AnkhSVN 2.0 Released – How’s it look?

July 11, 2008

When I first started using Subversion full time for all of my personal projects, I stuck with the VisualSVN server and AnkhSVN as a Visual Studio client.  Both were free, easy to install, and easy to use.

However, after a few weeks, the AnkhSVN client could almost be called “annoying.”  It trampled over the existing SCC plugins for SourceSafe (for work) and made a mess out of several of my project uploads.  I ended up going back to using TortioiseSVN and doing everything through Explorer.

When AnkhSVN 2.0 was released, I figured I’d give it another shot.

The site claims quite a bit—including several unique additions:

  • Pending changes window; subversion status and commands available in one place
  • Full support for Visual Studio 2005 and 2008; AnkhSVN is now a SCC package instead of just an addin
  • Better log viewer
  • Merge support
  • Property editor
  • AnkhSVN now supports most project types previously unsupported via the SCC api
  • All solution explorer actions (rename, copy&paste, drag&drop) keep subversion history now
  • Enhanced build process and setup
  • Automatic check for updates
  • And last but certainly not least end user documentation

All of those look great—especially the SCC package and changes window.  But how does it compare once installed?

After installation and starting up VS2008, everything looks normal.

Brief Look

Pending Changes Window

The new pending changes window is FANTASTIC—much improved over the old 1.x versions.  I did run into a snafu when trying to resize the window where the scrollbars didn’t update on the screen; however, I’m not sure if it’s a VSS or AnkhSVN issue.

SCC Package

Under Options > Source Control, AnkhSVN shows up just like it should.

What does boggle me is that all of the Subversion commands and menus are available no matter what—even when the VSS SCC is enabled.  It still has the stink of VSS and SVN trying to step on one another (“pick me! control your project with me! no, I’m better! pick me!”).

Log/History Viewer

I really like the new history viewer.  It’s clean and easy to read; however, if you change the options at the top—there doesn’t appear to be a way to “change it back” and see the history again, close the view and review.


  • Opening a project from Subversion (File > Subversion > Open from Subversion) will open a project just fine, copy it down, but never opens it.  You have to go back and open the solution after it’s created the local structure.  Not huge, but annoying.
  • When viewing history; you cannot view the history of a single file (that I’ve found) in the Repository Explorer. 

I’m still planning to give it a whirl for the next couple of weeks and see what happens.  Hopefully over a couple weeks I’ll have more time to code—it’s been a busy July so far!

  1. July 12, 2008 at 6:05 pm


    Thanks for your review on AnkhSVN.

    AnkhSVN should open the project directly after downloading it.
    Can you tell me if you had special characters in the complete Uri of the project? (Some other users reported a similar issue in the daily builds with special characters like a ‘#’ in their Urls).

    I will look into the VSS issue you are seeing (I asume you are using the VS2005 version of VSS?)


  2. July 13, 2008 at 8:25 am

    I created issue #448 after further investigation of your VSS+Ankh issue. This issue should be resolved in the next nightly build (I lost a night sleep over it ;). (

    I then added issue #450 as marker issue for urls that won’t open via Open from Subversion. Could you please add any specific characters (whitespace, special chars, #, $, …) you have in your url to the issue (Feel free to anonymize the normal characters).

  3. July 13, 2008 at 3:40 pm


    Thanks for both issues; I’m updating them both now and eager for the next daily build.

    Yes, I’m using VS2005 with the latest VS2008 updates installed (someday I might escape it at work).

    As a quite note for the readers; the path didn’t have anything “special” in it.

    The svn url was server:port\path\path\trunk\

    the local project URL was c:\users\userName\Desktop\inprogress\path\trunk\

    No spaces or fun characters in the mix.

    I’ve tried it both at work (when I originally posted this entry) as well as on two VMs (Server 2003/VS2008/RTW 2.0 AnhkSVN build) and had the same problem. I tried three of the four projects I have in SVN as well as one from GoogleCode–same thing.

    Thanks for the quick feedback!

  4. Keith
    July 14, 2008 at 5:41 am

    Just searching around for some updates to AnkSVN with VSS and found this entry. We have the common situation that there is read only access to 3rd party code via Visual Source Safe, and need to continuously check code updated into our Subversion server
    as “vendor drops”:​​​s​05.html

    So it was a huge bonus that AnkSVN could coexist with VSS at the same time in the same project (at least pre 2.0)! The alternative is a real pain: After every new VSS update we must comb the logs looking for new and changed project files, and then check them in individually via an external client like TortioiseSVN, which obviously is _very_ time consuming.

    Please don’t remove the ability to coexist AnkSVN with VSS!!!

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