Subversion 1.5 alpha2 released

The Subversion project has issued an alpha2 release on the path to the final GA. The next release might be alpha3, it might be beta1, that depends on the feedback we get from testers. One thing is certain, and that is the sooner we can find any remaining bugs, the sooner the GA release will be available.  Likewise, hearing that you have used this version with some success will also help us make decisions.

CollabNet has created binaries for Linux and Windows (with OS X coming soon) from this alpha2. You can download them from openCollabNet. There are also updated versions of the CollabNet Merge Client, Subclipse and TortoiseSVN available on this site.

We have a forum where you can post questions, comments or
problems 
that you encounter using this version. If after some
discussion a report is indeed deemed a defect, we forward the bug to the
Subversion community using their normal processes. Feedback on the GUI
merge clients will go to CollabNet Engineering.

A few things to be aware of:

  • Subversion 1.5 client has an updated working copy format.  Once an SVN 1.5 client updates a working copy it will be converted to the new format. This means that older SVN clients will no longer be able to read these working copies. So either be careful, or be sure to update all your clients to the same version. There is a Python script that you can use to downgrade your working copy to the 1.4 format.
  • Subversion 1.5 server can be used to serve an existing repository, but you will not be able to use the new merge tracking features with this repository until it is upgraded. You have a few options here:
    1. Dump existing repository, then create a new repository using the 1.5 binaries and load the dump file.
    2. Create a new repository using 1.5 binaries and use svnsync 1.5 binary to transfer the contents to the new repository.
    3. Run a new command svnadmin upgrade to upgrade an existing repository. This runs fast as it just updates the internal repository format. There are some downsides to this approach though:
      • SVN 1.5 repositories maintain a new index called the node-origins index  This is needed to speed up certain merge operations. The index will be lazy-populated on upgraded repositories, but can be updated on demand by running a new tool named svn-populate-node-origins-index(.exe). If you have a large repository you will likely want to populate the index. New repositories, or ones that are dumped/loaded or svnsync’ed will not need this.
      • For fsfs repositories, the node-origins index will be slightly faster and take up less disk space if the repository is reloaded or synced. For existing repositories, the index has to be maintained in a separate set of files that takes up extra disk space and I/O.
      • For new 1.5 fsfs repositories, there is a new sharding mechanism for storing revisions on disk. Instead of storing all revisions in one single directory, they are now spread across multiple directories which will be better on certain filesystems.  There is a Python script you can run to shard an exising fsfs repository though.
    4. If you were using an earlier version of the 1.5 binaries, note that the on-disk format of the repository has been changed in the most recent builds. You should dump your repository with your current binaries, then install the new binaries, create a new repository and load the repository.

Please take the opportunity to give these alpha versions on the path to GA a try. Your feedback will lead to a better final release and likely also help us deliver Subversion 1.5 as soon as possible.

* Apache, Apache Subversion and the Subversion logo are trademarks of the Apache Software Foundation. Subversion® is a registered trademark of the Apache Software Foundation.

Mark Phippard

Engineering manager for several teams at CollabNet, including CloudForge, Subversion, Subversion Edge, Git and our Desktops and Integrations. Project owner for the Subclipse project, which provides Subversion support in Eclipse. Also a full committer for the Subversion project. Product owner for GitEye, Subversion Edge and the CollabNet Desktops and Integrations.

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