Monthly Archive for September, 2012

WANdisco’s September Roundup

We have loads of exciting news for you this month, including a new release of Apache Subversion and the very first release of Apache Bloodhound, an exclusive podcast with Vice President of Subversion at the ASF Greg Stein, and of course, the news that SmartSVN has joined our existing suite of Subversion based products and services.

But first, we were proud to open a new development centre in Belfast, Ireland earlier this month. While in Belfast announcing the opening of our new office, David Richards, co-founder, CEO and President of WANdisco, met with Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Arlene Foster.

“We are aiming to achieve substantial growth within the next three years and the Belfast centre will play a critical role in that growth,” said David Richards. “Our strategy includes further development of our existing suite of products, development of new products for the high-growth ‘Big Data’ market and further expansion into Europe and China.”

Not content with one big announcement, we also brought you the news that we’ve added Syntevo’s SmartSVN product suite to our portfolio of Subversion products and services.

For those not already in the know, SmartSVN benefits Subversion end-users and system administrators, through a user interface that provides all members of a development team with a customizable overview of the most important files (e.g. conflicting, modified or missing). Other SmartSVN benefits include:

  • Complete platform independence
  • A rich set of features that takes full advantage of Subversion’s capabilities and eliminates the need for external tools
  • A customizable user interface
  • Extensive file comparison and merge utilities
  • Global customer support and training
We’re currently offering SmartSVN at 50% less than its previous cost, including one year of support! There is also a free download of SmartSVN Foundation available, which gives you the chance to trial SmartSVN Professional simply by choosing the evaluate option during installation. If you have anymore questions about what WANdisco acquiring the SmartSVN product suite means for your SmartSVN experience, we’ve just published a handy FAQ that should answer all of your queries! If not, please feel free to Contact Us directly.
This month, we also caught up with Greg Stein, the Vice President of Subversion at the Apache Software Foundation, to ask him a few questions about the Subversion 1.8 release, the ASF, and of course, his upcoming sessions at Subversion Live. You can listen to the podcast in full now and, if you haven’t booked your tickets to Subversion Live, you’ll find a bonus 30% discount code in the podcast!

Visit for all the latest information on Subversion Live.

You may still have a few weeks left to register for Subversion Live, but this weekend WANdisco is attending another conference – the Jenkins User Conference in San Francisco. After having a great time at the JUC in New York we’re looking forward to meeting the Jenkins community again in San Francisco – be sure to look out for the WANdisco table, if you’re attending the JUC this weekend!
The Apache Subversion community announced another new release this month – Subversion 1.6.19 includes plenty of fixes and enhancements for users of the 1.6 series:
  • A fix for a server hang that could occur if a hook script failed to start.
  • A fix for a write-through proxy commit regression introduced in Subversion 1.6.17.
  • Partial sync drops properties when converting to adds.
  • A fix for the testsuite to avoid FAILs on APR hash order.

As ever free, certified binaries can be downloaded through our website, and also through uberSVN.

We were also excited to see the Apache Bloodhound team announce their very first release earlier this month.

Apache Bloodhound (Incubating) is a software collaboration tool based on the code base of Trac, the proven project management and issue tracking system. Bloodhound will include issue tracking, a wiki, and repository browsing.

The 0.1 incubating release includes:

  • A patched version of Trac.
  • A new dashboard view that unifies tickets, milestones and the user’s dashboard.
  • A re-theming of the interface to use bootstrap.
  • Preliminary multi-product support. This is the first step towards allowing multiple distinct products/projects to be tracked in a single environment.
  • Simplified installation with the inclusion of a number of plugins as standard.
Apache Bloodhound 0.1 incubating can be downloaded now at Congratulations to the Apache Bloodhound team, on their first release!
Finally, we’ve been having a bit of fun this month cooking up some software-inspired memes.

Be sure to ‘like’ us on Facebook to see what else we come up with!

