[mapguide-internals] TortoiseSVN & Windows 7 x64

Norm Olsen norm.olsen at autodesk.com
Wed Feb 24 11:58:05 EST 2010

Hello All . . .

I didn't know/realize this before, so perhaps there is at least one person out there for which this is news (pardon me if I'm wrong on this):

*         Subversion (SVN) is the actual version control system for which there is a command line interface.

*         Subversion is an open source product  maintained by the Apache folk.

*         TortoiseSVN is a very nice, well maintained, widely used, Windows interface built on top of Subversion.

*         TortoiseSVN links to the Subversion library directly, so it does not actually invoke any commands.

The primary issue with Windows 7 (x64 or otherwise, but worse on x64) is the very useful feature of the status icons which tells you the status of controlled modules in real time inside Windows Explorer.  Windows only supports 15 icon overlays, and uses 4 of them itself.  This leaves 11 icon overlays for all other applications to use.  The TortoiseSVN icons do not appear (and hence you get the impression that TortoiseSVN is not working) when there are too many applications trying to use the 11 available icon overlay slots.

Turns out that Windows Groove uses a bunch, Perforce uses three, and  Mozy uses a bunch.  I'm sure there are others.  Also, Windows sorts the icon overlays alphabetically by name and dishes out the available slots in that order.  Thus, TortoiseSVN is usually last in line.  To correct  this problem, you can uninstall things you may not be using (such as Groove).  You can also twiddle the registry:


The popular technique is to prepend a 'z' or something on the names of the overlay icons which you do not need, which then forces them to the bottom of the priority list.  This makes restoring them at some point in the future relatively easy.

By the way, the guys supporting TortoiseSVN are wonderful and provide top notch support.  They deserve three cheers.

Norm Olsen
Software Engineer
Autodesk, Inc.

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