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, 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


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

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