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From Jason Heeris <>
Subject Re: Square brackets in file names and authz (in VisualSVN 2.5.5)
Date Thu, 12 Jul 2012 00:03:12 GMT
On 11 July 2012 23:01, Matthew Pounsett <> wrote:

> I note by your examples that you're using a unix filesystem (as opposed to
> Windows).  I would be a little surprised if this worked there, since the
> square brackets are normally used by unix shells as glob metacharacters,
> similarly to * and ?.

The app runs on a Windows Server 2003 system, and creates and commits the
files on NTFS.

> Sorry, I'm not sure how to help you make this work.  If you can avoid
> using those characters in file names, please do so at all costs.

Well... not without a rewrite of the application, and the ability to
somehow replay the entire repository with different filenames while
maintaining revision numbers. Simply renaming them in the repository won't
work, since then (a) the app will break, and (b) the files could still be
accessed at previous revisions. Maybe possible with "svnadmin dump" or a
PySVN script, but not easy.

>  A good rule of thumb is that if you can't create the file from a command
> line in a shell without escaping characters, then don't use those
> characters.

Only the app is able to create and delete the files — any other user can
only modify them through SVN. Hence, I've always used tab completion or a
GUI (on both Linux and Windows) to work with them.

In my defense, I did what I thought was due diligence when this was set up.
I looked for characters that were deemed illegal in SVN paths, and I made
sure these characters would work on all the filesystems we use here. I
didn't expect any of this to be an issue, any more than spaces or non-ASCII

> If svn can't deal with this one you might have a case for it being a bug,
> since it is technically a legal file name.

So are the square brackets...

Look, I realise this is an edge case, but if SVN can handle non-ASCII,
shouldn't it handle punctuation? IMO there is at least one bug here: either
the authz file spec should include escape sequences "[", "]", "#" and maybe
others, or it should be documented that they are disallowed characters for
SVN (or maybe more specifically, authz). I'll file it later today and see
what response I get.


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