New Subversion Live Session: Beyond Scrum

Subversion Live 2012, the global conference series for the Subversion community,  is fast approaching, and today we’re excited to bring you news of a brand new Subversion Live session. Andy Singleton, Founder and CEO of Assembla will be presenting ‘Beyond Scrum: The Move to Scalable Agile with Continuous Delivery,’ joining our list of exciting speakers, which includes:

  • Greg Stein – Vice President of Subversion and former ASF Chairman
  • Hyrum Wright – Software Engineer at Google
  • Stefan Fuhrmann – TortoiseSVN contributor since 2003 and committer to the Subversion project since 2010
  • Julian Foad – lead developer for enhancements to Subversion’s merge capabilities at WANdisco
  • Philip Martin – part of the team that developed the first version of Subversion

Andy Singleton’s session will cover how the new and improved code merge system in the upcoming Subversion 1.8 release will facilitate the continuous delivery process for the first time, transforming the possibilities for scalable and agile development processes for the enterprise.

In addition to Andy’s cutting-edge SVN 1.8-focused session, Subversion Live will cover a wide range of topics:

  • Merge & Performance Improvements
  • Hook Scripts
  • Branching & Merging Best Practices
  • Best Practices for Large Subversion Deployments
  • ……and more!

Taking place in San Francisco (October 10th and 11th) Greenwich, CT (October 16th and 17th) and London (October 23rd and 24th) Subversion Live is a two day series of conferences especially for the Apache Subversion community. If you haven’t already registered, there’s still time to get your tickets, or learn more about this exciting event.

Exploring the Log Menu in SmartSVN

SmartSVN’s ‘Log’ option allows Apache Subversion users to view the change history of a specified file/directory, through a powerful Log Menu. In this post, we’ll show you how to access the Log Menu, and explore some of the additional options available through this menu.

To access the Log Menu:

1) Select the file/directory you wish to view the change history for and click the ‘Log’ button (alternatively, open the ‘Query’ menu and select ‘Log…’)





2) In the ‘Show directory log’ dialog, select the time period you wish to review. In this example, we’ll set SmartSVN to review ‘the Last 2 weeks.’ Click ‘Ok.’











Tip. Select the ‘Stop logging on copied locations’ checkbox to prevent SmartSVN from tracking further changes when it encounters a revision where the file/directory has been copied from another location.

3) The Log window will open automatically. This screen consists of several different sections:

  • Revisions table – displays the different revisions and their attributes, including the log message.
  • Revision Info – select a particular revision to see all the information about this revision in the Revision Info pane.
  • Search Author and Commit Message – allows you to filter out certain revisions.
  • Directories – displays the Directories/Files view for the selected revision.







Log Menu Options

There are some additional options available from this dialog:

1) ‘Show More…’ – accessed by selecting the ‘Log’ menu. This option allows you to extend the displayed log range.






In the ‘Show More’ dialog, you can increase the number of displayed revisions (for example, by increasing the date range, or requesting to see the ‘previous X revisions.’)










2) Export to File – accessed through the ‘Log’ menu. This option exports the log data to a file.






In the ‘Export to File’ dialog, you can either export ‘All Revisions’ or ‘Selected revisions,’ and choose from several different formats (XML, HTML, Plain text, or Custom). You must also specify the Output file, which is where the log information will be written.








These are just some of the options available through SmartSVN’s powerful Log Menu. We’ll be covering more of these in our next post.

If you haven’t already tried SmartSVN, download your free SmartSVN Foundation edition today

Remember, you can catch up on the rest of our intro to SmartSVN series:

Three Unconventional Ways to Manage IT Costs

David Richards, CEO WANdiscoYou have to run leaner and meaner and so you’re intent on driving IT costs down. But where will those much sought-after cost reductions come from? One area that may not have received the scrutiny it deserves is software development.

The evidence is mounting. When Forrester Research examined the total economic impact of new software development infrastructure, it discovered considerable savings associated with the near real-time replication of source code on servers globally.

