Tag Archive for 'subversion 1.7'

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Top New Features in Subversion 1.7: HTTPv2 & svnrdump

In the first of our posts on Subversion 1.7, we looked at some of the major enhancements in version 1.7: a complete rewrite of the working copy metadata system, merge-tracking enhancements, and a new way of storing text-bases. In this post, we will look at even more exciting new functionality included as part of 1.7:

  • HTTPv2 – a new HTTP protocol variant designed to enhance performance between Subversion clients and the server.
  • A new in-memory caching system for FSFS repository backends
  • Network compression – a protocol for avoiding CPU bottlenecks on the compression side.
  • svnrdump – a new client tool that provides the same functionality as svnadmin dump and svnadmin load, but on remote repositories.

For version 1.7, the Apache Subversion team made the decision to drop DeltaV and implement a new HTTP protocol variant, ‘HTTPv2.’ This is the protocol the Subversion client uses to communicate with the Apache server – it is distinct from the protocol used to talk to svn serve. Less well-known than HTTP and DAV, the DeltaV protocol extended the WebDAV protocol with resource revision tracking capabilities, provided by the methods checkin, checkout, uncheckout, version-control, and report. Back in the days of Subversion 1.0, the Apache Subversion team made the decision to base Subversion on Apache + WebDAV/DeltaV, and to make Subversion a DeltaV sever, so that other DeltaV clients could interact with it. This approach offered several advantages, including the ability to pass through corporate firewalls and caching with intermediate proxies.

However, DeltaV never caught on, and today Subversion is one of the few significant DeltaV clients. Consequently, none of the benefits of DeltaV ever materialized for Subversion users, but they still had all the overheads associated with DeltaV. Traditionally, a lot of the port find requests in the Apache log file of a Subversion server have been associated with the DeltaV protocol. Dropping the DeltaV protocol will remove these extra port find requests, along with a few other requests, and make the protocol more efficient. Essentially, this protocol has shifted from HTTP “DeltaV on top of DAV on top of HTTP,” to HTTPv2 “DAV on top of HTTP,” so all of the DAV stuff will still work in 1.7.

The new HTTP protocol variant enhances performance between Subversion clients and the server, as it requires fewer client-server round trips per request. The sever itself has fewer requests to log and fewer accesses to the repositories, which reduces the server load. Users will notice the biggest difference when the client has to send requests in a series, where each request would require a round trip to the client and back. Particularly on a slow link with a high latency, these delays add up, resulting in a significant delay just from supporting the DeltaV protocol.

Such a fundamental change will always raise questions regarding backwards compatibility. Subversion has always made the effort to maintain backwards compatibility, and 1.7 is no exception. Subversion 1.7 features built-in support for both the HTTP protocol, and the HTTPv2 protocol, in both the client and the server. This gives the Subversion community a number of options:

  • If you upgrade your server to 1.7 and don’t upgrade your clients, the old clients will continue to communicate using the HTTP protocol.
  • If you upgrade just your client to 1.7, it will continue to use the HTTP protocol to talk to old severs, and use the HTTPv2 protocol to talk to the new servers.
  • If you upgrade both the client and the server, you automatically get the HTTPv2 protocol.
  • There is also a switch to stop advertising the HTTPv2 protocol, even if the server has been upgraded to 1.7, for instances where someone with a 1.7 server wishes to stop people from using the new protocol.

Subversion’s Serf-based repository access library has received all of the 1.7 protocol changes, and will become the default library for HTTP in Subversion 1.8.

Previous releases of Subversion have supported various caching mechanisms, but version 1.7 introduces a new in-memory caching system for FSFS repository backends. Version 1.6 introduced an in-memory caching system, but many users experienced problems with the amount of memory allocated to the cache increasing. Even worse, it was the memory associated with the cache infrastructure that increased, and not the cache objects, which meant the user experienced very little benefit from the increasing memory usage. Version 1.7 introduces a new caching structure and new code that has a much better behavior when it’s using memory, which solves the problem with cache growth. These changes are accompanied by Subversion 1.7 caching a slightly wider variety of Subversion objects and functionality for allowing users to control just how much memory is used by the cache. In particular, when dumping a repository, and consequently accessing the FSFS backend of the repository, the new caching mechanism will significantly speed up dumps and loads.

