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

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Examining History

Your Subversion repository is like a time machine. It keeps a record of every change ever committed and allows you to explore this history by examining previous versions of files and directories as well as the metadata that accompanies them. With a single Subversion command, you can check out the repository (or restore an existing working copy) exactly as it was at any date or revision number in the past. However, sometimes you just want to peer into the past instead of going into it.

Several commands can provide you with historical data from the repository:

svn log

Shows you broad information: log messages with date and author information attached to revisions and which paths changed in each revision

svn diff

Shows line-level details of a particular change

svn cat

Retrieves a file as it existed in a particular revision number and displays it on your screen

svn list

Displays the files in a directory for any given revision

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