In the case of one Fortune 500 electronics company it studied, $776,509 in specific benefits was identified over a three-year period — leading to a risk-adjusted ROI of 150%. By enabling developers in Asia to perform builds locally, the new approach eliminated up to two man-days of idle time each day and increased the number of builds 100%.

Phoenix Technologies, a leader in core systems software products, discovered it could significantly reduce costs associated with production delays and lost man-hours by adopting a similar solution. By enabling continuous builds at six different locations across East Asia and North America, it reduced overall build cycle times by more than 60% and increased productivity by 30%. Previously, over two hours of development time had been lost each day due to poor network performance and outages.

So why have the costs of software development become excessive?

One clear factor is developer inefficiency. This is often a concern when developers are spread out geographically, particularly when many of them are located in regions (such as India and Greater China) with limited network capabilities. You experience clear and irretrievable costs when developers can’t promptly check in their source code to a central repository. Cycle times lengthen and projects are delayed. If time is money, then this is money that’s burning.

Another issue is network performance. After all, network failures happen all the time.. What’s the cost of developer downtime or the inability to access your source code at all? Network performance and downtime issues represent an ongoing tax on software development — imposed in endless delays and lost man-hours.

Yet another factor is the absence of Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD). Companies that implement this best practice test their software builds perpetually to identify bugs, errors and other signs of corrupted code. Through this approach to quality control, they streamline software development.

But companies that don’t engage in this practice run the risk of discovering software problems late in a project, which can lead to considerable rework and long delays. Worst case: they release corrupted code into production. As I’ve written elsewhere, such mistakes can have a devastating impact on corporate finances and reputations. Knight Capital Group saw its stock price collapse and the company took a pre-tax loss of $440m as a result of bad code.

Finally, there is the opportunity cost associated with geographic barriers and boundaries. Many companies bear added and unnecessary software development costs because they cannot source the right talent in the right place at the right price. Because of network limitations, an inability to synchronize development efforts and other factors that hinder productivity, they are simply unable to get the full benefits of offshore development.

Which leads us to the question of how to confront your costs.

How can you intelligently reduce software development costs and, thus, drive down overall IT costs? Here are three proven steps you can take:

  1. Embrace Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery. It’s been written elsewhere that “quality is free.” Ultimately, it costs nothing to implement practices enabling you to continuously test and enhance the quality of source code. You prevent defects on the front-end to ensure they don’t emerge later in the development or, worse, production process. It will save you considerable costs associated with rework and delayed projects.
  2. Commit to Highly Available Source Code. In order to enhance collaboration, avoid developer inefficiencies, and make CI/CD possible, you need high availability. Developers need the ability to rapidly check in their source code to central repositories. Companies need the ability to rapidly replicate changes to source code between servers on a global basis. And you need the confidence of knowing that network performance and downtime issues will not undermine this availability.
  3. Aspire to Software Development without Geographic Constraints. Today’s technologies increasingly make possible what British economist Frances Cairncross called “the death of distance” just over a decade ago. You can now seek the right talent in the right place for the right price. You can realize economies of scale and skill that previously would not have been available to you.

Software development may not have been the first place you considered when seeking ways to drive down costs. But, as a growing number of companies have discovered, it’s often loaded with excessive costs — both direct costs and opportunity costs.

As the evidence suggests, software development represents an important, if under-appreciated, area for achieving new efficiencies. By rethinking software development infrastructure, you can both reduce costs and accelerate your time to market.

And as software is increasingly suffused throughout the overall economy and demands escalate for new releases, you’ll find that that today’s investments in cost reduction and superior infrastructure set the stage for tomorrow’s gains in revenue growth.




P.S. If you haven’t signed up yourself or your team members, I highly recommend registering for Subversion Live  2012 this October. Use code DAVID45 for 45% off registration. Visit to get more information.


