Perhaps the single most important file in the
.svn directory is the
entries file. It
contains the bulk of the administrative
information about the versioned items in a working copy
directory. It is this one file which tracks the repository
URLs, pristine revision, file checksums, pristine text and
property timestamps, scheduling and conflict state
information, last-known commit information (author, revision,
timestamp), local copy history—practically everything
that a Subversion client is interested in knowing about a
versioned (or to-be-versioned) resource!
Folks familiar with CVS's administrative directories will
have recognized at this point that Subversion's
.svn/entries file serves the purposes of,
among other things, CVS's
CVS/Repository files combined.
The format of the
has changed over time. Originally an XML file, it now uses a
custom—though still human-readable—file format.
While XML was a great choice for early developers of
Subversion who were frequently debugging the file's contents
(and Subversion's behavior in light of them), the need for
easy developer debugging has diminished as Subversion has
matured, and has been replaced by the user's need for snappier
performance. Be aware that Subversion's working copy library
automatically upgrades working copies from one format to
another—it reads the old formats, and writes the
new—which saves you the hassle of checking out a new
working copy, but can also complicate situations where
different versions of Subversion might be trying to use the
same working copy.