As a matter of choice i develop on Mac’s, it’s a long story and i won’t bore you with it and i have moved my VCS to Mercurial from SVN, that’s a shorter story but not for now. However when cloning a project recently i ran into some problems with the dreaded Mac .DS_Store.
.DS_Store, which stands for Desktop Services Store is a hidden file created in every local folder in Mac OS X. This file stores custom attributes such as position of folder icons and the choice of background colors. By default it will be created in every local folder accessed by Mac OS X.
The file on the Mac is invisible, any file starting with a . is invisible in the Mac finder. You can see them when you search by changing the criteria though. Normally it is not a problem. When you transfer entire directories to another system, Windows or Linux then it does become visible, puzzles people and sometimes worries them as to where the artefact came from, but does no harm.
Anyway back to cloning my HG project. The >DS_Store files which i had excluded in my .hgignore file kept causing the clone to fail with a strange error. I removed the file from the root of the project but it just failed at the lower level. So i removed the .DS_Store files and it worked fine.
To save hassle in the future is used DS_Store Cleaner on all my web folders to prevent this happening. DS Store Cleaner is no longer maintained but works fine and as i am using the latest release of Snow Leopard it works on that.
In passing i also found another utility that will remove DS_Store and Thumbs.db if you have gotten file from Windows. I have not tried this but it is called FolderWasher if you want to have a go.