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From Rich McGrew <>
Subject Re: SubVersion crash in TortoiseSVN 1.8.8
Date Fri, 05 Sep 2014 12:58:34 GMT
Well when the error message came up in TortoiseSVN 1.8.8 it said to post it to the Apache SubVersion
mailing list and I followed the instructions. Since the window title was "SubVersion Exception!"
and the error message said to post it to the Apache SubVersion mailing list I followed the
instructions. Yes the error did occur in TortoiseSVN but it didn't give any option to use
TortoiseSVN's automatic crash handler, that didn't come up at all, what came up was a window
with the text that I copied and pasted. I would assume that the lines:

In file
 line 8731: assertion failed (svn_dirent_is_absolute(local_abspath))

Might mean something to people who know the code and they might be able to look at that line
in the code and see what is wrong there but I guess this is a hard to fix thing... I just
did a bit of online searching and apparently similar assertions have failed in other lines
of code in that same file, wc_db.c, typically when run from TortoiseSVN, and sometimes it
gets fixed and sometimes it doesn't.

This example:!topic/tortoisesvn-dev/TwW5UTdVp2Y, it was
that same error message in wc_db.c but in line 5710 and it got fixed in r21821 of TortoiseSVN
in a fix that Stefan did. So that bug was in TortoiseSVN and not in Apache SubVersion.

This other example:,
it was that same error message in wc_db.c but in line 6752 and it doesn't seem it got fixed,
it seems everyone concluded that it was not a problem in Apache SubVersion but a problem in

Well judging by those past examples I guess this is probably a bug in TortoiseSVN, I just
posted it to the Apache SubVersion mailing list because that is what the instructions in the
error message said to do. I will probably post this as a bug for TortoiseSVN because when
I look at those 2 similar previous bugs, in both cases it was a bug in TortoiseSVN and how
it called Apache SubVersion, and not a bug in Apache SubVersion. Thank you for the help, I
think you are probably correct about this most likely being a bug in TortoiseSVN and not in
Apache SubVersion, but we still don't know for sure.

If the developers of TortoiseSVN are on this mailing list then maybe I won't have to file
a bug because they will read it here, but I guess filing a bug with them would be a good idea

As for how to duplicate the bug:
1) Set up TortoiseSVN 1.8.8 to connect to a SourceForge project that uses SVN using the the
svn+ssh:// protocol using your login info to SourceForge.
2) Go to your TortoiseSVN settings from the Start Menu, go to Network, and under SSH, in the
SSH Client line, add command line parameters to TortoisePlink.exe for your username and password
at SourceForge like so:

"C:\Program Files\TortoiseSVN\bin\TortoisePlink.exe" -l username_at_sourceforge -pw password_at_sourceforge

3) Right-click the main folder for the project, choose TortoiseSVN in the context menu, and
in that menu choose Show Log.
4) The log messages window will pop up showing the revision history. Select any revision at
all on the top part of the screen.
5) The bottom part of the screen will have a list of files modified in whichever revision
you pick. Double-click on one of the files down there, or right-click and chose Show Changes,
both are equivalent.
6) It will probably prompt you for a password, even though you have TortoiseSVN set up to
call the SVN client with a username and password. This doesn't always happen, only happens
about half the time.
7) If you try typing in a password and hitting OK it will just prompt you for a password again
and again forever in an infinite loop and each time will be considered an authentication failure
by SourceForge (which you'll get an error message about later on), so don't do that. Instead,
hit OK without typing in a password.

8) The error message I originally posted about a bug in Apache SubVersion that you should
post to the SubVersion mailing list might occur if you were prompted for a password and didn't
type one in, and it will always be that exact same error message. There is also a chance you
might actually get to see the changes in the file between the 2 revisions and have it work
correctly. Additionally, there is a chance you could get prompted for a password again and
have to hit OK again. Lastly there is a chance you could get an error message from SourceForge
saying that there are too many authentication failures for your username there. So that's
4 different possibilities here and just one of them is the error message that says to copy
and paste it to the SubVersion mailing list. It seems kind of random at this point.