However, caching is not a perfect solution: as you increase the size of a cache, the rate at which performance increases, typically decreases, until increasing the size of the cache makes very little difference. This is usually because the CPU load created by the accompanying data compression has become a bottleneck, as compression takes a significant amount of CPU. In some cases, you can actually spend more time on the compression and decompression of data, than you gain by sending compressed data. Subversion 1.7 introduces a switch for controlling how much compression goes on. Users with a high enough bandwidth, can set Subversion to send uncompressed data, so the server has a lower load and can respond faster.

Subversion users will notice a new client tool in 1.7, ‘svnrdrump.’ Like svnadmin, svnrdump allows users to dump and load repositories, but whereas svnadmin must be running on the server with direct access to the repository, svnrdump can dump on the remote repository across a network, or load into a remote repository across a network using standard Subversion protocols. svnrdump does not require administrator access to the source or target repository, which is achieved by leveraging the replay API, first added for the svnsync one way replication system.

The new svnrdump tool can raise some security concerns, namely: if I let people dump my repository, am I letting them have access to data they shouldn’t have? svnrdump is a standard Subversion client, therefore it uses the standard Subversion protocols and is subjected to the same authentication procedures as any other Subversion client. As it doesn’t have any special privileges, it cannot bypass any of the protection on a repository and give users access to data they could not already access, for example by performing a checkout or an update.

In addition to these major changes, Subversion 1.7 introduces plenty of user-facing updates designed to make the developer’s life easier. These include:

  • A new ‘svn patch’ subcommand that can apply patch files in unidiff format to a working copy.
  • The ability to detect MIME types of binary files that are added to version control, by compiling with support for the libmagic library.
  • Subversion on Windows now fully supports changing the case of file and directory names.
  • Optimizations in the svn diff algorithm. Users should notice a performance boost when working with large files with many identical lines at the beginning and/or the end, and files that have many lines unique to one side of the comparison.

A complete list of what’s new is available at: http://subversion.apache.org/docs/release-notes/1.7.html

Despite all the excitement surrounding Subversion 1.7, we know that any migration can be a daunting prospect – to help users on the path to 1.7, we are currently shipping both Subversion 1.6 and 1.7 as part of our popular open ALM platform, uberSVN. Users have the option of switching between the two releases, through a unique ‘toggle’ feature in uberSVN’s configuration settings. And, if you need that extra support, WANdisco are offering three migration packs as part of our professional support services, designed for organisations moving from Subversion 1.6 to 1.7, and for those looking to make the leap from alternate solutions (ClearCase, PVCS, StarTeam, MKS, CVS) to Subversion 1.7.

Finally, like any successful open source project, Subversion relies on active participation and feedback from its user community. Contribute to the success of this major new release by providing your feedback at: http://www.svnforum.org/forums/56-Apache-Subversion-1.7-Support

Subversion 1.7 Arrives: uberSVN makes the switch

The developers of Apache Subversion finally take down the scaffolding, giving the Subversion community their first look at version 1.7.0 of the popular source code management software. Now, a bystander familiar with Subversion 1.6 might wonder what’s different as there are no eye-catching alterations in 1.7’s look and feel. Only a trip down into the foundations reveal the changes, which are large-scale and crucial to Subversion’s future.

WC-NG (Working Copy: The Next Generation)

The biggest change goes right to the heart of Subversion and its “working copy library”, which tracks changes that are made to a user’s working copy so that Subversion knows what actions to perform on the repository, while storing meta-data and pristine copies of files in those ubiquitous “.svn” subdirectories. Subversion 1.7 delivers a completely overhauled working copy library, moving to a centralized database that does away with the .svn folders. Compatibility with all the classic APIs is maintained, while providing a significant performance boost and fixes for a large number of bugs and limitations that will help Subversion maintain its status as an SCM destination of choice.

HTTP Protocol v2

Another big change is the streamlining of the HTTP protocol for svn, placing the focus firmly on speed and compatibility. This ensures that Subversion still supports DeltaV’s beneficial features, such as “autoversioning”, while dropping much of the protocol’s inefficiencies and maddening complexities.

