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Version Control with Subversion, 2nd Edition by Brian W. Fitzpatrick, Ben Collins-Sussman, C. Michael Pilato

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Creating Locks

In the Subversion repository, a lock is a piece of metadata that grants exclusive access to one user to change a file. This user is said to be the lock owner. Each lock also has a unique identifier, typically a long string of characters, known as the lock token. The repository manages locks, ultimately handling their creation, enforcement, and removal. If any commit transaction attempts to modify or delete a locked file (or delete one of the parent directories of the file), the repository will demand two pieces of information—that the client performing the commit be authenticated as the lock owner, and that the lock token has been provided as part of the commit process as a form of proof that the client knows which lock it is using.

To demonstrate lock creation, let’s refer back to our example of multiple graphic designers working on the same binary image files. Harry has decided to change a JPEG image. To prevent other people from committing changes to the file while he is modifying it (as well as alerting them that he is about to change it), he locks the file in the repository using the svn lock command:

$ svn lock banana.jpg -m "Editing file for tomorrow's release."
'banana.jpg' locked by user 'harry'.
$

The preceding example demonstrates a number of new things. First, notice that Harry passed the --message (-m) option to svn lock. Similar to svn commit, the svn lock command can take comments—via either --message (-m) or --file (-F)—to describe the reason for locking ...

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