Monthly Archive for June, 2011

Q&A With BCW Magazine

Here’s an interview I gave with Business Computing World (http://www.businesscomputingworld.co.uk/qa-david-richard-wandisco/)

Can you position SCM and SCCM technologies as you see them in relation to ALM in the wider sense?

WANdisco’s heritage is in distributed computing—our technology enables active-active replication over a wide area network. The first application we implemented this with was Apache Subversion to create Subversion MultiSite (a distributed, highly available and scalable Subversion implementation).

Over the past couple of years we have become a very active participant on the Apache Subversion open source project and we are keen to ensure that Apache Subversion maintains its position as what we consider to be the world’s leading SCM tool.

Recently we announced uberSVN an open ALM platform for Subversion. The uberSVN platform is a very easy to use, easy to implement and easy to extend inside a distribution of Subversion. We see SCM as a core component of ALM—it’s where the source code files are stored. So transforming Subversion into a platform that enables you to choose best-of-breed ALM components is a very natural and evolutionary step for us. We don’t believe that any single vendor can provide a complete, best-of-breed ALM solution.

Why would a firm choose Subversion over traditional SCM solutions such as Perforce, Serena or even products from HP?

I guess a better question would be “Why do firms choose or replace traditional SCM solutions with Subversion?” I guess this is because Subversion is open source and hence free, but it performs and scales in some of the most aggressive SCM environments on the planet where some of the traditional SCM products could not. Subversion now has over five millions implementations—how many do the traditional SCM’s have? Not even a fraction of that and that means Subversion must perform and scale in a huge amount of environments.

It sounds like WANdisco’s core technology could be applied across multiple applications. Are you looking at other areas?

Indeed our replication technology is generic and can be applied to other areas. Relational databases is one area we are investigating in our labs right now. Maybe next year we will be in a position to announce something more concrete around database replication/shared-nothing database clustering.

Is WANdisco actively supporting the development of Subversion?

WANdisco is a huge supporter of the Apache Subversion open source project in a number of tangible ways. We have dedicated committers on staff that we pay to only develop Subversion, we are a sponsor of the Apache software foundation and we produce Subversion binary downloads and make them freely available on our website. There was some controversy last year but that was ‘rabble-rousing’ by one of our competitors. The end result is that Subversion development on the open source project is very active again. There is a lot of energy on the project right now and that is good for the wider community.

Are there any clear trends in the SCM space?

Subversion is continuing to gain adoption in the enterprise and government organisations. That’s probably not entirely surprising given that, in product lifecycle parlance, Subversion is in maturity. As I said earlier it continues to replace traditional SCM solutions. I would also say that Microsoft’s Team Foundation Server (TFS) is also gaining traction and is probably in the number two position. We don’t see enterprises moving their source code to the cloud yet. That may change but we have see some of the tooling move there—just not the source code.

What’s the uptake been like for uberSVN?

I’d say things are looking healthy, we have thousands of installs in just over a month and the feedback has been very good. I have never seen so many product installs and that is a good sign that the product is very easy to install. We worked very hard to get a product that could be installed in less than five minutes and we will never trade that off for anything.

Are there any big announcements scheduled for uberSVN?

In July we are planning a major new product feature that will enable customers to very easily install third party applications. It’s a really cool feature that will change the way ALM software is delivered behind the firewall. We also have some partner announcements around software build and quality tools.

Is GIT a threat to Subversion?

Funny, I was talking about this only today with an industry analyst and he has the same conclusion that we have. Git has its uses but probably not in the enterprise. OK please listen, I know that statement will upset a bunch of senior developers who think that GIT solves everything but it really doesn’t.

If you think about it GIT actually promotes anti-social software development; development in small, disconnected silos is not how software is developed in the real world. Most software is developed by teams whose members have a variety of skills who need to see what each other is doing and that’s the fundamental reason why GIT is not a threat to Subversion in the enterprise. It’s fine for the development of the Linux kernel but that model doesn’t work for most companies.