Fresh Paint

While the developers faced these and other major engineering challenges, they also managed to polish off a large number of little improvements and fixes, with 150 noted in Subversion 1.7’s change file. This all shows Subversion 1.7 to be the strong technological renewal that many users have been asking for, rather than a revolution in form or function.

uberSVN makes the switch

So where does this leave uberSVN? After all, dealing with the upgrade of core software technologies can be fraught with difficulties and result in unexpected problems. Well, the news is good. While uberSVN 11.10 will still default to Subversion 1.6, upgrading to Subversion 1.7 couldn’t be easier. The inclusion of the svnSWITCH tool lets the administrator upgrade with no more effort than a click and a service restart. What’s more, the switch is just as easily reversible, which should give the cautious further reason to test Subversion 1.7’s revitalized waters.

svnswitch

Top New Features in Subversion 1.7: WC-NG & Pristines

Subversion 1.7 is a major update for the Subversion community; not only will it deliver long-awaited client-side performance improvements and new client tools, but improvements to the working copy metadata system will pave the way for even more innovations in future releases of Subversion. Some of the key updates are:

  • WC-NG – a complete rewrite of the working copy metadata system.
  • Pristines – a new way of storing text-bases in 1.7.
  • Merge-tracking enhancements – over 40 improvements to merge tracking.

One of the major improvements in Subversion 1.7, is a complete rewrite of the working copy (WC) metadata management system; one of the oldest parts of Apache Subversion. Subversion inherited the blueprint for handling its working copy metadata from CVS, but there are some built-in problems with this scheme. Some examples include:

  • A search for all files containing ‘test’ can potentially turn up Subversion text-base files, alongside working files.

  • When deleting a directory in Subversion, the files are removed, but the directory and the sub-directories remain on disk until the change is committed. This is because Subversion needs to hold onto the metadata contained within the directory.

  • Subversion failed when developers on case-insensitive platforms attempted to rename a file, just by altering the letter casing.

Although such problems are only minor, together these fixes add up to a much more robust metadata storage system.

Subversion 1.7 users will notice an immediate performance improvement, as WC-NG centralizes the working copy’s administrative metadata in a single database. Previously, Subversion maintained one .svn directory per directory in the working copy, to store metadata about a repository. This forced many Subversion operations to walk the entire directory tree, to gather all the necessary information about the working copy. All the metadata for the whole working copy is now stored in a single datastore in the root of the working copy, making it easier to manage, and easier to ignore, when required.

Over the years, the original WC library had grown so complex, that introducing bug fixes and improvements was becoming an uphill struggle; this redesign clears the way to incorporate new features in future releases. One of the features WC-NG enables for future releases, is stashing. This feature would allow Subversion users to ‘stash’ changes they were working on – allowing them to focus on urgent bug fixes, for example – and then recover the changes from the stash after the urgent commit has been completed. Once implemented, this feature could even be extended in Subversion: applying subsets, multiple stashes, and management of those changes, are all capabilities that could be added to the stashing functionality in Subversion.

Subversion keeps a record of the unmodified contents of all files in the working copy. Previously, these have been called ‘text-bases’ but in Subversion 1.7 they have been renamed ‘pristines’ and have been moved to the same datastore as the working copy metadata, where they are stored by checksum in a sharded format. Several space-saving mechanisms have also been introduced:

  • files in the working copy with the same pristine content, share references to the pristine store.
  • svn cleanup can be used to remove pristines that are no longer required by the current state of the working copy.
  • In future releases of Subversion, unreferenced pristines should be removed automatically.

This new storage method fixes a problem encountered when a user stored files with the same name, but with different capitalization, in the same directory. Developers on case insensitive file systems (such as Windows) were unable to checkout repositories containing such files – this no longer causes problems with Subversion 1.7. Instead of using the filename as a key to reference the file, WC-NG will use a generated index key to avoid case-sensitive file name issues.

To reduce the number of false svn:mergeinfo property changes for users who have a large number of subtrees with explicit mergeinfo, Subversion 1.7 no longer records mergeinfo on subtrees, when the subtree is unaffected by the merge. False svn:mergeinfo property changes can still occur if the change being merged is the result of another merge performed with a 1.5 or 1.6 client, as changes being merged that contain svn:mergeinfo modifications will still be applied. To get the most out of this new feature, Subversion users should create and maintain branches exclusively with 1.7 clients. On top of limiting the recording of subtree mergeinfo, Subversion 1.7 introduces more user-facing changes to merge:

  • For merge-aware tracking merges, special notifications and headers are produced when a merge records merge-info describing a merge, or omits mergeinfo.

  • Merges into mixed-revision working copies are now disallowed by default, to prevent unnecessary conflicts. A mixed-revision working copy must be updated with svn update, before a merge can be performed into it.

  • The svn mergeinfo subcommand flags revisions which are partially merged to a target.

  • Merges into shallow working copies no longer causes tree conflicts on nodes affected by the merge, but not present in the working copy.

