Details are described below.
Subversion 1.5 is a superset of all previous Subversion releases, and is considered the current "best" release. Anything in 1.0.x through 1.4.x is also in 1.5, but 1.5 contains features and bugfixes not present in any earlier release. The new features will eventually be documented in a 1.5 version of the free Subversion book, see svnbook.red-bean.com.
Older clients and servers interoperate transparently with 1.5 servers and clients. Of course, some of the new 1.5 features may not be available unless both client and server are the latest version (e.g. Merge Tracking). There is no need to dump and reload your repositories; Subversion 1.5 can read repositories created by earlier versions. To upgrade an existing installation, just install the newest libraries and binaries on top of the older ones.
Subversion 1.5 maintains API/ABI compatibility with earlier releases, by only adding new functions. A program written to the 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 or 1.3 API can both compile and run using 1.5 libraries. However, a program written for 1.5 cannot necessarily compile or run against older libraries.
Due to certain improvements and bugfixes made to the working copy library, the version number of the working copy format has been incremented. This means that Subversion clients earlier than 1.5 will not be able to work with working copies produced by Subversion 1.5. Similarly, the repository format has changed as well, meaning that pre-1.5 Subversion tools that normally access a repository directly (e.g. svnserve, mod_dav_svn, svnadmin) won't be able to read a repository originally created by Subversion 1.5.
WARNING: if a Subversion 1.5 client encounters a pre-1.5 working copy, it will automatically upgrade the working copy format as soon as it touches it, making it unreadable by older Subversion clients. If you are using several versions of Subversion on your machine, you need to be careful about which version you use in which working copy, to avoid accidentally upgrading the working copy format. This "auto upgrade" feature, however, does not occur with the new repository format.
Although the Subversion developers try hard to keep output from the command line programs compatible between releases, new information sometimes has to be added. This might break scripts that rely on the exact format of the output. In 1.5, the following changes have been made to the output:
XXX: Enumerate changes to output (e.g. for changelists).
Conflict markers in files now match the file's defined eol-style.
XXX: Describe each new feature. See the 1.4 RNs for a "template".
XXX: Described here.
Added support for interactive conflict resolution in the command
line client, and a corresponding callback function in the client
library. GUI clients can use the callback function to hook in a
graphical conflict resolution program to the
sub-commands. Example command line output:
$ svn up U contrib/client-side/svnmerge/svnmerge_test.py Conflict discovered in 'contrib/client-side/svnmerge/svnmerge.py'. Select: (p)ostpone, (d)iff, (e)dit, (h)elp : h (p)ostpone - mark the conflict to be resolved later (d)iff - show all changes made to merged file (e)dit - change merged file in an editor (r)esolved - accept merged version of file (m)ine - accept my version of file (t)heirs - accept repository's version of file (l)aunch - use third-party tool to resolve conflict (h)elp - show this list Select: (p)ostpone, (d)iff, (e)dit, (h)elp : t G contrib/client-side/svnmerge/svnmerge.py Updated to revision 25685.
This feature can be selectively disabled by using the --non-interactive option, or disabled permanently by setting '[miscellany] interactive-conflicts = no' in your run-time config file.
The API for interactive conflict resolution is exposed via a callback function and the following new data types:
svn_wc_conflict_resolver_func_t, the callback API itself
svn_wc_conflict_description_t, a description of the conflict passed to the callback
svn_wc_conflict_action_t, the part of the conflict description indicating what the merge was trying to do
svn_wc_conflict_reason_t, the part of the conflict description indicating the type of conflict
svn_wc_conflict_result_t, returned by the callback as the result of any conflict resolution attempt
Clients provide their callback function to Subversion's libraries
by setting it on the (new)
conflict_func field of their
svn_client_ctx_t, and may provide additional state to the
callback via the corresponding
XXX: A mod_dav_svn feature activated using the SVNMasterURI directive in httpd.conf.
XXX: Described here.
XXX: Described here.
XXX: Useful for file systems which don't perform well with a large number of files in a directory -- see blog entry here.
The abilities and behavior of
move operations has improved significantly.
A common problem in older versions of Subversion was the way in
svn update handled incoming copies and moves.
For example, suppose Harry runs
svn move foo bar; svn
commit, and meanwhile Sally makes local changes to 'foo', and
svn update. In earlier versions of Subversion,
the server would send down a completely new file 'bar', and remove the
file 'foo' (or rather, make it unversioned, since it has uncommitted
changes.) From Sally's point of view, her changes seem to be lost;
the newly added 'bar' file has the older content. In Subversion 1.5,
the client and server both attempt to be smarter about this. The
server doesn't send a whole new file during the update, but rather
instructions to copy something that may likely already exists in the
working copy. So Sally's 'foo' file is copied to 'bar' (with local
In theory, this is the best-case scenario. There are a few caveats: this "proper copying" of existing working-copy resources only works on files, not (yet) on directories. Also, if an incoming move-operation deletes 'foo' before it attempts to copy it to 'bar', then the copy will fail, and the client reverts to the old behavior of fetching a pristine copy of the file from the repository. We hope to address this in svn 1.6. For details on the this issue see issue #503.
Copy operations now accept sources with peg revisions.
Clients may now perform multiple local copy/move operations on a single object in a working copy:
svn mv path1 path2 svn mv path2 path3
Clients now accept multiple sources for copy and move operations, with
the ability to copy/move each of the sources to the specified directory.
This mirrors the behavior of standard command-line copy and move tools,
mv. In practice, this means
users can take advantage of shell globbing when doing a local copy
svn cp *.c dir
Multiple source copy/move also works for all previously defined copy/move working copy and repository combinations. This was issue #747.
Clients operations are now significantly more responsive to cancellation (e.g. via control-c). In pre-1.5 releases, after directing an operation to stop, one sometimes had to wait for some time (e.g. while I/O occurred) before the operation would actually stop.
--use-merge-historyoption to adhere to Merge Tracking meta data has been added to the following sub-commands:
--parentsoption to create intermediate directories has been added to the following sub-commands:
--keep-localoption to retain paths locally has been added to the
If you develop a 3rd-party client application that uses Subversion APIs, you may want to take notice of some new APIs:
Subversion 1.4 introduced the experimental ra_serf repository access module for accessing HTTP[S] DAV Subversion servers. This uses the serf library instead of the Neon library which the original DAV support uses. serf supports pipelined requests which may lead to better performance. However, Subversion 1.4 required you to choose which module to use for accessing DAV servers at build time, which made it difficult to find out which module performs better for your usage patterns.
Subversion 1.5 allows you to build both modules at the same time; you can choose which library to use on a global or host-by-host basis by setting the http-library variable in your run-time server configuration file (~/.subversion/servers). In recognition of the fact that both libraries are DAV clients, we have renamed ra_dav to ra_neon.
The usual slew of heretofore-unreleased bug fixes, more than 40 overall. See the CHANGES file for full details.
The Subversion 1.3.x line is no longer supported. This doesn't mean that your 1.3 installation is doomed; if it works well and is all you need, that's fine. "No longer supported" just means we've stopped accepting bug reports against 1.3.x versions, and will not make any more 1.3.x bugfix releases, except perhaps for absolutely critical security or data-loss bugs.