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From Giulio Troccoli <>
Subject Update failed with "is not a working copy" message on externals
Date Wed, 03 Mar 2010 10:14:47 GMT

We are starting using externals to publish some documentation for our customer. The repository
contains test files and documentation about the testing. Some of these files and docs need
to be made available to our customer. So I thought of creating a Public folder and define
the svn:external property to pull down only the bits that we need.

As part of the process however we decided to also reorganise the documents, especially because
some of the original file are buried into 5 or more directories. An example of svn:external
would be

^/api/5.31/Completed%20Projects%20(non-iTest%20docs)/5.11.23 5.31/5.11.23

This works very well, creating the 5.31 and 5.11.23 directories. However, if we want to pull
down a single file, e.g.

"5.31/basic data cleansing/End To End _basic data cleansing.xls"

then svn update fails with the message

Fetching external item into '5.31\basic data cleansing\End To End _basic data cleansing.xls'
svn: warning: '5.31\basic data cleansing' is not a working copy

I thought I couldn't pull down a single file but only directories but the manual says I can,
and if I change the external as

"End To End _basic data cleansing.xls"

then the file is retrieved.

I have looked in the archive and the only related message I found is a very old one about
subversion 1.2.3

So, it seems to me this is a bug. I was able to write a little ksh script (attached) to reproduced
the problem.

Both svn server and client are 1.6.9

Giulio Troccoli

Linedata Services (UK) Ltd
Registered Office: Bishopsgate Court, 4-12 Norton Folgate, London, E1 6DB
Registered in England and Wales No 3027851    VAT Reg No 778499447

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