Powershell is not BASH and SVN pain

Note to self: just because Powershell defines aliases that mimic many of the standard UNIX commands does not mean they function the same way.

Last night, I was trying to migrate my company's Subversion repository to Mercurial - not for production use (yet), just as an experiment. After eventually getting the latest Mercurial installed on the Ubuntu 8.04 VM that hosts our Subversion repository, I tried running hg convert -s svn /path/to/svn/repo /path/to/hg/repo. As expected, the conversion process took some time, but chugged along nicely...for a while. Eventually, it hit an error and came back with:
svn: In file '/build/buildd/subversion-1.6.9dfsg/subversion/libsvn_ra/ra_loader.c' line 595: assertion failed (*path != '/')

I Googled around a bit, but still have no idea what that error message means or how to fix it. My best guess is that something is borked in our repo - not broken enough to break SVN, but maybeSo I tried a different tack - take the repository dump I had, import it into a fresh repository, and try again. That didn't go so well....

Since the SVN VM has a very small drive, I decided to load the dumpfile on my local Windows box. As you may know, svnadmin load reads streams, so you have to either pipe the dump file in or redirect standard input. Well, my first instinct was to do something like this:
svnadmin load newrepos < dumpfile.repo
One problem with that: the "<" character that you normally use for redirecting STDIN is reserved in Powershell. Drat! So I figured I'd just use a pipe instead:
cat dumpfile.repo | svnadmin load newrepos
So I ran that and waited. And shortly after I started waiting, I noticed my system slowing down. And then things started grinding to a halt - it was just barely responding. When I finally managed to get resmon up, I noticed that Powershell was eating nearly all of my system's RAM! And the command still hadn't produced a single line of output!

I'm not sure exactly what Powershell was doing, but it must have something to do with the Get-Content commandlet (for which "cat" is an alias) not liking the 1.4 GB dump file. Why it would use up more than twice the size of the file in memory, I'm not sure.

Anyway, I just switched to cmd.exe and did the input redirection method, which didn't eat huge amounts of memory. However, it didn't work either. The import died shortly after starting with an error about a bad transaction. Looks like the gods of revision control are not smiling on me today.

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