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

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Repository Layer

When referring to Subversion’s Repository layer, we’re generally talking about two basic concepts—the versioned filesystem implementation (accessed via libsvn_fs, and supported by its libsvn_fs_base and libsvn_fs_fs plug-ins), and the repository logic that wraps it (as implemented in libsvn_repos). These libraries provide the storage and reporting mechanisms for the various revisions of your version-controlled data. This layer is connected to the Client layer via the Repository Access layer, and is, from the perspective of the Subversion user, the stuff at the other end of the line.

The Subversion filesystem is not a kernel-level filesystem that one would install in an operating system (such as the Linux ext2 or NTFS), but instead it is a virtual filesystem. Rather than storing files and directories as real files and directories (the kind you can navigate through using your favorite shell program), it uses one of two available abstract storage backends—either a Berkeley DB database environment or a flat-file representation. (To learn more about the two repository backends, see Choosing a Data Store.) There has even been considerable interest by the development community in giving future releases of Subversion the ability to use other backend database systems, perhaps through a mechanism such as Open Database Connectivity (ODBC). In fact, Google did something similar to this before launching the Google Code Project Hosting service: they announced in mid-2006 ...

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