Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Repository cleanup occurs after the primary owner of a subversion repository becomes inactive.

The primary owner of a subversion repository is generally the person who created the repository and is limited to faculty, staff and students. The primary owner of any repository can be changed at any time by submitting a support ticket to help@rice.edu asking for the ownership to be changed.

When an individual who is the primary owner of a repository leaves the University the resources and data for which they had access needs to be dealt with. In the case of subversion repositories, this data needs to be removed or another suitable owner needs to be found.

Some repositories are for the individual owners only. They are the only ones with access to the repositories and when they leave, their repositories will be removed. It will still take the full 8 weeks for the repository to be deleted but no one will receive notifications since the primary owner is inactive and there are no other alternate owners defined.

Some repositories are shared resources where many people have access and several people maintain it. In this case, a new owner for the repository needs to be found since the function of the repository is greater than the individual that owned it. In shared repositories, we see the concept of alternate owners. These are individuals who, while not the primary owner of the repository, are listed with privileges in the access_file to be able to make full changes to the repository by having WRITE access to the /rice_config folder. It is from this list of alternate owners that we will try to find the next primary owner of the repository.

So, let's discuss what happens during the repository cleanup process.

Checking repositories for Inactive owner

Every Sunday, a process will run that looks for any repositories where the primary owner has become inactive. Any repositories that are found in this state, will be processed further.

In the first step of processing, the repository's /rice_config folder will be checked out and parsed to determine the owners, and possibly alternate owners, of the repository. The information learned will be stored in a database for reference later.

Notification to repo owners

The repository's status will be changed from it's normal state of READY to NOTIFY and an email will be sent to all active owners (including any alternate owners). This email will explain that the repository is scheduled for deletion and what to do if the person wants to claim ownership of the repository. A URL link is included in the email that will take the alternate owner to the claim repository page in Apply. If the repository is claimed by one of the alternate owners, the repository is removed from the deletion list and an email is sent to all alternate owners that the repository has been claimed.

Hello Repository Owner,

This is a message from the Rice Subversion Repository clean up process.

This is NOTIFICATION %NOTIFICATION_NUM% of %NOTIFICATION_TOTAL%.

The following repository is in process to be deleted.

Repository: %REPO_NAME%
Owner: %REPO_OWNER%
Alternate Owners: %REPO_OWNERS%
Archive Date: %ARCHIVE_DATE%
Removal Date: %REMOVAL_DATE%

If you wish to claim this repository as the new owner, you must visit Apply to claim it.

https://apply.rice.edu/index.php?module=maintenance&page=claim_repository

Once the repository has been claimed by an active user, it will automatically be removed from the deletion queue. Please note that guests, even if active, can not claim ownership of the repository.

You or one of the other alternate owners, if there are any, of the repository have 4 weeks to claim the repository before it is automatically archived. Once archived, the repository will become inaccessible. After the repository has been archived for 4 weeks, it will be removed.

You will receive a message once a week during the 8 week period or until someone claims the repository.


You were sent this message because you are listed as the owner or as an alternate owner of the repository.

Alternate owners are people who have read/write permissions to the /rice_config folder of the repository.

– Rice Admins

Clicking on the URL in the email message will take the user to Apply, where they will be forced to login.

Reclaiming ownership of Repo

After authenticating with their netId and password they will be shown the repository claim page.

Clicking on the radio button to the left of the repository entry and then on the Claim button will change the ownership of the repository to the logged in user.

If the repository is claimed within the initial notification period (4 weeks) the repository status will be changed from NOTIFY back to READY.

It also will prevent any of the other alternate owners from claiming the repository. If a repository was claimed by mistake, submit a ticket to help@rice.edu asking for the ownership of the repository to be changed.

The following email will be sent out to all of the alternate owners within 30 minutes of the repository being claimed.

Hello Repository Owner,

This is a message from the Rice Subversion Repository clean up process.

The following repository has found a new owner and is no longer going to be removed.

Repository: %REPO_NAME%
Owner: %REPO_OWNER%
Alternate Owners: %REPO_OWNERS%


You were sent this message because you are listed as the owner or as an alternate owner of the repository.

