BDB was bad, Subversion is just as bad.  Upgrading from
one version of svn-server to another can often involve a change of
repository format, in which case the ONLY migration path is the

as others have pointed out, you do not have to use BDB, and i would go
so far as to say FSFS is the only practical way to use subversion.
However, FSFS has the distinct disadvantage of being very slow on
initial checkout (svn folks themselves say about 2x as slow as BDB),
since it only stores deltas, and must essentially read the entire
server repository to reply. As much as I like svn, i think this fact
alone i think eliminates SVN as a choice for anonymous access.


On Monday, 14 August 2006, at 23:51:19 (+0100),
Shish wrote:

> I've only ever used Apache + mod_svn myself though.

Exactly.  Have you met anyone who uses SVN without Apache?  Neither
have I.

i have "used" a repository that uses svnserve, but only administered
any using webdav. From the user's perspective, it is indistinguishable
except that the repo url begins with "svn://" instead of "http://";

> Even if you do go the apache + mod_svn route, since when was apache
> known for being bloated and slow?

Since about 1.2, I think.

> I've found tagging much cleaner, and you don't need to check anything
> out at all:
> svn cp http://server/project/trunk http://server/project/tags/0.4.2

FUD.  You can tag CVS without having a checkout.  (Try cvs -H rtag.)
And SVN doesn't even HAVE tagging.  It has copying, which contrary to
popular (SVN developer) belief, is NOT the same thing.  A (non-branch)
tag is a symbolic name assigned to a particular state of the
repository (i.e., a changeset).  It is not a copy.

speaking of FUD...

how is a zero-copy copy different from a tag? yes, you have to name it
correctly to avoid confusion, and you have to be careful not to modify
it (although you can set also props to prevent that, and the "tags"
directory is a good hint), but for all intents and purposes, it is
equivalent to a tag. svn log will even give you a full history of
files in the branch/tag beyond the branch/tag point.

also, you do not need to do a full check out after creating a
tag/branch/copy. you can use svn switch. to use the above example:

svn cp http://server/project/trunk http://server/project/tags/0.4.2
cd /path/to/your/checkout/of/trunk
svn switch http://server/project/tags/0.4.2

svn switch only contacts the server to get any changes since your most
recent update.

But again, this is all moot.  I'm sure there are numerous people who
would love to argue with me till doomsday about how great and
wonderful Subversion is; many others have already tried.  It does
absolutely NOTHING to address the question at hand:  Is anonymous SVN
easier on the server than anonymous cvs?

i will stop trying to convince you then ;) . and my answer to the
question at hand is: most probably no. i would guess that git would be
a better solution, but i have never used it.

> Unfortunately for the topic at hand, the only thing I can't say for
> certain is "SVN is better at dealing with server-killing loads caused
> by vast numbers of anon checkouts".

While this comment would certainly be relevant, your subsequent
comments lead me to believe you don't have the evidence to back it
up.  We're talking about significant numbers of checkouts (i.e.,
apples), and you're talking about web browsing (oranges).

on the other hand, i would say there is sufficient (albeit
theoretical) evidence that SVN would not be a good performer for
high-load anonymous access.



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