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

SmartSVN: Set or Delete Property

‘Properties’ in Apache Subversion are useful for associating metadata with files under version control. In this post, we’ll begin to look at how properties can be used in SmartSVN, by exploring the ‘Set or Delete Property…’ option.

Remember, you can download your free edition of SmartSVN Foundation at

1) Open the ‘Properties’ menu and select the ‘Set or Delete Property’ option.






2) Open the ‘Property’ drop down menu to see the available Subversion internal properties. These are:

  • svn:eol-style – used to determine the processing that should be performed on a file. This property is useful for when commits are being made with different operating systems.
  • svn:executable – can be used to control a versioned file’s filesystem-level execute permission bit.
  • svn:externals – used to define or change externals.
  • svn:ignore – contains a list of file patterns that Subversion operations should ignore.
  • svn:keyword – instructs Subversion to substitute ‘keywords’ into the files themselves. These keywords could be a revision number, the name of the person who last changed the file, or other useful information.
  • svn:mergeinfo – used to query information related to merges.
  • svn:mime-type –  determines some of Subversion’s behavioral characteristics, and serves as a place to store a file’s MIME classification.
  • svn:needs-lock – if this property is set, the local copy of a locked file is automatically made read-only unless the user owns the lock in question.











3) From this screen, you can either set or delete a property. In this example, we’ll remove all explicit mergeinfo from our project. To achieve this, select svnmergeinfo and select the ‘Delete Property’ checkbox.











4) Select ‘Ok’ to remove the mergeinfo.

Note. This is a basic example of using Properties in SmartSVN. More information is available at WANdisco’s SmartSVN docs.

Catch up on the rest of our intro to SmartSVN series:

Locking and Unlocking in SmartSVN

Apache Subversion is built around a ‘copy-modify-merge’ model, but there are times when a ‘lock-modify-unlock’ model may be appropriate (for example, when you are working on image files, which cannot easily be merged.) In this latest post in our SmartSVN series, we’ll show you how to quickly and easily lock and unlock a file.

If you don’t already have SmartSVN installed, you can download the free SmartSVN Foundation edition from

How to Lock Files in SmartSVN

1) Select the file you wish to lock.







2) Select the ‘Lock’ button.





3) Enter an appropriate message explaining why you have decided to lock the file, and click ‘Lock.’










How to Unlock Files in SmartSVN

If you lock files, at some point you will need to unlock them. To unlock a file in SmartSVN:

Select the file you wish to unlock and click the ‘Unlock’ button.





2) Confirm you wish to unlock the file (or alternatively, tick the ‘Break locks’ checkbox if this is someone else’s lock!)





You have now successfully unlocked the file!

Catch up on the rest of our intro to SmartSVN series:

Three Steps to Perform an Update in SmartSVN

In WANdisco’s latest quick and easy SmartSVN tip, we show you how to update your working copy, in three simple steps.

Remember, you can download SmartSVN Foundation for free today, simply by visiting

1) Inside your SmartSVN installation, select the ‘Update’ button.







2) In the ‘Update’ dialog, you can choose to update to either the HEAD revision, or a particular revision number. In most instances, you’ll be updating to the HEAD revision. In this example, we’ll be updating to the HEAD, so ensure the HEAD checkbox is selected and click ‘Update.’









3) SmartSVN will go ahead and update your working copy. Note, you can check what changes have been implemented in the ‘Output’ dialog of your SmartSVN homepage.






You have now successfully updated your working copy.

Tip. This is a very basic update. In the ‘Update’ dialog, you can select the ‘Advanced’ tab to access some additional options, including:

  • Set depth to working copy
  • Allow unversioned obstructions
  • Include externals









Catch up on the rest of our intro to SmartSVN series:

Subversion Tip of the Week

Creating Changelists from the Command Line

In the world of modern software development, it’s not unusual for developers to be working on multiple, unrelated changes within the same project. In these situations, Apache Subversion‘s changelists can be an invaluable tool for keeping track of which changes relate to which part of the development effort.

