Ignoring resources from version control

When synchronizing resources, it is possible that there are some resources that you do not want to commit to the repository. There are two ignore facilities provided, allowing you to specify what resources should be excluded from update and commit operations.

The first is a global ignore facility, provided by the Workbench. The second is the CVS ignore facility, which reads the contents of a special file .cvsignore to determine what to ignore.

Why ignore files when synchronizing?

There are many files that a user may not want to commit to the repository.  For example, external editors may create temporary files in your project. Compilation of .java files creates .class files, and likewise many build operations result in binary files. These files, when taken together, may be quite large. In addition, they may be re-generated whenever a build is performed, resulting in many  outgoing changes. Typically these are not files that one wants to share with other members of a team or persist in the repository.  

Global ignore facility

A global ignore facility is provided by the Workbench via the Team preference page. There is a list of file patterns against which resources will be matched before they are considered as version control candidates.  These patterns may contain the wildcard characters "*" and "?".  "*" represents any sequence of zero or more characters.  "?" represents any one character.  For example, you can specify a pattern of "*~", which would match any temporary files that end with "~".   Any file or directory that matches any one of the patterns will be ignored during  update or commit operations.  When you specify a file pattern to ignore, you can temporarily disable ignoring the file pattern by deselecting it from the list; you do not have to remove the specified file pattern from the list.

The patterns in the global ignore facility are matched against resource names during a synchronize operation.  It is important to note that the path leading up to the resource name is not included in the matching.  For example, for the file "/path/to/file.txt", only the string "file.txt" is matched against the patterns.  This facility is not intended for specifying fully-qualified path names but for specifying globally-applicable patterns.

CVS ignore facility

The Eclipse CVS client recognizes a file named ".cvsignore" in each directory of a project.  This is a standard CVS facility and many existing CVS projects may contain this file.

This text file consists of a list of files, directories, or patterns.  In a similar way to the global ignore facility, the wildcards "*" and "?" may be present in any entry in the .cvsignore file.  Any file or sub-directory in the current directory that matches any one of the patterns will be ignored.  It is important to note that the semantics of this file differs from that of the global ignore facility in that it applies only to files and  directories in the same directory as the .cvsignore file itself.  A project may contain one .cvsignore file in each directory.  For more information, please visit  http://ximbiot.com/cvs/.

Resources that have not been added to CVS control can be ignored by selecting Team > Add to .cvsignore from the pop-up menu of the resource in one of the navigation views. This menu option is also available in the Synchronize view.