Monthly Archive for January, 2011

Come and be Part of the Inaugural Subversion Live 2011

So the inaugural Subversion Live Conferences are just around the corner and it’s not too late to register.  If you use this code: WANDMRX250SVNLIVE you can get 20% off on your registration.  Online registration is still open here: http://goo.gl/7y8F4 I also happen to know that both the Boston and the San Francisco / Silicon Valley venues are almost completely sold out!
I have also included a sneak-peek of the free T-Shirts exclusively for attendees.
Subversion is no longer a young upstart and we believe it has become critical to talk to Subversion users.  We must uncover the needs of enterprises both large and small.  Subversion may be mature but that does not mean that innovation stops.  The last 11 years (has it really been that long?) have been amazing.  To become the dominant technology in this space is the software equivalent of scaling Mount Everest.
Together, as a community we can do a lot more. May Subversion continue to lead the way for another 11 years and beyond.
Come and join the debate!
avatar

About David Richards

David is CEO, President and co-founder of WANdisco and has quickly established WANdisco as one of the world’s most promising technology companies.

Since co-founding the company in Silicon Valley in 2005, David has led WANdisco on a course for rapid international expansion, opening offices in the UK, Japan and China. David spearheaded the acquisition of Altostor, which accelerated the development of WANdisco’s first products for the Big Data market. The majority of WANdisco’s core technology is now produced out of the company’s flourishing software development base in David’s hometown of Sheffield, England and in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

David has become recognised as a champion of British technology and entrepreneurship. In 2012, he led WANdisco to a hugely successful listing on London Stock Exchange (WAND:LSE), raising over £24m to drive business growth.

With over 15 years’ executive experience in the software industry, David sits on a number of advisory and executive boards of Silicon Valley start-up ventures. A passionate advocate of entrepreneurship, he has established many successful start-up companies in Enterprise Software and is recognised as an industry leader in Enterprise Application Integration and its standards.

David is a frequent commentator on a range of business and technology issues, appearing regularly on Bloomberg and CNBC. Profiles of David have appeared in a range of leading publications including the Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail.

Specialties:IPO’s, Startups, Entrepreneurship, CEO, Visionary, Investor, ceo, board member, advisor, venture capital, offshore development, financing, M&A

New look website, same WANdisco

So last night we went live with our new look website – it’s looking really good!

We’ve been wanting to make the change for a while now, as our old site had a lot of information on it. With our growing product line and constantly updated webinar and news feeds we needed to make our information as easy to access as possible, for enterprise customers and the Subversion open source community.

While our site may look different (and we hope in the best possible way), nothing’s changed – we’re still the same brilliant WANdisco! Our certified Subversion binaries, free training webinars and product offerings for both Subversion and CVS remain as awesome as ever. We just wanted to make these things easier to find when you get to our site!

And we haven’t just been prettifying the website either: as Rob’s blog shows, work is powering ahead on fixing Subversion’s branching and merging woes. We’ve also completed our acquisition of SVNForum.org this week, the world’s largest Subversion user community.  We’ve fixed the spam problem and given it a bit of a facelift, but it still remains one of the best Subversion user sites out there and we’re really pleased to be a part of that.

– Lesley

A Wealth of Information

As I stated in my last entry, there are many rich sources of feedback captured from the Subversion community.  The most obvious source of data is the Subversion project’s issue tracker, which contains a lot of the issues that will drive future updates to Subversion.  But there is a wealth of other data to look at to find what may be hindering users of Subversion.   The Subversion mailing lists and community sites can be particularly helpful in spotting recent trends, frustrations or simply common questions that continue to arise.

But one immediate source to focus our attention on is a couple of feedback sessions that were held about a year ago and hosted by Hyrum Wright and C. Michael Pilato.  The most interesting comment came from Mike’s session:

* Improved branching and merging: Everybody loves merge tracking
  and tree conflicts.  That is, when they don't hate it.
  Subversion should be smarter, and *must* learn to gracefully deal
  with renames.

Needless to say, we are already targeting better ways to handle merges across renames but it never hurts to see that reiterated in the summary of a feedback session such as this.