Alternate owners are people who have read/write permissions to the /rice_config folder of the repository.

– Rice Admins

If no one claims the repository within the 4 week notification period during which each of the active alternate owners will receive a notification email every Sunday, the repository will be archived. An archived repository is one that has been moved to an alternate location and is no longer accessible to the users. The data has not been deleted but no further access can be made to it.

The repository status will be changed from NOTIFY to ARCHIVING and then to ARCHIVED.

During this period, which also lasts 4 weeks, each active alternate owner will receive an email each Sunday stating that the repository has been archived and how to claim it.

Here is what the archive period emails look like:

Hello Repository Owner,

This is a message from the Rice Subversion Repository clean up process.

The following repository is in process to be deleted.

Repository: %REPO_NAME%
Owner: %REPO_OWNER%
Alternate Owners: %REPO_OWNERS%
Archive Date: %ARCHIVE_DATE%
Removal Date: %REMOVAL_DATE%

This repository has been archived, which means that all access to the repository has been lost. If the repository is not claimed within 4 weeks, it will be deleted.

If you wish to claim this repository as the new owner, you must visit Apply to claim it.

https://apply.rice.edu/index.php?module=maintenance&page=claim_repository

Once the repository has been claimed by an active user, it will automatically be unarchived and removed from the deletion queue. Please note that guests, even if active, can not claim ownership of the repository.

You or one of the other alternate owners, if there are any, of the repository have 4 weeks to claim the repository before it is automatically deleted.

You will receive a message once a week during the 4 week period or until someone claims the repository.


You were sent this message because you are listed as the owner or as an alternate owner of the repository.

Alternate owners are people who have read/write permissions to the /rice_config folder of the repository.

– Rice Admins

If an alternate owner claims the repository, it will automatically be unarchived and made accessible again. The repository status will be changed from ARCHIVED to UNARCHIVING. Here is an email that is sent out within 30 minutes an archived repository being claimed:

Hello Repository Owner,

This is a message from the Rice Subversion Repository clean up process.

The following repository has found a new owner and is no longer going to be removed.

Repository: %REPO_NAME%
Owner: %REPO_OWNER%
Alternate Owners: %REPO_OWNERS%

The repository is being unarchived now and should be available shortly. You will
receive another email message once it is ready to use.


You were sent this message because you are listed as the owner or as an alternate owner of the repository.

Alternate owners are people who have read/write permissions to the /rice_config folder of the repository.

– Rice Admins

Within 30 minutes of the repository being unarchived, the following email will be sent.

The repository status will be changed from UNARCHIVING to READY.

Hello Repository Owner,

This is a message from the Rice Subversion Repository clean up process.

The following repository has found a new owner and is no longer going to be removed.

Repository: %REPO_NAME%
Owner: %REPO_OWNER%
Alternate Owners: %REPO_OWNERS%

The repository has been unarchived and should now be fully functional.


You were sent this message because you are listed as the owner or as an alternate owner
of the repository.

Alternate owners are people who have read/write permissions to the /rice_config folder
of the repository.

– Rice Admins

Deleting an unclaimed Repo

If the 8 week notification period (4 weeks of basic notification and 4 weeks of archive notification) passes with no one claiming the repository, it will be deleted automatically.

The following email is sent out.

The repository status will be changed from ARCHIVED to DELETING and finally to DELETED.

Hello Repository Owner,

This is a message from the Rice Subversion Repository clean up process.

The following repository is being deleted NOW.

Repository: %REPO_NAME%
Owner: %REPO_OWNER%
Alternate Owners: %REPO_OWNERS%
Archive Date: %ARCHIVE_DATE%
Removal Date: %REMOVAL_DATE%

This repository is being deleted. It is now too late to claim it. This is the last message that you will receive about this repository. The repository is now GONE.


You were sent this message because you are listed as the owner or as an alternate owner of the repository.

Alternate owners are people who have read/write permissions to the /rice_config folder of the repository.

– Rice Admin