Workaround for Akismet on SVN

WordPress has lost the domain that Akismet was hosted on — and SVN users are stuck. Since the domain is no longer valid, when your SVN client attempts to query it for the Akismet plugin (which is included via something know as “svn externals“), it gets a HTTP 501 error, and the entire SVN update fails. For some, that might be OK, if all you have on SVN is WordPress, your plugins just don’t get upgraded. No biggie.

Some of us however depend on SVN for a lot more than just WordPress. NeoSmart Technologies is such an example: we jumped on to this great CVS replacement the minute we heard about it — it’s that great. At NST, we have our Gallery, Blog, various small scripts, and most importantly, our download system on SVN. We don’t even use FTP anymore, just SVN the files from our side, SSH into the server, and update the repo. It’s that easy.

But with a broken, it suddenly becomes a lot harder. A fault of SVN is that when it encounters such an error, it’ll stop. It won’t skip it and keep going, it’ll just die. So all of a sudden we have WordPress being updated, it moves to the plug-ins directory, and dies. Our themes don’t get upgraded, it doesn’t touch our Gallery, and worst of all, our download framework becomes unreachable.

All of these are put together via svn:externals, and though you can bypass the Akismet SVN by using --ignore-externals when issuing an SVN command, it means you lose out on all other SVN components to.. So here’s what you do:

  1. SSH into your server, and cd into your WordPress directory.
  2. Type the following commands:
    cd wp-content/plugins/
    svn propedit svn:externals ./
  3. In the new window that just opened, delete this line:
    akismet, optionally, if you have any other lines in there that refer to domain, delete them too.
  4. cd back into your WP root, and update the SVN again, it should work!svn up

Important: This is just a workaround. It doesn’t fix the problem, it bypasses it. You won’t get an updated Akismet, but that’s not the end of the world now, is it?

(NST recommends Spam Karma 2 with the Akismet plugin — no need to use the official Akismet file, and it works a a lot better too!)

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