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:
- 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.”].
- 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.
- 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.
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).