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Changesets vs Wet Blankets

From: Karl Fogel <kfogel_at_newton.ch.collab.net>
Date: 2003-04-14 17:07:19 CEST

Earlier, I made encouraging noises about getting improved merge
(a.k.a. changeset) support into Subversion before 1.0. Even though I
didn't have much time to work on it myself, I thought "What harm? If
people can get this stuff done, then Subversion will be that much
better off when it hits 1.0".

I was wrong, though. Sure, the changeset discussion has been
productive, in the sense that many design issues are being worked out
(without even any major flamewars, which is nice!). But it's also
sucked a lot of Generic Fungible Dev List Energy away from other
concerns that are, IMHO, much more pressing. I was foolish to think
that the effort could come at no cost. A feature like this simply
can't be tacked on by a small group of volunteers, it really needs
widespread participation. As Tom has pointed out, version control is
hard.

This is certainly not a veto on changeset-related work. However, I
personally am dropping out of it now, and don't plan to work on it
before 1.0. To the extent that I can influence others, I would like
to encourage -- beg, plead, beseech -- that they do the same. Way,
way too many basic bugs are coming in. If we had a listwide consensus
to defer this particular set of complex features to Post-1.0, that
would be a great thing.

   [I could end here, but noooo...]

Right now, I see all these exciting posts about adding merge support
that goes far beyond what CVS does -- and then I go look at the bug
database and reality hits me hard. What the heck were we *thinking*,
folks? Just look over that bug summary list. Why are we talking
about adding changesets, when we don't even have freakin' restartable
checkouts? When we have known performance and scalability problems on
real-world data sets? When we have so many known correctness issues
in our core code?

I'm not mad at anyone here -- I was seduced too. But truly, it's
unrealistic to expect to ever release 1.0 if we don't stop with the
new features and start dealing with the issues we already have.

Let's behave like a successful project, and maybe we'll be one :-).

Enough said. See you in the bug database, I hope,
-Karl

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Received on Mon Apr 14 17:51:04 2003

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