With respect to merge tracking in general, there are already a well known set of requirements that were captured by the project prior to the improvements delivered in Subversion 1.5.  These are a good reference point to start from but they do reflect the state of the project essentially at 1.4 and we want to update the use cases and capture relevant new use cases.  And while merging is a primary target for continued improvement, it is not the sole focus of this scoping exercise.  By no means are we limiting our attention to just this one topic.

We will continue to review both customer feedback and also the more specific issues captured in the issue tracker as we compile a prioritized list of targeted improvements. Beyond all of this data, I’m working with developers that have been involved in the project for years and their experience and instincts may prove to be as valuable source of ideas as any.

More to come…

– Rob

avatar

About rbudas

Rob Budas has over 25 years of software industry experience, with the last 15 years focused on the Software Configuration Management sector. Prior to joining WANdisco, Rob had worked at IBM Rational for 8 years where he was a Sr. Product Manager for Rational ClearCase. He has held various development, technical sales and product management roles throughout his career. Rob holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer and Communication Science from the University of Michigan.

Apache – We Love you to the Moon and Back

‘I love you right up to the moon.’ said Little Nutbrown Hair and he closed his eyes. ‘Oh that’s far, that’s very, very far.’ said Big Nutbrown Hair as he settled Little Nutbrown Hair into his bed of leaves. He leaned over and kissed him good night. Then he lay down close by and whispered with a smile, ‘I love you to the moon–and back.’

Over the past week or so there have been several attempts to position WANdisco as somehow being at odds with the Apache Software Foundation (ASF).  Just to be absolutely clear we would like to say that we love Apache. In fact, in the words of Little Nutbrown – we love them “to the moon and back.”

There we said it. Actions do speak much, much louder than words though and yesterday we reiterated our intent to improve branching and merging in Subversion.  We are also going to be completely transparent about this whole thing.  Our Product Manager, Rob Budas (or just “Budas” as he seems to be known around here) is going to blog regularly, probably weekly, about what’s going on with these efforts.

Feedback, as Rob said, is more than welcome (we are doing this as part of the Subversion community) not just from the excellent, hard working committers, but from the silent majority of Subversion users who rely on Subversion every day of their working lives.  If I get hit over the head from behind with a banjo for supporting them – so be it, I guess I’ll just have to get used to it.

We have some exciting news next week including an acquisition, launching our new website and a Subversion cloud hosting platform vendor that’s starting to use WANdisco to differentiate their offerings.

avatar

About David Richards

David is CEO, President and co-founder of WANdisco and has quickly established WANdisco as one of the world’s most promising technology companies.

Since co-founding the company in Silicon Valley in 2005, David has led WANdisco on a course for rapid international expansion, opening offices in the UK, Japan and China. David spearheaded the acquisition of Altostor, which accelerated the development of WANdisco’s first products for the Big Data market. The majority of WANdisco’s core technology is now produced out of the company’s flourishing software development base in David’s hometown of Sheffield, England and in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

David has become recognised as a champion of British technology and entrepreneurship. In 2012, he led WANdisco to a hugely successful listing on London Stock Exchange (WAND:LSE), raising over £24m to drive business growth.

With over 15 years’ executive experience in the software industry, David sits on a number of advisory and executive boards of Silicon Valley start-up ventures. A passionate advocate of entrepreneurship, he has established many successful start-up companies in Enterprise Software and is recognised as an industry leader in Enterprise Application Integration and its standards.

David is a frequent commentator on a range of business and technology issues, appearing regularly on Bloomberg and CNBC. Profiles of David have appeared in a range of leading publications including the Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail.

Specialties:IPO’s, Startups, Entrepreneurship, CEO, Visionary, Investor, ceo, board member, advisor, venture capital, offshore development, financing, M&A

2011: Branching, Merging and Disco Fever!

Since my last post there has been a LOT of activity, not all of it good unfortunately. There was a lot of negative comment surrounding our release in December about shaking up Subversion. Saying that, we’ve also had some really good press, and a lot of support from current and past Subversion users – so thank you all for your feedback.

