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Re: [lord@regexps.com: business models and revision control]

From: Branko Čibej <brane_at_xbc.nu>
Date: 2002-08-13 20:58:01 CEST

Tom Lord wrote:

> > You say you're conviced SVN is broken. O.K., that's not far from the
> > truth -- we do have several design problems that we've been lugging
> > along for quite a while, and we're slowly getting them identified and
> > fixed. However, even if we don't manage to fix them before a major
> > release, I can't for the life of me understand how that can harm the
> > community. What community, specifically, and how would it be
> > harmed?
>A premature release will, at the very least, raise everybody's
>expenses of fixing the problems later. Plenty of other reasons why
>its a bad idea, too, but well outside of scope here.

A late release will reduce the probability that anyone will use the tool
at all, because they'll be fed up with waiting and will go to a vendor
that'll give them what they need when they need it, or fork their own
version and release soon.

> > Subversion (at least 1.0) is targeted mainly at CVS users, and as a CVS
> > user myself, I prophesy that particular community can only gain by
> > moving to SVN.
>As I said, such cliches come across to me as if you had said simply
>"talk to the hand".
>Do you mean that CVS users are stupid and locked into established
>habits? I disagree.

Oh I see. The CVS (and SVN) working model is flawed, and anyone who
doesn't embrace your idea about how version control should work is
stupid? Or do you mean that not spending vast amounts of time and
resources to learn a completely different way of working with revisions
is stupid?

>Do you mean that supposed upwards compatibility is often an (all too)
>easy sell? I would agree.

I must say that you have a knack for saying exactly the wrong things.
This sounds like you're accusing us (SVN developers) of being
unscrupulous cads whose only goal is ripping off poor users while
keeping them in the dark about the shining new tools they could be
using. If I had such an arm-lock on the world, I definitely wouldn't be
spending my free time working on Subversion.

> (Off-topic: If you think -- and from your other posts, I surmise you do
> -- that there is only one target community for open-source software, and
> that it's leading light is an idealised perception of Freedom, then I'm
> sorry to say you're wrong. Personally, I use open source software and
> contribute to open source projects first and foremost to make my life
> and other peoples' easier, and I don't care a rusted farthing about
> tearing down evil empires and creating utopias. Both will take care of
> themselves, at their proper time, no matter what I do.)
>From what I've seen, large proprietary projects are not substantially
>different from open source projects, except that they take place in

I don't understand this comment at all, except if proprietary == rude
and secret == evil, in which case I'll just dismiss it as a piece of


>But there's a problem with just showing up saying X is broken and Y is
>broken (and if you read carefully, I still haven't said that). To say
>that well and with confidence is horribly time consuming and
>difficult: I have to know your code better than you do first.

Discussions are about opinions, right? Sure, if you say "this is broken"
without qualification, you stand a good chance of getting burned in
response. If, however, you say "I think this is broken because of that",
the situation is completely different. If you're right, we both win. If
you're wrong, you get set straight and you win again. And anybody that
flames you for voicing an honest opinion ends up looking the fool.

Brane Čibej   <brane_at_xbc.nu>   http://www.xbc.nu/brane/
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Received on Tue Aug 13 20:58:35 2002

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