Changelists are labels that can be used to group related files together. Files can be added to a changelist with the ‘svn changelist’ command, followed by the name of the changelist, and the file’s path:

svn changelist “Changelist-name” {path}

In this example, we are adding a text file called ‘Wiki’ to a changelist called ‘Changelist’:

You can add as many files as you want to each changelist, and can create multiple changelists within the same working copy. If you need to check on the status of your changelists, you can use the ‘svn status’ command, followed by the location of your working copy:

This will list all the files that are associated with the different changelists in your working copy.

Tip: There are some limitations worth baring in mind when using changelists:

    • Changelists cannot be sent to the repository, and therefore cannot be shared.
    • Changelists can only be assigned to files, and not directories.
    • Files can only be assigned to one changelist at a time.


Running hdfs from the freshly built hadoop 0.23.3 in pseudo distributed mode

So, here’s what I did to run the freshly built hadoop 0.23.3 bits in pseudo distributed mode (this is the mode where each of the hadoop daemons runs in its own process in a single physical/virtual machine).

First I configured passwordless ssh back into the same machine (localhost). I needed to turn off selinux on this CentOS 6.3 VM in order to accomplish that. Seems like selinux is working very hard to make CentOS/Redhat completely unusable. I edited /etc/selinux/config and changed the line SELINUX=enforcing to SELINUX=disabled. Reboot, and then ‘ssh-keygen’ and then ‘ssh-copy-id -i ~/.ssh/ jagane@localhost’

Now, I untarred the file <src_root>/hadoop-dist/target/hadoop-0.23.3.tar.gz into /opt. mkdir /opt/hadoop-0.23.3/conf, /opt/nn and /opt/dn. Create the following files in /opt/hadoop-0.23.3/conf.


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<?xml-stylesheet type="text/xsl" href="configuration.xsl"?>


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<?xml-stylesheet type="text/xsl" href="configuration.xsl"?>


export JAVA_HOME=/usr/java/java
export HADOOP_HOME=/opt/hadoop-0.23.3
export YARN_CONF_DIR=~${HADOOP_HOME}/conf/

Now run the following command to format hdfs

$ (cd /opt/hadoop-0.23.3; ./bin/hdfs namenode -format)

Next, startup the namenode as follows:

$ (cd /opt/hadoop-0.23.3; ./sbin/ --config /opt/hadoop-0.23.3/conf start namenode)

Finally, start up the datanode

$ (cd /opt/hadoop-0.23.3; ./sbin/ --config /opt/hadoop-0.23.3/conf start datanode)

At this point, running the command jps will show you the datanode and the namenode running.

That’s all for now.


About Jagane Sundar

Apache Subversion 1.6.19 Arrives!

The Apache Subversion community has just announced a new release of the Subversion 1.6 series.

Apache Subversion 1.6.19 includes fixes and enhancements for users of 1.6.x:

  • A fix for a server hang that could occur if a hook script failed to start.
  • A fix for a write-through proxy commit regression introduced in Subversion 1.6.17.
  • Partial sync drops properties when converting to adds.
  • A fix for the testsuite to avoid FAILs on APR hash order.

More information on Subversion 1.6.19 can be found in the Changes file.

The latest, certified binaries can be downloaded for free from the WANdisco website, and are also available through the award winning, open uberSVN platform. Users of uberSVN can easily switch between the 1.6.19 and the latest 1.7 releases (or vice versa!) using uberSVN’s innovative ‘SVN Switch’ feature.

If you haven’t tried uberSVN yet, remember that it’s free to download and free to use! Simply visit to get started.

If you want all the latest news, tips, tricks and best practices on Apache Subversion, then why not check out Subversion Live 2012, the series of dedicated Subversion conferences? This year, events will be taking place in London, San Francisco and Greenwich, Connecticut, and will feature a unique mix of sessions, expert-led best practices workshops and invaluable networking opportunities for the SVN community.