Paul Kiddie

Changing Subversion working copy version using Windows and Python 3

July 30, 2009

Made a bit of a boo-boo today… I used the Subclipse plugin regularly within Eclipse to manage my code checkins on my SVN repositories, but I’ve also got TortoiseSVN installed and checked in some modifications to this code using TortoiseSVN, which consequentially upgraded by working copy from Subversion 1.4 to 1.6.

When I attempted to check in some further code changes using Subclipse, it complained with an error This client is too old to work with working copy. Turns out its pretty easy to downgrade your working copy without having to check out a fresh copy, using a Python file provided on the Subversion FAQ here.

So I installed Python 3.1 for Windows, and the py file would not compile, complaining about a syntax error. It seems that the file in the main distribution is not compatible with Python 3 but you can grab a copy of the appropriate py file from the python-3-compatibility branch at

Using it was a sinch to convert the working copy back to v1.4 (n.b. python was on the path and associated with .py files): _checked_out_dir_ 1.4

Took no longer than about a minute and I was back to checking in files via the Subclipse plugin.

👋 I'm Paul Kiddie, a software engineer working in London. I'm currently working as a Principal Engineer at trainline.