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From David Richards <>
Subject Re: Looking to hire Software Engineers to Help Develop Subversion
Date Wed, 22 Dec 2010 17:07:21 GMT
You're welcome and I *really* appreciated the opportunity to set the
record straight. Whenever you put your head above the parapet...

On Wed, Dec 22, 2010 at 1:54 AM, Johan Corveleyn <> wrote:
> David,
> Ok, thanks for settings the record straight. These nuances are important to me.
> I definitely like the passion you guys have, the big plans, and the
> intention to "take the bull by the horns" :-). I hope you can get the
> ball rolling, with an actively participating community, and make
> Subversion better ...
> I look forward to it!
> Cheers,
> Johan
> On Wed, Dec 22, 2010 at 2:20 AM, David Richards <> wrote:
>> Johan,
>> Firstly, thank you for caring about Subversion - we *do*, passionately.
>> 1. The feeling of a lack of progress is not new and it's not just
>> "WANdisco's big customers" as you put it. I don't think I am blaming any
>> individual - it's just a fact of life as I said "We are not happy with the
>> volume, speed or participation on the project right now". This is not new -
>> it's been a criticism since 2007. In fact these [fundamental] requirements
>> have been around and published since then. What we are saying, in fact, is
>> that Subversion cannot live in a vacuum - there is no point in us
>> complaining about a lack of action. That will achieve *nothing* about from
>> wasting time. As I say at the outset "We are not doing this for direct
>> commercial reasons. We are doing this to protect the future of Subversion.
>> We are doing this because we care. We are doing this because we need to. We
>> are doing this because it is the right thing to do."
>> 2. On the question of the road-map / commit logs. Firstly WC-NG, httpv2 etc
>> were already in train and we were already working on those things. Julian
>> Foad, for example, one of our core developers was actually a long way into
>> obliterate but he *had* to switch over to 1.7. I therefore don't regard 1.7
>> as an issue with the road-map. There are more immediate issues that *must*
>> be tackled now, ideally in parallel associated with branching & merging.
>>  Developers are working hard but there simply aren't enough of us, for
>> whatever reason, *actively* working on the project right now. Not
>> a criticism - just a fact of life.
>> 3. On the question about "answering questions on user lists". Note I did say
>> "Blogging, or answering questions on user lists are important" Active user
>> lists are a good measure of an open source project and so is commits. I have
>> already received several offers to help code and that is *very* much
>> appreciated.
>> 4. "unscrupulous committers decide to commit trivial changes in large files
>> to simply get their stats up." I'm not going to go into that here but I
>> repeat that the best way to create open source developers is by hiring great
>> people who create wonderful source code. The core developers of Subversion,
>> in my experience, are amazing individuals who maintain and create the best
>> SCM product on the planet I am *not* repeat *not* criticizing or setting any
>> of you / them in a bad light. that will *never* happen.
>> Johan, I hope this set's the record straight. We knew that by doing this
>> that we would open ourselves up to criticism.
>> We have tried alternative paths to effect change on the project but we feel
>> that now it the time to act.
>> Feel free to contact me directly and I am more than happy to talk directly
>> with you.
>> - David
>> On Tue, Dec 21, 2010 at 3:53 PM, Johan Corveleyn <> wrote:
>>> On Tue, Dec 21, 2010 at 9:32 PM, David Richards <>
>>> wrote:
>>> > On Tue, Dec 21, 2010 at 12:25 PM, David Weintraub <>
>>> > wrote:
>>> >>
>>> >> On Tue, Dec 21, 2010 at 3:03 PM, Pablo Beltran <>
>>> >> wrote:
>>> >> > Hi,
>>> >> >
>>> >> > I have no doubt about those all features will be good for the future
>>> >> > of
>>> >> > Subversion, from a technical point of view.
>>> >> >
>>> >> > On the other hand, the underlaying message scares me. The message
>>> >> > clear:
>>> >> > Apache can't drive the development process by itself and only
>>> >> > Wandisco
>>> >> > can
>>> >> > do it in the right way and in timing.
>>> >> >
>>> >> > And I think that this exceeds Subversion project and undermines
>>> >> > Apache's
>>> >> > authority.
>>> >> >
>>> >> > Today is Wandisco and Subversion. Tomorrow could be Oracle or
>>> >> > Microsoft
>>> >> > doing the same with other project. I would not like see Apache
>>> >> > in
>>> >> > a
>>> >> > silly Software Factory.
>>> >> >
>>> >> > But of course, I have not enough knowledge about how Apache
>>> >> > internally
>>> >> > works
>>> >> > and perhaps I'm saying a very great stupidness. So, my apologizes
>>> >> > that
>>> >> > if that is the case.
>>> >> >
>>> >>
>>> >> I am going to look at this a bit differently: Has IBM taken over
>>> >> Linux? A majority of the changes in Linux are done by IBM paid
>>> >> employees. IBM has its own goals and its own ideas about what they
>>> >> want to do with Linux.
>>> >>
>>> >> However, I believe most people feel that Linux isn't an IBM project
>>> >> despite the massive amount of work done by a single company.
>>> >> Basically, IBM benefits from Linux, so they do a lot of code work,
>>> >> sometimes working on areas that have been previously neglected. The
>>> >> better Linux is, the more IBM can sell Linux solutions.
>>> >>
>>> >> Subversion has had a lot of problems since version 1.5 has come out.
