Subversion 1.4.4 Released

Those of you who diligently watch your e-mail Inbox for those little blessings that come via recently got a pleasant surprise, though perhaps not the one you’d been wishing for. It’s been nearly five months since Subversion’s last release — nine months since the introduction of the 1.4 version line. “Where’s the next big Subversion release?” “What’s taking so long!?” “I want Merge Tracking, and I want it yesterday!”

Don’t worry, Subversion 1.5 remains on schedule. Merge Tracking development is still ongoing, as is support for sparse directories and a number of other improvements and features. Those are, of course, in addition to all of the other goodies that 1.5 promises to bring which are already completed. But along the way of developing Subversion 1.5, we found enough important issues in 1.4.3 to justify another patch release on this line.

Subversion 1.4.4 delivers a number of bug fixes for various issues, including (but not limited to):

  • an extremely rare directory property dataloss bug which, for BDB-backed repositories, also unfortunately results in repository corruption
  • a race condition when changing revision properties in FSFS-backed repositories
  • a low-risk security flaw in the ‘svn prop* –revprop’ subcommands
  • problems with ‘svn diff’ when writing large diff hunks to the Windows console
  • a path sorting bug in the output of ‘svnadmin dump’ for non-ASCII paths which can cause invalid dumpfile generation
  • a hang bug triggered during character translation

Now, some of those items look sorta scary. Data loss, repository corruption, race conditions — that’s the stuff a technologist’s nightmares are made of! But without downplaying the significance of the fixes to those problems, allow me to assure you that the instances of them have thus far been extremely rare. Still, you are encouraged (as always) to upgrade to this latest release of Subversion.  You can see the full set of changes made in 1.4.4 in the Subversion CHANGES file.

And if you’re one of those folks dying to get your hands on Merge Tracking functionality, let me encourage you to join the openCollabNet Merge Tracking Early Adopter Program. The more feedback the Subversion developers get on their work, the better — and more timely — the feature will be overall.


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

C. Michael Pilato

C. Michael Pilato is a core Subversion developer, co-author of Version Control With Subversion (O'Reilly Media), and the primary maintainer of ViewVC. He works remotely from his home state of North Carolina as a software engineer for CollabNet, and has been an active open source developer since early 2001. Mike is a proud husband and father who loves traveling, soccer, spending quality time with his family, and any combination of those things. He also enjoys composing and performing music, and harbors not-so-secret fantasies of rock stardom. Mike has a degree in computer science and mathematics from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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