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From "Hyrum K. Wright" <hyrum_wri...@mail.utexas.edu>
Subject Re: Subversion in 2010
Date Mon, 04 Jan 2010 23:16:47 GMT

On Jan 4, 2010, at 4:59 PM, Mark Phippard wrote:

> On Mon, Jan 4, 2010 at 5:27 PM, Karl Fogel <kfogel@red-bean.com> wrote:
> 
>> So maybe a way to approach this is to ask:
>> 
>> For those for whom Subversion is currently the best solution, what
>> *else* do they need it to do?
> 
> From users I have heard from the two main themes would be:
> 
> 1) Performance
> 
> 2) Handling of move/renames
> 
> Of course there are always other issues like server-based
> configuration etc. but these seem to be the consistently mentioned
> themes.  And I call them themes because both of these manifest in a
> lot of different ways and need improvements in many areas across the
> product.
> 
> It is probably worth noting that Git, and probably all of the DVCS
> options, are particularly strong in these two areas.  I suspect if we
> could make significant improvements in these areas we would remove the
> desire of a lot of people to migrate away from SVN.  I still believe
> the number of users that want or need the distributed workflow model
> is a small minority, especially in the corporate world.
> 
> I also think as a community we need to do a better job evangelizing
> the strengths of SVN against the DVCS tools, in addition to addressing
> the areas where we are weaker and can make improvements.
> 
> BTW, I do not think Mike was suggesting we try to be a compelling
> replacement for DVCS.  I assumed that was a semi-joke or was at least
> meant to make the point that we as a community need to decide what we
> want to be.  Perhaps more importantly what do we want to be that we
> are also committed to implementing.

This issue of commitment is an important one.  I can think of a zillion and one ways to improve
Subversion, but I only control a very finite amount of development resources.  Because of
the lack of coordinating authority, which is one of the hallmarks of our community, and open
source in general, it's sometimes difficult to find a rallying point to help drive that commitment.
 If we had a definite vision for the project, whatever it may be, it would greatly improve
commitment and zeal for the project.

Because we are a large and mature project, there is also a certain amount of maintenance cost
just to maintain parity with ourselves and other SCM systems.  Our ever-increasing list of
outstanding issues witnesses to the fact that we aren't very good at maintaining that parity.

-Hyrum
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