Getting started with bzr-svn (was Re: bzr-svn and subversion revisions)

Jelmer Vernooij jelmer at
Mon Sep 7 12:41:18 BST 2009

Hi Matt,

On Mon, Sep 07, 2009 at 11:15:27AM +1000, Matt Doran wrote:
> John Szakmeister wrote:
> >On Fri, Sep 4, 2009 at 4:03 AM, Russel
> >Winder<russel.winder at> wrote:
> >[snip]
> >>>I'm a bit hesitant to start using bzr as an svn client for our company
> >>>svn repo, without a bit more documentation to guide me.   And I have
> >>>less time than I'd like to stumble through it myself.
> >>The problem here is that in reality there is no special documentation.
> >>the whole point of bzr-svn is that it makes a Subversion repository look
> >>like a Bazaar branch.  You just use Bazaar commands as (well) documented
> >>across the website.  Unlike Git which has special commands, Bazaar has
> >>no special commands for dealing with Subversion.

> >That is the beauty of the bzr-svn plugin (which I *love*).
> >Unfortunately, there isn't a complete mapping of Subversion into
> >Bazaar.  For instance, if I introduce files on my Bazaar branch, I
> >can't set file properties (svn:eol-style, svn:mime-type, etc).  You
> >also need to be careful about pushing into the mainline.  bzr-svn's
> >push behavior can be rather unfriendly if you aren't rebasing your
> >branch before pushing.  For instance, we like to review commits to our
> >SVN repo.  But the commit reordering that Bazaar and bzr-svn does,
> >makes that difficult, and it's frightening for svn users to see
> >"Copied /trunk r123".  Also, the commit reordering makes it harder to
> >cherry pick revisions in SVN, because the commit re-ordering changes
> >when a particular rev was introduced on trunk versus when we branched
> >our stable line.  We ran into that a couple times when I was not so
> >careful.

> >I would also like to see so beefier documentation, and I'd be willing
> >to contribute to that.  I, personally, haven't explored everything
> >with bzr-svn yet (I have done an import, haven't tried tagging
> >branches, or teaching bzr-svn about some of our more awkward
> >repository layouts).  But I have been using it nearly everyday for 9
> >months.
> Thanks a lot for your thoughts.    I guess I should just give it a
> try and see. :)

> It's the stuff the John mentions above that makes me a little
> nervous.  I don't know what bzr-svn will commit to the SVN
> repository.  e.g. is it a single commit representing all my changes,
> or does it do more fine-grained commits (which John seems to be
> implying above)?

Newer versions of bzr-svn won't change the mainline history in
Subversion by default. Instead, they'll print an error when you would
be about to do so and require you to set a configuration variable

> And how does bzr-svn handle svn branches?   Does it understand the
> trunk/branches/tags structure?  Do I just do an bzr branch from
> trunk, and bzr-svn will figure out the rest?
It understands the usual trunk/branches/tags structure.



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