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…