Subversion Live London 2012 – Day 2 recap

After a fun and very interesting first day at Subversion Live I was really looking forward to the second day as there were more talks and chances to get fairly exclusive looks at the future of Subversion.

8:30am – Continental Breakfast

Breakfast was a sedate affair after the previous evenings jollities. A few of my co-workers didn’t even make it down in time 😉


9:00am – Keynote – Greg Stein, Vice President of Subversion at the Apache Software Foundation

This was a speech I was excited to see, I’d chatted to Greg a little the evening before, and I’d listened to his podcast prior to Subversion Live about what he would be discussing. As I said in yesterday’s recap, I’m fairly new to Subversion, so Greg giving an overview of why Subversion got started and some of the pivotal choices along the way were enlightening, and helped me to understand the ethos of the project and its contributors. Greg also touched upon what’s planned for the future of the project, and why Subversion is still as relevant as it was when they started.

For a more detailed look at what Greg covered, check out the blog post here.


10:00am Stefan Furhmann – What’s coming in 1.8 Overview

Following on from the keynote, Stefan Furhmann and the other Subversion committers present were back to talk about Subversion 1.8 and what’s changing. In short, there’s a whole bunch of goodies coming your way. Notable aspects included merge improvements (see more on that later), deltification improvements, a benchmarking tool (Stefan covered this in detail in the Subversion Server Tuning session yesterday and it looks extremely useful from a diagnostics point of view), log search and client details in commit hooks. All of these things are going to make day-to-day usage of Subversion a much smoother experience. We can’t wait.


11:15am – AM breakouts

For the first breakout session I took the only opportunity to see the talk from our Product team (Rob and Rich) about Bloodhound. If you haven’t heard about it yet, Bloodhound is an Open Source issue tracker and ALM solution, meaning you can set milestones and record bugs, then track your teams’ progress against these. You can find out more about it here.

We’re very excited about Bloodhound here at WANdisco, as the most commonly requested feature for uberSVN is defect tracking and we’re planning to fully integrate Bloodhound and uberSVN next year.

The talk covered the progress of the project so far, why it’s an improvement over Trac (namely multi-project support, a user-centric design and an easy to install and setup solution), what’s in the plan over the next year, and an overview of the SCM solution when you combine uberSVN with Bloodhound and Jenkins for a completely integrated management tool.

 12:15pm – Lunch

From attending previous industry seminars and conferences before my time at WANdisco I was not expecting much from the food to be honest, but the team did us proud and lots of attendees commented on how nice the food was. It was a good opportunity to catch up with people after a busy morning, and it was great to hear that everyone I spoke to was having a good time and learning a lot.

1:30pm PM Breakout 1

For the first afternoon breakout session I went along to hear Julian Foad talk about Merge and Performance improvements. When we talk about Subversion in the wider software development world we hear a lot of gripes about merging, some of which are justified and a lot of which aren’t. As my role is almost entirely dealing with the Subversion community I was glad to hear that the committers were working on merge improvements and was keen to hear how the progress was going.

The big thing to take away from this speech was that you will no longer have to choose between a sync or a reintegrate merge from 1.8 onwards. You just tell Subversion to merge and it will make it happen. This is a massive improvement for the average user, or even a non-average user who’d like to keep their hair and sanity intact!

We’ll be doing a more in-depth blog around this talk, with more of the upcoming improvements and some examples of commands and such like. Watch out for that over the next few days.

2:45pm – PM Breakout 2

I skipped the presentations this time around, and chose to spend some time at our table outside the conference rooms, chatting to customers and attendees who were between sessions or milling around. I’d been in the presentations for the rest of the two days, which was very valuable, but I wanted to get some more social interactions in too. I’m told the Branching and Merging Best Practices session by Mike Lester was very useful though and Stefan Furhmann’s talk about new features in SVN clients looked interesting.


4:00pm Committer roundtable 

This was another opportunity to ask questions of the Subversion committers, this time in a more informal setting. A great way to end the event, and leave everyone energised about Subversion and it’s future.

Then there was nothing left to do but collect feedback forms and give out the awesome event t-shirts, modelled here by my 11 year old 🙂

Overall the event was a great success, and I had a lot of fun whilst learning a lot. Now I’m excited about making next year’s event bigger and even better!

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