Force Log Messages using Tortoise SVN

This post is more than 18 months old. Since technology changes to rapidly, this content may be out of date (but that's not always the case). Please remember to verify any technical or programming information with the current release.

Everyone knows that standard SVN has its list of 6 or 8 standard hooks - but what if you’re 1) lazy, 2) busy, 3) don’t have access to the SVN server? Using one of the popular win32 shell integrated svn clients, TortoiseSVN, we can still force commit log messages easily:

SVN objects support properties. For example, if you’d like to ignore a set of files, you might set the svn ignore property. TortoiseSVN has its own set of properties that begin with the tsvn: prefix.

The property we’re going to set is tsvn:logminsize. Choose the top level of your current working copy and choose tortoisesvn > properties. Click add and choose tsvn:logminsize from the drop down. Then, enter in a numeric value in the property content box. Click apply recursively, click ok - and commit these changes.

For my projects at (“the triangle”), I applied a value of 7. The standard log commit we’ve been doing is a project number or helpdesk ticket number (AD12345 or HD32132). They are 5 digits at minimum.

The cool part about this now is that tortoiseSVN will gray out the OK button on your commit until you reach the minimum number of characters.

_Disclaimer: yes, I know this is not secure. Its actually just to be more of a reminder to make the log messages and not necessarily and audit-able security measure. _

Return to All Posts