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From Michael Schlottke <>
Subject Re: vimdiff wrapper for diff-cmd not working with 1.8
Date Wed, 19 Jun 2013 07:11:49 GMT

On Jun 19, 2013, at 01:58 , Philip Martin wrote:

> [cc to dev]
> Michael Schlottke <> writes:
>> I just installed svn 1.8 on our cluster. Before, we used svn 1.7.9 and
>> a little vimdiff wrapper (taken, with a few changes, from
>> which worked like a charm when called as "svn diff
>> filename". However, with svn 1.8 something
>> seems to have changed:
>> The only lines I see after executing the command above are
>>> Index: filename
>>> ===================================================================
>> and the terminal hangs. When I enter ":qa!", I get the following line
>>> Vim: Warning: Output is not to a terminal
>> and I am back in the terminal. I have not changed anything in the
>> wrapper script, and indeed, when I manually use it with our old svn
>> version (1.7.9), it still works. Does anyone have an idea what has
>> changed in the way the diff-cmd is invoked? And, more importantly, how
>> I can change the vimdiff wrapper so it works again?
> I invoked vimdiff using a diff-cmd of:
>    #!/bin/sh
>    vimdiff $6 $7

That's the exact same command I used.

> this works with 1.7 but fails as you describe in 1.8.
> The cause is the conversion of diff to the stream API. The code in
> libsvn_client/diff.c:diff_content_changed now gets a Subversion stream
> rather than an APR file for output so it does:
>      /* We deal in streams, but svn_io_run_diff2() deals in file handles,
>         unfortunately, so we need to make these temporary files, and then
>         copy the contents to our stream. */
>      SVN_ERR(svn_io_open_unique_file3(&outfile, &outfilename, NULL,
>                                       svn_io_file_del_on_pool_cleanup,
>                                       scratch_pool, scratch_pool));
> and this use of a temporary file prevents the use of an external diff
> that expects a terminal.
> The only way I see to fix this is to stop using the stream API when the
> external diff command wants a terminal.  I don't think it is possible to
> do this automatically, perhaps we need an --interactive-diff option?

Do you have an idea of how hard this is to achieve, or how long it would take to create a
patch? I'd be happy to volunteer as a tester…
Or do you know of an interim hack that I could use until it is properly fixed?

We'd really love to use svn 1.8 (especially with the new merging capabilities), but this is
a major hindrance.


Michael Schlottke

SimLab Highly Scalable Fluids & Solids Engineering
Jülich Aachen Research Alliance (JARA-HPC)
RWTH Aachen University
Wüllnerstraße 5a
52062 Aachen

Phone: +49 (241) 80 95188
Fax: +49 (241) 80 92257

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