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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

The First Subversion 1.7 Alpha Release is Available Now and The Community Needs Your Feedback

The long awaited and highly anticipated release of Subversion 1.7 is almost upon us.  Like any successful open source project, Subversion needs active participation and feedback from its user community.     This  is especially true in the case of 1.7,  given its emphasis on client-side performance and  new client tools.  That’s why Subversion 1.7.0 alpha-1 has now been made available for user testing.    Major 1.7 enhancements include:

  • HTTPv2- a protocol rewrite designed to enhance performance by reducing the number of round trips between the client and the server with every request.
  • WC-NG – a rewrite of the working copy library that enhances performance by centralizing metadata storage and provides a foundation for supporting features such as shelving and offline commits in future releases.
  • svnrdump –  a new client tool that provides the same functionality as  svnadmin dump and svnadmin load, but  on remote repositories.   There’s no need for administrator access to the source or target repository on on the remote server’s filesystem.

A complete list of what’s new is available at  http://subversion.apache.org/docs/release-notes/1.7.html.  Download 1.7 now at: http://www.wandisco.com/subversion/download/1_7-alpha.  Contribute to the success of this major new release by providing your feedback at:  http://www.svnforum.org/forums/56-Apache-Subversion-1.7.0-Alpha-Support .   This is your chance to make a positive impact on the world’s most popular version control system and its more than five million users.


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About Jim Campigli

The first Alpha, and the Subversion release cycle

On Friday, the Apache Subversion development community released the first alpha of what will eventually become Subversion 1.7.0.  While the event passed with little fanfare, it actually marks quite a milestone in the release process: the beginning of the end.  Lest anybody think that the final 1.7.0 release is imminent, I offer the following explanation of the Subversion release process, and how it will impact 1.7.0.

The Subversion release process is actually quite well-documented, but I’ll spare you the tedium of learning how we manage the CHANGES file, or what switches to gpg generate a detached armored signature.  Instead, I’ll highlight the steps that will most impact users.  And of course, I do so with my own voice, not as one speaking for the entire developer community.

The process started with the alpha release, which was basically a known-good revision of Subversion’s main development line, packaged and tested as a typical release.  The alpha is not free from bugs, and certainly shouldn’t be used in a production environment, but it does provide a readily-consumable baseline for folks looking to test the release.  There are still several release-blocking issues, and until they are fixed, we plan to continue releasing alphas every week or two.

Once all the release blocking issues are fixed, the release branch is created, and the first release candidate released.  These release candidates are exactly that: candidates for what will become the final release of 1.7.0.  In order to allow time for testing, we imposed a mandatory 4-week “soak” during the release candidate stage, while continuing to fix minor bugs and issues.  If additional major bugs are found during the soak period, we fix them, roll another release candidate, and restart the soak.

A few days before the soak ends, the release manager creates the final release candidate, gathers signatures, and it is this set of artifacts which eventually become the final release.  While this process may take a bit of time, that time helps ensure wide testing by the user community, and thus a higher-quality release.  If you’ve the time and inclination, I’d highly recommend trying out the alpha releases, and reporting any bugs you find.

Support for Mac OS X Added to the World’s Most Comprehensive Set of Fully Tested Free Subversion Binaries

Certified Subversion 1.6.17 binaries are now available for the Mac OS X platform.  These binaries work with Mac OS X versions 10.5.x and 10.6.x on PPC and Intel 32 and 64 bit architectures.  This software provides a complete, fully tested version of Subversion based on the most recent stable release, including the latest fixes.

To upgrade to the newest release of Subversion on Mac OS X and take advantage of the fixes and enhancements that it offers go to: http://www.wandisco.com/subversion/download .  You can register for free community support for the software at: www.svnforum.orgProfessional support is also available if you require secure, high quality online, phone and email support with guaranteed response times and automated access to the latest fixes and updates.

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About Jim Campigli

Subversion 1.6.17 Now Available

Subversion 1.6.17 was just released today.   This newest version provides several key enhancements as well as bug fixes.   Most notably, 1.6.17 includes major improvements in checkout performance for large working copies on Windows, greater efficiency of ‘blame – g’  for users dealing with a large amount of mergeinfo, and improved error handling on Windows.   A detailed list of the changes included in this new release is available at:  http://svn.apache.org/repos/asf/subversion/tags/1.6.17/CHANGES.   Release notes for the entire 1.6.x series can be found at:  http://subversion.apache.org/docs/release-notes/1.6.html.

To upgrade to this latest release of Subversion and take advantage of the fixes and enhancements that it offers go to: http://www.wandisco.com/subversion/download

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About Jim Campigli