We had to come back in the new year with a bang, and I think we’ve done pretty well – work is beginning on branching and merging, with profits from WANdisco’s support contracts being put towards fixing the problems which cause so many SVN users a headache. Our message is clear, to anyone who believes (or believed) that our initial release was designed purely as a sales stunt: if someone chooses to invest in a Subversion support contract, they are investing in the future of Subversion.

I’m not a techie, as everyone well knows, but the job I do involves looking at what the users of SVN are saying about the product. I do this a variety of ways, the way many marketing departments probably do: I search our forums, various other forum sites, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter… every other post related to ‘subversion’ (and not the slightly darker, politically charged meaning of the word) includes a moan or a full on rant about the frustrations of branching and merging. This is something the project really needs if it is to contend with newer SCM tools. Also, I am LOVING the SVN puns and jokes I’m finding out there – I’ll retweet/retell when I can so if you think of any good ones feel free to share them with me!

We had a really successful first webinar this week too – sign ups have reached record levels already, and keep growing. Next up is an introductory branching and merging course, followed by a more advanced class. Check out more details of our courses on offer here – these are all totally free and by engaging in the webinars and providing your feedback, you help us make Subversion a better product!

Getting ever closer is Subversion Live 2011, a series of conferences and meetings specifically for developers, administrators and IT managers. Starting in February, the 3 events (held in California, Boston and London) will be must-attends for anyone who uses or is thinking of using Subversion. Several key players in the Subversion project will be speaking and leading discussions on the future of Subversion, including Hyrum Wright (who has been release manager for the Subversion project since 2008). With discounts for anyone attending our webinars and for existing customers, as well as group discounts, we’d really like to see as many people as possible attending the events and contributing to a better Subversion.

It’s been a very busy start to 2011, and I’m really excited to see what’s going to happen next !

-Lesley

P.S. I’m also really glad that the confusion over our name has been put to rest. And in case you still don’t know: WANdisco = Wide Area Network DIStributed COmputing.

The Work Begins

As many reading this may already be aware, WANdisco has announced our intentions to focus our efforts towards continued enhancements to Subversion’s support for branching and merging. As our committers can see the end in sight for their efforts on Subversion 1.7, we are beginning to decide where next to direct our energy.

There already exists a wealth of data in various locations inside and outside of the project that capture good ideas for continuing the improvements to merging in Subversion. What we are not looking to do is to come up with many more ideas on the topic. Instead, we want to review and prioritize what is already out there and  then decide where we can best apply our resources for biggest benefit to the Subversion community.

The work we are doing now is to review the issues, capture the use cases and then do the hard work of applying our committers expertise towards resolving these issues. This process will very likely be incremental. Delivering new enhancements will provide benefits for many of us but it also allows for a new feedback loop to show us what remains to be done and where the most benefits lie for the next set of efforts. What we won’t be doing is trying to do something grandiose that could result in elongated development cycles and delayed delivery of some solutions.

The work has really just begun. We’re now rolling up our sleeves and diving into the work.  It should be fun!

I am planning to blog regularly about the process – your feedback is always welcome.

– Rob

avatar

About rbudas

Rob Budas has over 25 years of software industry experience, with the last 15 years focused on the Software Configuration Management sector. Prior to joining WANdisco, Rob had worked at IBM Rational for 8 years where he was a Sr. Product Manager for Rational ClearCase. He has held various development, technical sales and product management roles throughout his career. Rob holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer and Communication Science from the University of Michigan.

Recent Interview with JAXenter “CEO Speaks About Recent Subversion Controversy”

CEO Speaks About Recent Subversion Controversy

Interview WANdisco on Subversion

WANdisco have been at the centre of some controversy recently, after the company posted a string of blogs regarding Subversion, which elicited a reply from the Apache Software Foundation. In this interview, JAXenter.com speaks to David Richards on where WANdisco stand on the situation…..

JAXenter: WANdisco have recently been at the centre of some controversy surrounding blog posts on Subversion. What is your stance on the reaction to your blogs? Do you feel your comments have been taken out of context?

