On Jul 6, 2013, at 17:28, Jonathan Nieder wrote:
David Rothenberger wrote:
On 7/5/2013 8:41 PM, Kyle McKay wrote:

Daniel Shahaf has suggested also setting

I have a patch that does this, but since turning on bulk updates has
a possible performance penalty, I prefer your approach.

I assume that's because http-bulk-updates defeats caching.  If so,
makes sense.

Please forgive my ignorance: is there a bug filed about ra_serf's
misbehavior here?  Is it eventually going to be fixed and this is
just a workaround, or is the growth in temp file use something we'd
live with permanently?

Apparently it will not be fixed:

Begin forwarded message:
From: David Rothenberger <daver...@acm.org>
Date: July 5, 2013 16:14:12 PDT
To: git@vger.kernel.org
Subject: Re: git-svn "Temp file with moniker 'svn_delta' already in use" and skelta mode

I traced git-svn and discovered that the error is due to a known
problem in the SVN APIs. ra_serf does not drive the delta editor in
a depth-first manner as required by the API [1]. Instead, the calls
come in this order:

1. open_root
2. open_directory
3. add_file
4. apply_textdelta
5. add_file
6. apply_textdelta

This is a known issue [2] and one that the Subversion folks have
elected not to fix [3].

[2] http://subversion.tigris.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=2932
[3] http://subversion.tigris.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=3831

The summary of [3] which is marked RESOLVED,FIXED is "Add errata / release note noise around ra_serf's editor drive violations".

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