Archiv für November 2006

How to use subversion revision numbers in autotools-based projects

November 26, 2006 - Markus Hoenicka
When developers try to track down bugs, they'd better know what version precisely runs on the user's box. Back in the days of yore, projects used CVS to record the version numbers of the source files. On the up side, the cvs command-line tool would do string replacements in the source files which were commonly used to record the CVS version of each file. Therefore it was simple to design a function that returns the string that cvs inserted into the file. On the down side, this version number reflects only the version of the particular file that contained the function. But as we all know, most projects are built from several to many source files. Therefore the CVS revision number is of limited value only.

Subversion uses a different approach. On the up side, Subversion uses a repository version number to address a particular combination of file revisions at a certain point in time. This is perfect from a developers point of view, but it comes at a price: Subversion cannot do string replacements as CVS does, because a single revision of a file can be part of several revisions of the repository. The Subversion FAQ suggests to use the tool "svnversion" to generate a definition for C files or to generate a small C file containing the version number. I tried to integrate the Subversion revision into the RefDB binaries lately, but it turned out to be far more complicated than the FAQ suggested.

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How to use RefDB with a single database

November 15, 2006 - Markus Hoenicka
The default RefDB setup asks for at least two databases: a system database called "refdb" by default, and at least one reference database. The former contains bibliography styles and the journal word list. The latter contains the reference data proper. Keeping system data and reference data in two separate databases is preferred because you can scrap and re-create reference databases anytime without affecting the system database.

However, there are situations where you must stick to a single database. This is often the case if you rent some webspace "with MySQL". The fineprint usually restricts this to a single MySQL database which is created by the internet provider. Is it still possible to run RefDB on such a database?

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