Over four days last week, a dozen Apache Subversion developers were gathered in a conference room in Berlin with copious amounts of food and drink, and told to write code. We were there at the behest of the elego Software Solutions, who sponsored a hackathon as part of their Subversion Day event.
In addition to giving us cool t-shirts, elego provided space and connectivity to allow us to focus on Subversion development, while discussing technical issues face-to-face. This enabled some of the high-bandwidth discussion which really helps drive things forward. During the week, small groups would break off to work out questions or design issues, while others would continue to write and test code.
Among the developers, we also had a larger plenary session to discussion higher-level topics of interest, including:
- 1.7 release plan
- Proposed features in 1.8
- The project’s plans with regard to continued performance improvements
- Improving the python tests
- Handling of file externals
- ra_serf performance and correctness
We also spent a bit of time crafting the next release in the 1.6 series and working on the blocking bugs for 1.7.0. The general feeling was one of optimism, as we finally see the light at the end of the 1.7 release cycle, and work to fixing the last important bugs before branching.
And of course, since Subversion is an open source project, all the discussions were recorded on the mailing list and in the repository, both for people not spatially or temporally collocated.
I finished the week exhausted and ready to be home, but excited by the work that got done and the potential for the Subversion project.