David Richards: Absolutely! The Blog Post “Shaking-up Subversion by Listening to the User Community and then Committing to do the Work.” was not about WANdisco making claims that we own the project. It was about WANdisco increasing participation in the project, hiring more people to work on Subversion, listening to the user community and then actually doing the work (i.e. writing source code). I didn’t even claim that anything we are planning to do [improve / fix branching and merging] are new requirements. Far from it.

In some cases these requirements have been publicly posted for over 5 years and that is *the* point – they are requirements that the user community really need and nobody has done. I do not believe it’s because the committers are bad stewards or lazy or anything like that. It’s more because a number of high profile developers like Ben Collins-Sussman and Karl Fogel moved on (which is very common in open source) and were not replaced. We are simply saying that we aim to fill that gap, fix these underlying problems and get Subversion moving again. With all due respect, what’s wrong with that?

JAXenter: For those unfamiliar with your company, how is WANdisco involved in Subversion?

David Richards: We have full time committers on staff including Hyrum Wright (Subversion release manager and President of the Subversion Corporation), Phillip Martin and Julian Foad (also long time full committers on the project.) In addition WANdisco (Wide-Area-Network-DIStributed-COmputing) has a series of Enterprise Subversion project such as Subversion MultiSite that scales Subversion to thousands of users and repositories and millions of transactions per day. Hence we have a business that is built around the success of Subversion.

JAXenter: What factors do you feel are currently slowing down the development of Subversion?

David Richards: As I mentioned earlier some of the high-profile originators of Subversion like Karl, Brian, Ben and others have simply moved on. That is *not* a criticism of today’s committers – they continue to do an unbelievable job. We just need more.

JAXenter: What new functionality do you intend to commit to Subversion, within the fields of branching and merging?

David Richards: We actually did produce a spec, that most of the critics conveniently failed to mention.

The approach we are taking is to solve specific issues being reported by the Subversion user community. For example, better support for merging across renamed objects. This will result in much faster, easier and intuitive merging without the need for manual error-prone intervention. We are tackling several use cases like this and are working with Subversion users who face these challenges every day. In addition our product manager, Rob Budas, will blog weekly progress. Now there’s true transparency and community!

Transcript of an interview with @JAXenter http://goo.gl/N4WeN

avatar

About David Richards

David is CEO, President and co-founder of WANdisco and has quickly established WANdisco as one of the world’s most promising technology companies.

Since co-founding the company in Silicon Valley in 2005, David has led WANdisco on a course for rapid international expansion, opening offices in the UK, Japan and China. David spearheaded the acquisition of Altostor, which accelerated the development of WANdisco’s first products for the Big Data market. The majority of WANdisco’s core technology is now produced out of the company’s flourishing software development base in David’s hometown of Sheffield, England and in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

David has become recognised as a champion of British technology and entrepreneurship. In 2012, he led WANdisco to a hugely successful listing on London Stock Exchange (WAND:LSE), raising over £24m to drive business growth.

With over 15 years’ executive experience in the software industry, David sits on a number of advisory and executive boards of Silicon Valley start-up ventures. A passionate advocate of entrepreneurship, he has established many successful start-up companies in Enterprise Software and is recognised as an industry leader in Enterprise Application Integration and its standards.

David is a frequent commentator on a range of business and technology issues, appearing regularly on Bloomberg and CNBC. Profiles of David have appeared in a range of leading publications including the Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail.

Specialties:IPO’s, Startups, Entrepreneurship, CEO, Visionary, Investor, ceo, board member, advisor, venture capital, offshore development, financing, M&A

Subversion Politics

My last blog post [Shaking-up Subversion by Listening to the User Community and then Committing to do the Work] unfortunately polarized the Subversion community.

On one side we had:

@phillipmarsay This is incredibly exciting news for avid Subversion users… (like us!)

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 also think this is good news and look forward to seeing the WANDisco contributions to the project. And if I had any more knowledge of the svn internals I might be applying for one of those positions.

