Resource Fork Files, SVN and Versions App: A Cautionary Tale

8 Aug
2012

Every now and again, you come across an unGoogleable problem. This particular one drove me nuts…

Thought you had problem with forks? Yowzers

Thought you had problem with forks? Yowzers

The Problem

I have a new SVN project on an Ubuntu box. I copy files from my Mac desktop to this project via AFP (dragging and dropping with the Ubuntu box mounted as a /Volume) and clean up any resource fork files (those beginning with ._ ) that I can see (I use TinkerTool for this)

Problem is, that I then drag across tiny_mce which has hundreds of the buggers nested deep within the file structure.

But I didn’t notice, and clicked the ‘Add’ button to the parent directories in Versions and then commit.

After the commit, I get a few error messages, including things like:

 Can’t open file ‘/Path/To/MyDirectory/app/Plugin/Admin/Model/.svn/tmp/text-base/._AdminAppModel.php.svn-base’: No such file or directory

And now, I’m stuck. I can’t commit files, update anything, nothing works. So I try to checkout a new version to a different directory on the same Ubuntu box and get an error telling me I can’t.

The cause

So, I root around a little and work out that the repository has a copy of the resource fork files. All of them. The problem is that Versions hasn’t created a text-base version in the .svn directories. Any of them. But it has passed on the actual files and their contents, which leaves you in a right pickle.

The solution

I created a new project, exported my old content there, recreating where necessary and then (this is the important bit), I ran this command in Terminal

dot_clean -m /Volumes/path/to/my/new/working/copy/

Which recursively deletes all resource fork files – the -m deletes the files, rather than merge them. As I don’t need the files, I want them gone, but you may want them, so please read the dot_clean man page if you plan to do this.

Then, I add the files in Versions and commit – job’s a good’un

A better solution

A better solution would be for Versions to support resource files properly – either add the files to the repo and the text-base or don’t add them to either, don’t do one and not the other – madness.

Or, if you only have a few resource fork files that have borked up your SVN project, you may want to use a different SVN GUI app, or command line, and delete (SVN delete, not Mac delete) the files, then return to Versions after this

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