>>> >> Basically, the merge/branch tracking isn't that great. In fact, many
>>> >> people prefer the 1.4 version which doesn't make any pretensions about
>>> >> tracking branching and merging.
>>> >>
>>> >> Meanwhile, many people feel Subversion is past its prime. Many open
>>> >> source projects are moving from Subversion to Git. Actually, this
>>> >> makes sense for open source projects, but it is beginning to affect
>>> >> commercial applications. People are starting to push Git as a
>>> >> commercial SCM package.
>>> >>
>>> >> I recently pointed out on another list that I might recommend a piece
>>> >> of software I don't think is as good as another piece of software
>>> >> simply because the "inferior" product plays better with the other
>>> >> software the company uses and because users are more familiar with it.
>>> >>
>>> >> I might not like Git as a commercial version control system, but if
>>> >> most developers are more familiar with Git than Subversion, and 3rd
>>> >> party products start integrating with Git in better ways than they
>>> >> integrate with Subversion, guess what I'm going to start to recommend.
>>> >>
>>> >> So far, Subversion isn't being forked, and a fork would not be good
>>> >> for WANdisco. They are heavily dependent upon people selecting
>>> >> Subverson as a version control system. What they want to do is fix
>>> >> some of the underlying issues Subversion has had for the last three
>>> >> years and get the Subversion project to accept them. I can't see any
>>> >> reason why the Subversion project would reject them. After all,
>>> >> Subversion was once run by CollabNet which had commercial interests
>>> >> Subversion. Yet, no one complained about CollabNet "dominating" the
>>> >> project.
>>> >>
>>> >> I hope that WANdisco is able to fix many of the issues that have been
>>> >> plaguing Subversion for years. I don't believe that those who are
>>> >> leading Subversion have "failed", but that a private company
>>> >> committing resources to an open source project can be a good thing.
>>> >>
>>> >> --
>>> >> David Weintraub
>>> >>
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > David,
>>> > Absolutely correct!
>>> > Your analysis / explanation is much better than my own. Thank you.
>>> > - David
>>> >
>>> I like the "call for action", and the intention to invest more in the
>>> development of Subversion. However, I do not like the blog entry. I
>>> may be overly sensitive to this kind of thing, but I'm rather
>>> antagonized by the paragraph "Hang on a Minute! Didn’t the Community
>>> Just Announce A Road Map?".
>>> I can feel the frustration with the lack of progress (or translated
>>> frustration of Wandisco's big customers). I understand this
>>> frustration (I feel it too sometimes), and the desire to do something
>>> about it (that's why I got involved myself). However, this paragraph
>>> has an undertone of blaming it on lack of involvement/dedication by
>>> the community and developers, and bad behavior by some developers.
>>> This is not a good way to motivate the community positively to work
>>> with you, it's a negative message. At least that's how it sounds to me
>>> (admittedly, I may not have the full picture of all that's going on,
>>> but so do probably most readers of the blog).
>>> I'm specifically talking about the following sentences:
>>> - In answer to the question "Didn't the community just announce a road
>>> map?": "Yes they did, but that’s pretty much all that happened (and
>>> that really pisses us off.) "
>>> What? I'm subscribed to the dev-list and the commits-list for that
>>> last year and a half, and I've seen a *ton* of work being done. Yes,
>>> it can always be more/better/faster or more predictable, but it's not
>>> that nothing has been done. And I always thought it was kind of
>>> obvious that work on new stuff from the roadmap would have to wait for
>>> 1.7 to be finished. Ok, 1.7 is slipping, but it seems it was harder
>>> than anticipated. Regardless, I see a lot of people working hard. So
>>> I'd just say: thanks to all the people who keep up the good work.
>>> - "The commit logs (code committed by developers to the project) tell
>>> the real story. We are not happy with the volume, speed or
>>> participation on the project right now. "
>>> I know (hope) you're probably not criticizing all those volunteers
>>> spending their free time on Subversion, but it can be read that way.
>>> As a participant in the user community, and beginning contributor
>>> dev-wise, I feel kind of personally attacked by your unhappiness with
>>> my lack of participation.
>>> - "Blogging, or answering questions on user lists are important, but
>>> so is writing source code."
>>> Ok, the software needs to work, and features need to be developed. But
>>> I do hope you're not down-playing answering questions on the user
>>> list. I can't stress enough how important this list is to a lot of
>>> users (and how many people put in countless hours to help out others).
>>> Also, I think it's great that there are some developers who follow the
>>> users list closely, answering some difficult user questions with
>>> detailed explanations, backed by knowledge of svn internals. Ok,
>>> that's time they aren't spending on coding, but IMHO it's time very
>>> well spent.
>>> - "We also believe it’s unhelpful when certain unscrupulous committers
>>> decide to commit trivial changes in large files to simply get their
>>> stats up. That behavior has no place in any open source project; it’s
>>> a bad form and wastes everyone’s valuable time."
>>> What? What are you talking about? I have seen nothing of the sort. Ok,
>>> as I said, I only see part of the picture, so I might have missed
>>> something. But even if it's true to some extent, I don't think it's a
>>> good idea to make some vague accusations about it in this way. It puts
>>> all committers in a bad light. Besides, even if this were the case, is
>>> it really that big of a deal?
>>> Cheers,
>>> --
>>> Johan
> --
> Johan

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