SmartSVN 8.5 Moves from SVNKit to JavaHL

Following on from the release of SmartSVN 8.5, we wanted to give you a bit more detail about the main big change in SmartSVN 8.5, so here’s Branko Čibej, our Director of Subversion, with an explanation:

One of the most significant events during the development of SmartSVN 8.5 was the decision to adopt the JavaHL library in favour of SVNKit, which was used by all previous releases of SmartSVN.

JavaHL is a Java wrapper for Subversion, published by the Apache Subversion project. The most important difference compared to SVNKit is that JavaHL uses the same code base as the Subversion command-line client and tools. This has several benefits for SmartSVN: quicker adoption of new Subversion features; more complete compatibility with Subversion servers, repositories and other clients; built-in support for new working copy formats; and, last but not least, speed — as demonstrated by the phenomenal performance improvements in SmartSVN 8.5, compared to both 8.0 and 7.6.

The decision to adopt JavaHL has also benefited the Subversion community at large: several bug fixes and enhancements in Subversion 1.8.8 and the forthcoming 1.8.9 and 1.9.0 releases are a direct result of the SmartSVN porting effort. We will continue to work closely with the Apache Subversion developers to further improve both JavaHL and Subversion.

Hope that helps explain what’s going on a bit and why we opted to make the change, though it’s worth bearing in mind this is largely an ‘under-the-hood’ change and you won’t notice much difference in the interface. The change will however make future development of SmartSVN much easier.

If you want to see more about the speed improvements there’s a results table in the release blog here.

Cheers all.

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