In our second post on Subversion 1.7, we’ll look at some other key updates in this major release, including:

  • HTTPv2 – a new HTTP protocol variant designed to enhance performance between Subversion clients and the server.

  • New in-memory caching system for FSFS repository backends

  • Network compression – a protocol for avoiding CPU bottlenecks on the compression side.

  • svnrdump – a new client tool that provides the same functionality as svnadmin dump and svnadmin load, but on remote repositories.

Like any successful open source project, Subversion has always relied on active participation and feedback from its user community, but 1.7’s emphasis on client-side performance and new client tools, mean this is more important than ever. Provide your feedback, get advice on the latest features, and connect with other 1.7 users, at http://www.svnforum.org/forums/56-Apache-Subversion-1.7-Support

To help users on the path to 1.7, we’ll be shipping both Subversion 1.6.17 and 1.7 in our free, open ALM platform, uberSVN. Users will be able to easily switch between the two releases, through a unique new ‘toggle’ feature in uberSVN’s configuration settings. This gives users the option of upgrading to 1.7 to take advantage of the new features, but with the safety-net of downgrading to 1.6.17 if required. But, if you need that extra support, we will also be offering three migration packs as part of our professional support services, designed for organisations moving from Subversion 1.6 to 1.7, and for those looking to make the leap from alternate solutions (ClearCase, PVCS, StarTeam, MKS, CVS) to Subversion 1.7. To learn more about WANdisco’s complete range of Subversion support options visit: http://www.wandisco.com/subversion/support

What’s New in Subversion 1.7?

Subversion 1.7 is a major step forward for the Apache Software Foundation and the wider Subversion ecosystem. As part of this ecosystem, WANdisco is committed to helping the community keep up-to-date during this exciting time, and with this in mind, we’ve put together a comprehensive series of free one hour online training webinars, designed especially for Subversion users and administrators. And, the topic everyone’s talking about, is what’s new in Subversion 1.7?

In our ‘Introducing Subversion 1.7’ webinar we covered just that, bringing together a team of top Subversion insiders, including WANdisco’s Director of Open Source and Subversion’s release manager since 2008, Hyrum Wright; senior Subversion developers Philip Martin and Julian Foad, and founder of Assembla Andy Singleton, who ran through what’s new and noteworthy in 1.7, and looked ahead to how the 1.7 enhancements pave the way for even more innovations for the Subversion community.

Julian Foad, a Subversion contributor for nearly a decade, covered the radical changes in one of the oldest parts of Apache Subversion. For 1.7, the working copy (WC) metadata management system has been completely rewritten, as the original WC library had grown so complex that introducing bug fixes and improvements was becoming an upwards struggle. This complete rewrite is combined with an embedded SQLite DB that holds all the properties, version numbers and information about scheduled changes. For operations that have to gather metadata about a range of files and directories, the information is now all in one place. Users should notice an immediate performance boost.

In addition to these major changes to Subversion’s metadata system, Julian shared some useful new Subversion commands with attendees:

svn log – diff

Prints the diff of each revision inbetween the log messages; useful for viewing the changes in a file or a whole subtree.

svn diff –git

Produces diff output in Git format.

svn relocate

A dedicated svn relocate command for the old svn switch –relocate functionality; having dual meanings for the old switch command was confusing.

svn: E195002

Each error message has its own identification number; useful when searching for help on the web.

Senior developer Philip Martin, shared the ins-and-outs of another headline-grabbing feature in Subversion 1.7: HTTPv2. Philip covered all the benefits the user will notice when DeltaV is dropped in 1.7, before moving onto the new in-memory caching system for the FSFS repository backend, and sharing insider knowledge on how to get the most out of the new caching structures by controlling how much memory is used by the cache. Webinar attendees also got a heads-up on using network compression in Subversion, to avoid hitting the CPU bottleneck, and got some words of reassurance on security concerns surrounding dumping a repository using the new svnrdump tool.

Finally, Andy Singleton, founder of Assembla, elaborated on a proposal that sparked some controversy on the Subversion Dev list recently: a new merge command for Subversion. If you’re a Subversion user, at some point you’ve probably been annoyed with Subversion merge – Andy outlined his proposal for making merge in Subversion less painful, and how he envisions ‘newmerge’ solving some commonly-encountered problems with cyclic merge, foreign merge and tree changes. If you missed out the first time around, the full webinar can be viewed now.

