Subversion offers the svn cat command which retrieves a file as it existed in a particular revision number and displays it.

Sample usage:

$ svn cat -r 3 http://svn.red-bean.com/repos/test/readme.txt
This is a README file.


Step 1:  Do this.

Step 2:  Do that.

I understand what it is doing and how to use it, but I have a difficult time recalling it much of the time since I can't figure out what it is representing/ abbreviating.

Is it just paying homage to our furry feline friends? Does it stand for capture?

  • 5
    Are you familiar with cat, the unix command? – user40980 Sep 23 '14 at 13:58
  • Unfortunately no I am not. Admittedly I am from a Windows OS background. This is further reason to take the time to educate myself on the Unix OS. Recognizing the meaning of this would have been trivial if I had more Unix experience. – Derek W Sep 23 '14 at 14:08

It comes from the Unix concatenate command - cat

The cat program is a standard Unix utility that will output the contents of a specific file and can be used to concatenate and list files. The name is an abbreviation of catenate, a synonym of concatenate.

  • 2
    It is ironic, though, that svn took the name from cat since svn cat exists purely to dump a file (at a given revision) to stdout, whereas cat existed to concatenate files and outputting to stdout was a side-effect that happened to be more broadly useful. – Michael Sep 23 '14 at 14:18

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