Cygwin and Subversion

Back in October when I found myself having to build a copy of the subversion command line client for
Cygwin, I thought “Hey, I already had to do this once. Why don’t I volunteer to become the package maintainer of this?” It seemed reasonable enough and I made the initial overtures via the proper mailing lists. When I sat down to do it, though, there were lots of details and TBDs and then I got busy and it never happened. It was one of those looming things that I would think about every single weekend and many weeknights – “Damn, I should be working on that cygwin package.” Well, an email from a dude spurred me to get back in gear. Luckily, the Subversion team has been cranking along since my last attempts, so it really wasn’t that difficult to get it built for cygwin. The tricky part was to trick the install into going not into the main cygwin directories but into one that I could tar up to become my package. Failing a nice elegant, permanent way to do that I just rewrote the Makefile for now.

I did that, tarred it, bzipped it and then I had what in theory would be the basis of the package. I tried it on a virgin cygwin that had never had subversion installed. I had to phony up the setup.ini file and then do a “install from local packages” but lo and behold – it works! I installed it, and then used the svn binary that came from it to check out the whole of the svn project from the official project source repository. I’m 90% of the way there!

Now I have to figure out the permanent way to do what I did. Whether that is a flag to the configure script that says –cygwin-distribution or something like that or whatever, I want to have this such that after I’m done anyone can build this package from source without really doing anything special. I’ll email the lists tonight and get this process rolling again. It could be possible that the subversion client (all this is for client only) is in the official cygwin setup in a matter of weeks or even days.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.