This is an exciting time for the Subversion community, and we have plenty of webinars scheduled for the next few months to keep you up-to-date on all the latest goings on. Visit our Free Training Webinars page to browse the full list of our free, online training sessions for Subversion users and administrators. Early registration is recommended, as space is limited!

Enterprise Software is Dead! Long Live Enterprise Software!

Just imagine if someone approached you with a ‘brand new idea’ for CRM software.  It would cost millions-of-dollars, install in 3-6 months and takes a team of consultants to do most of the work.  Of course you would laugh and rightly so after all it’s such a 2001 idea… How times change.

The idea sounds preposterous now because our expectations have changed.  I can get SalesForce.com up and running and the only real skill I need is to know how to enter a credit card number. Everyone is talking about the cloud and trying to cram the word “cloud” into their new company names as we all did with “.com” back in the heady days of 1998 when the dot com typhoon first hit us.  I think it’s very easy to get carried away, just as we did at the millennium, and throw rational business thinking out of the window.  Back then we forgot that you still actually needed to sell and fulfill orders just like any other business – that doesn’t change.  What does change is the relationship the consumer has with the retailer.  I can’t remember the last time that I purchased an airline ticket inside a travel agent’s office for example.

Let’s look at the reasons why enterprises are moving some software to the cloud. A recent IDC study found the top reason was easy-fast deployment.  The other reasons (see picture below) are associated with cost (less in house IT, pay for use, low monthly subscription) or getting latest functionality.  The converse of this is that traditional enterprise software is difficult and slow to deploy, expensive and complex to update.

I really don’t believe that cloud computing is as revolutionary as the industry would have us believe but what it is doing is changing our expectations in the way in which we consume applications.  Applications do not necessarily need to be in the cloud but they must:

  • Be easy to Install (in less than 15 minutes)
  • Have no special skills to get up and running
  • Be cost effective
  • Just work every time

When we designed uberSVN, we did so with these principles in mind.  That’s why we got tens-of-thousands of successful installs of the product in the first couple of months. So what’s next for uberSVN?  Well we believe that enterprise will take a leaf out of the consumer book.  Almost 3 years ago today Apple updated iTunes and in that update was an app store.  That changed the mobile device into a platform where, with just 1 click you can deploy sophisticated applications for just about everything you need and some things you probably don’t.  Again it’s successful because it’s incredibly easy, fast and cost effective.

Just imagine enterprise IT departments could do this with enterprise applications… enter uberApps.

uberSVN was launched in response to demand from enterprises to be empowered to choose ALM tools to meet their business goals be it price or functionality, open source or closed source.

The concept of an app store means that not only can users get incredibly easy automatic updates and simple (single click) installation but also incredibly fast and efficient discovery of applications.  In a software tools context imagine if you wanted a build engine, a wiki and defect tracker.  There is a plethora of open source, closed source, expensive and free products out there to go and research.   Who even knows if they are all going to work together?

uberApps solves that problem.  The applications are certified to work with the uberSVN platform – that means complete integration and testing by our QA team.  How do you know if it’s any good?  First off you can read reviews from other users and then you can try it out.  Installation is only a mouse click away and if you don’t like it or don’t need it then you can simply uninstall just like you do on an iPhone.

There is one critical difference with iPhone apps though.  There is clearly a balance between fast discovery of applications by users and empowerment to deploy them. uberApps models the process that enterprises use today where departments can request products from IT and then go through a standard approval process.  It’s pretty cool because it means that this is centralized rather than having to get a separate arrangement with dozens of different vendors.

uberApps may be groundbreaking but it’s simply modeling the new way that enterprises expect to consume software today. Which one would you choose –  An app store or a stereotypical software sales guy with his Porsche, golf clubs and Armani suit (all of which you’re eventually going to pay for)?

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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

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

SVNref Cards – Free Cheat Sheets for Subversion Developers and Administrators

In conjunction with our free Subversion training webinars we’re building a library of free cheat sheets for developers and administrators that we call SVNref Cards. Based on the highlights from each webinar, SVNref Cards are written by active members of the Apache Subversion project. Their easy to use format focuses on the most important concepts from each session and illustrates them with practical examples.

We introduced SVNref Cards after one of our most popular sessions, Hidden Subversion, which had over a thousand attendees. Since then, we’ve followed up with one for each webinar. Anyone who registers for a free Subversion training webinar receives an SVNref Card for that session automatically. If you miss a session you can download them anytime and stay up-to-date with the latest tips and tricks.

