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How do I get started with Subversion

October 14, 2010

Getting started doesn't require that you know the myriad of options and commands that exist in Subversion. Let's say for example you wanted to participate in the periodic Plone Tune-Ups. You are going to want to check out the latest stable development environment to start hacking. According to the Tune-Up site you need to grab the Plone 3.3 plonenext buildout.

Here's how you do it:

centaur% svn checkout plonenext-3.3

The result of this command will be a new directory named plonenext-3.3 on your computer in the directory where you ran the command. If you just started up your command prompt, most likely this will be in your home directory.

Subversion provides some shortcuts to many of its commands. So in this case you could have just typed this and gotten the same result:

centaur% svn co plonenext-3.3

One of my favorite commands has many shortcuts that aren't necessarily shorter, but are more politically correct. In this case the svn blame command can also be written as svn praise, svn annotate, or svn ann. I'll go over that command in more detail in a future post.

With any of these commands you have instance access to Subversion's help system at all times. You can access the general help and command listing by typing svn help and for help with a specific command you can type svn help checkout and read up on all the various options available to you.

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