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From: Mark Chu-Carroll <mcc_at_watson.ibm.com>
Date: 2001-05-29 22:42:19 CEST

After my previous post, I realized that I'd never introduced myself to
the list, and given the content of that post, I thought that I should
probably do a quick intro, so that you'll know where I'm coming from.

I'm a researcher at IBM's Watson Labs, and I'm working on a new
SCM system called Coven. I met Karl Fogel and Jim Blandy at a
software engineering conference two weeks ago, which was my first
introduction to the subversion conference. My system, Coven, is
trying to do something very similar to subversion, but I'm less
concerned with backwards compatibility with CVS. Coven is, frankly,
a ridiculously ambitious system, which tries to make some fundamental
changes to how we manipulate source code. In the long-term, it aims
to replace CVS and make with a single fully-integrated system.

We're hoping to release the version-control component of Coven as
open-source (probably GPL) sometime by the end of this year. Being IBM,
it's not certain that we'll be allowed to do that, but it's looking
pretty positive.

In the meantime, I'm sitting in on this mailing list for several
reasons. First, I'm genuinely interested in what you guys are doing;
whether or not Coven ever sees the light of an open-source day, I'm
very interested in seeing other open SCM systems. Second, the issues
that you guys are dealing with are issues that we're either working on
right now, or that we'll have to deal with later. And finally, I hope
that if Coven does successfully make it to open-source that we can
do a lot of cross-fertilization between Coven and Subversion.

Unfortunately, I'm stuck in a passive observer mode. Under IBM rules, I
can't contribute any code to a GPL'd project without getting permission
from management, and at the moment, getting that permission would likely
reduce the likelihood of being allowed to release Coven later. (As for
why not just release Coven now, the answer is that while IBM is actually
getting to be pretty reasonable about open-source stuff, they still
insist that the system reach some degree of "completeness" in an initial
version before we can try to open the code.)

(If you're interested in finding out more about Coven, I'll be glad to
send you copies of some papers discussing it. We'll have an external
webpage available sometime soon, probably within two weeks.)


  "There's nothing I like better than the sound of a banjo, unless of 
   course it's the sound of a chicken caught in a vacuum cleaner. "
Mark Craig Chu-Carroll   (mcc@watson.ibm.com) 
IBM T.J. Watson Research Center  
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Received on Sat Oct 21 14:36:30 2006

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