Well those are the steps to reproduce the bug, and as step 8 shows it is intermittent and
random and doesn't always come up, and is one of several possible errors that can occur (usually,
in older versions of TortoiseSVN that correspondingly had older versions of Apache SubVersion,
it would not ever prompt you for a password if you had a username and password selected as
command-line options for TortoisePlink.exe as in step (2) of my directions for duplicating
the bug.

But again the error message said it was an error in Apache SubVersion and that this was the
proper place to post it, even though it is more than likely an error in TortoiseSVN instead.
So I am sorry about that, I was only following directions.

- Rich McGrew

On Friday, September 5, 2014 7:12 AM, Bert Huijben <> wrote:

If you want us (or the TortoiseSVN developers, which have their own list) to resolve your
problem you should explain us how we can reproduce your problem.
The only explanation you give us
“It occurred when I was trying to view the difference between 2 previous revisions of a
file in an SVN repository that uses the svn+ssh:// protocol, on SourceForge”
Doesn’t provide me any information to reproduce this… nor does it tell me whether this
problem is caused by a bug in TortoiseSVN invoking the Subversion libraries, or in TortoiseSVN
itself. We really need more information to even start looking
Usually when you would look at two old versions, you don’t check the working copy… so
that might give the hint that TortoiseSVN accidentally tries to do something in the wrong
location. But we can’t tell.
As you get the error from TortoiseSVN and we as Subversion project don’t provide direct
support for that projects final releases the request to automatically handle *their* errors
doesn’t really make sense here.
As far as I know TortoiseSVN handles their crashes automatically… So somehow they determined
that this isn’t a crash that they want/can handle.
From:Rich McGrew [] 
Sent: vrijdag 5 september 2014 10:47
Subject: SubVersion crash in TortoiseSVN 1.8.8
This crash happened in TortoiseSVN 1.8.8, which is based on Apache SubVersion 1.8.10, both
of which are the latest release versions. It happened on 32-bit Windows XP Professional with
Service Pack 3. It occurred when I was trying to view the difference between 2 previous revisions
of a file in an SVN repository that uses the svn+ssh:// protocol, on SourceForge. I get this
crash very often in TortoiseSVN 1.8.8 and the error message says to post an email to this
email address. However the error message is exactly the same every time. So I am only emailing
this bug in once even though it keeps happening again and again and again. Please fix it so
I don't have to deal with this annoying bug anymore. I think the error message itself,
In file
 line 8731: assertion failed (svn_dirent_is_absolute(local_abspath)),
that error message ought to be more than enough for you to figure out what went wrong, it
says exactly what line of source code has the error, line 8731 of wc_db.c, and it says what
the error is too. Anyway I get this error ALL THE TIME now so please fix it.
Also maybe you should have Apache SubVersion automatically report crash reports to
the way TortoiseSVN does so that users like me don't have to manually email these crash reports
in and so you can get an accurate count of how often the crashes actually occur.
is the new name for, anyway an explanation of it is on the TortoiseSVN site
here: Automated crash reports would make the program
more stable and allow you to accurately track statistics on each type of crash to prioritize
fixing the most common ones first, and you wouldn't need people to send in emails of crash
reports anymore.
Here is the crash log:
Subversion Exception!
Subversion encountered a serious problem.
Please take the time to report this on the Subversion mailing list
with as much information as possible about what
you were trying to do.
But please first search the mailing list archives for the error message
to avoid reporting the same problem repeatedly.
You can find the mailing list archives at

Subversion reported the following
(you can copy the content of this dialog
to the clipboard using Ctrl-C):

In file
 line 8731: assertion failed (svn_dirent_is_absolute(local_abspath))
Rich McGrew, open-source programmer
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