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Version Control with Subversion
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Version Control with Subversion - httpd, the Apache HTTP server - Other Features

Other Features

Several of the features already provided by Apache in its role as a robust Web server can be leveraged for increased functionality or security in Subversion as well. Subversion communicates with Apache using Neon, which is a generic HTTP/WebDAV library with support for such mechanisms as SSL (the Secure Socket Layer, discussed earlier) and Deflate compression (the same algorithm used by the gzip and PKZIP programs to “shrink” files into smaller chunks of data). You need only to compile support for the features you desire into Subversion and Apache, and properly configure the programs to use those features.

Deflate compression places a small burden on the client and server to compress and decompress network transmissions as a way to minimize the size of the actual transmission. In cases where network bandwidth is in short supply, this kind of compression can greatly increase the speed at which communications between server and client can be sent. In extreme cases, this minimized network transmission could be the difference between an operation timing out or completing successfully.

Less interesting, but equally useful, are other features of the Apache and Subversion relationship, such as the ability to specify a custom port (instead of the default HTTP port 80) or a virtual domain name by which the Subversion repository should be accessed, or the ability to access the repository through a proxy. These things are all supported by Neon, so Subversion gets that support for free.

Finally, because mod_dav_svn is speaking a semi-complete dialect of WebDAV/DeltaV, it's possible to access the repository via third-party DAV clients. Most modern operating systems (Win32, OS X, and Linux) have the built-in ability to mount a DAV server as a standard network “share”. This is a complicated topic; for details, read Appendix B, WebDAV and Autoversioning .



[25] They really hate doing that.

[26] While self-signed server certificates are still vulnerable to a “man in the middle” attack, such an attack is still much more difficult for a casual observer to pull off, compared to sniffing unprotected passwords.

[27] More security-conscious folk might not want to store the client certificate password in the runtime servers file.

[28] Back then, it was called “ViewCVS”.


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Version Control with Subversion
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