$Date$ and $LastChangedBy$ - should we keep them?

Alexander E. Patrakov patrakov at gmail.com
Mon Apr 14 21:15:27 PDT 2008


Hello,

this is a piece of the IRC log on #svn on irc.freenode.net:

09:27:59) patrakov: Hello, our project has $Date$ in some files. However, 
Subversion expands this based on the current locale, which is wrong for us. How 
to make it always insert the English representation of date into files of this 
project, without manually changing the locale?
(09:31:35) kfogel: patrakov: I know of no way to do that, without setting some 
env variable temporarily.
(09:31:37) Yanroy: patrakov: why is that the wrong behavior?  AFAIK, the client 
expands that tag every time a checkout or update is performed, so it isn't on 
the server...
(09:33:18) patrakov: Yanroy: this is wrong because it is intermixed with HTML 
that has a specified encoding, you can't just arbitrarily mix it (this is the 
"last modified" string in HTML files, and it is user-visible)
(09:33:35) Yanroy: ah, I see
(09:33:55) Yanroy: well, I would hope that it's only an issue on your server, in 
which case I'd suggest changing the server's locale
(09:34:26) patrakov: this is a client issue
(09:35:37) patrakov: the server is in USA and can render the pages correctly if 
I ssh there and check out the files. But on my computer the result is garbage 
until I temporarily set LC_TIME=C
(09:36:19) patrakov: (garbage = Russian representation of dates in English 
documents)
(09:41:13) patrakov: if no solution is available, I'll report a bug
(09:42:24) kfogel: patrakov: call it rather a proposed enhancement, not a bug. 
The current behavior is intended; we could add more control, but at the cost of 
a more complex interface.
(09:42:50) Yanroy: could you set up an alias in your shell such that it sets the 
environment variable before invoking svn?
(09:44:06) patrakov: Yanroy: I did just that, but I can't call this a solution, 
because a French project would require the dates to be in French, and so on. 
I.e., this really should be a property of the repository
(09:45:32) Yanroy: patrakov: I'd say it's a property of the file, not the repo
(09:46:06) Yanroy: patrakov: also, I can almost guarnatee the response you'll 
get on the dev mailing list: don't use keyword expansions, they're only provided 
to be backwards-compatible with CVS

Thus, we should probably find some other method to extract the date and last 
author metadata and put them into the files. Or just drop this.

P.S. Take the above with a grain of salt, because the Subversion project itself 
uses $LastChangedDate$ in its HTML files. See, for example, 
http://svn.collab.net/viewvc/svn/trunk/www/variance-adjusted-patching.html?view=markup

-- 
Alexander E. Patrakov



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