On the other side we had:

“I was, and am, deeply offended by Dave Richards and WANDisco in general. Their business model seems to be to issue press releases rather than actually doing stuff… As it stands, just as you did a year ago with the Obliterate feature, you are just setting your people up for failure. You have declared that you are going to implement new features that the Subversion committers that work for you already know cannot be solved in the near term.” [Mark Phippard, Collabnet]

“It’s clear that the WANdisco CEO — David Richards — is frustrated at the slow pace at which Subversion is improving. But the two posts are simply making outrageous claims, either directly or via insinuation… Unfortunately, in attempting to woo customers, he’s had the side-effect of making his company appear both clueless and antagonistic to the project…” [Ben Collins Sussman, Former Subversion Committer]

“Apache Subversion to WANdisco: +1 on the code contributions, -1 on the attitude. We welcome WANdisco’s involvement in Subversion, and failure on WANdisco’s part to address the above concerns will have no effect on the acceptance of technical work funded by WANdisco. We simply felt it necessary to clarify WANdisco’s role in Apache Subversion, for the benefit of our users and potential contributors.” [ASF]

Interestingly most of the approval for our announcements is from Subversion end-users…

I knew that this would open us up to criticism, as I said in my blog “you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.”

I actually regret the comment that  “certain unscrupulous committers decide to commit trivial changes in large files to simply get their stats up.” For me to substantiate this would require washing dirty laundry in public and that would help nothing – there are better ways to deal with matters such as this within the project itself.

Responses / Clarification:

  1. In my Blog post “Why we got so heavily involved in the Subversion project…” I used the phrase “The initial goal of our project was, basically, to create a better mouse-trap than CVS.” Just to be 100% clear the term ‘our’ [belonging to or connected with you and the group that you are a part of, when you are the person speaking or writing] is being used in the ‘connected with’ context like “Our Soccer Team Won Today” as I make VERY clear throughout the article [“We didn’t get involved to take the credit for creating Subversion. That credit goes to the guys I mentioned earlier.”].
  2. The Comment “I am sure we will face cynicism from some factions of the Subversion project,” is NOT referring to any individual or group of committers.
  3. I never claimed that any of the proposed enhancements were anything new. On the contrary, and again I quote “The requirements that we are committing to build, namely merging and branching, are not new.  Many of these have been in the mainstream and documented since 2007.

Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion and I don’t take any offense to any of the comments. Most of what we said was relaying what we are hearing from Subversion users. Could these things have been said with a little less venom? Yes, probably. But the bottom line is that WE CARE because we have a deep vested interest in this Subversion stuff.

Edit:

I should also point out that we do a hell of a lot for the community. Like Free Training (“Hidden Subversion” has almost 1,000 registered attendees for next weeks class) and Free Binaries for Windows, RedHat, CentOS, Ubuntu, SuSE, Debian, Solaris).

You might also be interested in attending one of our “Subversion Live” events in San Francisco (Silicon Valley), Boston (MA) or London (UK).

avatar

About David Richards

David is CEO, President and co-founder of WANdisco and has quickly established WANdisco as one of the world’s most promising technology companies.

Since co-founding the company in Silicon Valley in 2005, David has led WANdisco on a course for rapid international expansion, opening offices in the UK, Japan and China. David spearheaded the acquisition of Altostor, which accelerated the development of WANdisco’s first products for the Big Data market. The majority of WANdisco’s core technology is now produced out of the company’s flourishing software development base in David’s hometown of Sheffield, England and in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

David has become recognised as a champion of British technology and entrepreneurship. In 2012, he led WANdisco to a hugely successful listing on London Stock Exchange (WAND:LSE), raising over £24m to drive business growth.

With over 15 years’ executive experience in the software industry, David sits on a number of advisory and executive boards of Silicon Valley start-up ventures. A passionate advocate of entrepreneurship, he has established many successful start-up companies in Enterprise Software and is recognised as an industry leader in Enterprise Application Integration and its standards.

David is a frequent commentator on a range of business and technology issues, appearing regularly on Bloomberg and CNBC. Profiles of David have appeared in a range of leading publications including the Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail.

Specialties:IPO’s, Startups, Entrepreneurship, CEO, Visionary, Investor, ceo, board member, advisor, venture capital, offshore development, financing, M&A