Our rapidly expanding library includes:

Hidden Subversion – An inventory of powerful, but relatively unknown and seldom used Subversion features.

Subversion Administration Best Practices – A quick reference guide covering administration policies and procedures, repository organization, backup and recovery and hook script usage.

Introduction to Branching and Merging – A review of branching and merging basics and merge conflict resolution.

Advanced Branching and Merging – Picks up where the introduction leaves off with examples of merge types, use of mergeinfo, analysis of branches using revision graphs and enforcement of standards.

WANdisco provides SVNref Cards and the free training webinars they’re based on to promote Subversion’s use and adoption, benefiting the entire community. We’re even planning to make recordings of our free training webinars available in response to the thousands of requests we’ve had since we began offering them nearly a year ago. Of course, if more extensive Subversion training, support, or other services are required, WANdisco has those too.

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About Jim Campigli

Our Initial Thoughts

Where did February go?  As a resident of Massachusetts, parts of me (namely my back, shoulders and arms) are quite happy to see those weeks get crossed off the calendar.  Since my last posting here, I’ve not only been shoveling snow though.   Two separate Subversion Live events were held,first in San Jose and then two weeks later in London.

Both days were extremely fruitful for those of us from WANdisco that attended and I hope our attendees felt the same way.   The presentations in the various tracks were well attended, very professional and well received. A great source of information exchange was the roundtable sessions at the conclusion of each day. But what I always find most useful at events like this are the less formal conversations that occur prior to a session, or during a break, or over lunch.  Not surprisingly, inquiries about what our committers were looking to do with regard to enhancing Subversion merge support was the most frequent topic raised and the subsequent discussions and feedback we received was extremely valuable.

So with that information in hand, here’s what is being initially targeted:

  • Better handling of renames across merges
  • partially automated merges
  • Faster merges – improving performance of merge operations
  • Enhancements to importing to handle 3rd Party / Vendor source code

This is really just an initial list. The team is actually still quite busy at the moment working on the final aspects of Subversion 1.7.  But we are also still in active discussions about other use cases that have been raised and additional ideas may still be formulated and as those become more concrete, I’ll be quite happy to write about them here.

By the way, if you are still interested in attending Subversion Live, February’s weather pattern here in the Northeastern U.S. has accommodated you! Our Boston event scheduled for early February has been rescheduled for Tuesday, March 22. The same great agenda awaits but thankfully, the snow may not. I hope to see many of you in Boston and I’d welcome the chance to listen and learn from your experience.

– Rob

P.S.  I really did have to shovel a lot, including my roof!

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About rbudas

Rob Budas has over 25 years of software industry experience, with the last 15 years focused on the Software Configuration Management sector. Prior to joining WANdisco, Rob had worked at IBM Rational for 8 years where he was a Sr. Product Manager for Rational ClearCase. He has held various development, technical sales and product management roles throughout his career. Rob holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer and Communication Science from the University of Michigan.

The Work Begins

As many reading this may already be aware, WANdisco has announced our intentions to focus our efforts towards continued enhancements to Subversion’s support for branching and merging. As our committers can see the end in sight for their efforts on Subversion 1.7, we are beginning to decide where next to direct our energy.

There already exists a wealth of data in various locations inside and outside of the project that capture good ideas for continuing the improvements to merging in Subversion. What we are not looking to do is to come up with many more ideas on the topic. Instead, we want to review and prioritize what is already out there and  then decide where we can best apply our resources for biggest benefit to the Subversion community.

The work we are doing now is to review the issues, capture the use cases and then do the hard work of applying our committers expertise towards resolving these issues. This process will very likely be incremental. Delivering new enhancements will provide benefits for many of us but it also allows for a new feedback loop to show us what remains to be done and where the most benefits lie for the next set of efforts. What we won’t be doing is trying to do something grandiose that could result in elongated development cycles and delayed delivery of some solutions.

The work has really just begun. We’re now rolling up our sleeves and diving into the work.  It should be fun!

I am planning to blog regularly about the process – your feedback is always welcome.

– Rob

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About rbudas

Rob Budas has over 25 years of software industry experience, with the last 15 years focused on the Software Configuration Management sector. Prior to joining WANdisco, Rob had worked at IBM Rational for 8 years where he was a Sr. Product Manager for Rational ClearCase. He has held various development, technical sales and product management roles throughout his career. Rob holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer and Communication Science from the University of Michigan.