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Re: production ready?

From: Tom Lord <lord_at_emf.net>
Date: 2003-04-22 02:02:29 CEST

> From: cmpilato@collab.net

>> But yeah, your rephrasing sounds sufficiently qualified and
>> wormy that I think, if passed along to an intelligent "boss",
>> it would communicate the right message.

> I guess I'm trusting our new visitor to understand the value of
> sarcasm. But then again, I was trusting you to understand what
> I was talking about when I said we hadn't suffered any lossage,
> and look where that got me.

I guessed at both what you meant by "lossage", and what "lossage"
would mean to our visitor's hypothetical pointer haired boss. They
were different.

> My response to you was a touch out of line.

I (sort of) agree but I don't think it (should be) a big deal. I'm a
big boy. I can take it. Likewise, I'm sure.

Please permit me to be so presumptuous as to defend your response.

In just a very few flamish words, you both (a) clarified your own
definition of "lossage", and (b) expressed the "relative valence" you
gave to the various possible interpretations of "lossage". ("valence"
here, means something like "value" or "connotation" -- you expressed
the relative importance with which you weighed various issues with a
fair degree of subtlety.)

It's nothing more than vivid communication of subjective perceptions
of a complex commercial/technical space. And in apologizing for
being out of line, which I hope and presume you weren't pressured into
doing, all you're doing is tweaking your statement about your
subjective perception of that space.

Bah.... I really don't know how to say this really clearly but let me
try:

If we were just two techies standing in a hall chatting, swearing up a
storm at one another, and making the most outrageous claims about the
implications of our respective technical claims for our respective
parental heritage or sexual proclivities -- that, in my view and
experience, is just a very useful short-hand. It's an _extremely_
(usefully so) nuanced expression of subjective certainty about
objectively uncertain matters. It's a good and useful way to chat,
as long as nobody takes it too personally. ("Look, even a complete
idiot would get this" doesn't mean I think you're an idiot -- it means
I think you're not an idiot but that you're missing a critical point.)

In a publication, or addressing a non-tu customer -- well, that's a
different story. The nuance of flamage is presumed lost on such a
customer.

So what's a dev@ list or other email-chain? which of those two modes
is it in? Well, neither and both. It's a big mess. The only way
to sort it out is to really think matters through.

So, were you "out of line" in some sense other than expressing an
opinion you later wanted to modify? I dunno. Doesn't (or shouldn't)
matter much. It's just email. Hey, you got to make a strong
statement in a strong way: that svn.collabnet.net hasn't dropped any
data, in spite of outages.

> People *are* using Subversion for their projects. They're
> *glad* they moved away from CVS and into something that feels
> like something they know, yet works like CVS wouldn't.

No doubt. There's also people who swear to me that svn would be a
step down from CVS, not least because they have compared the "size" of
the increase in functionality with the "size" of the increase in
dependencies and complexity and (related) decrease in stability.

Wouldn't it be great if we could reach a state where we can express
all the trade-offs accurately, completely, and forthrightly to
customers -- yet still be good laborers?

> So Ryan, forgive me for tainting the evidence being offered in
> response to your query. As has been noted by others, there are
> still some things we lack (fully-functional cvs2svn conversion,
> a choice of robust GUI clients, etc.). And there are still bugs
> in the software. But I wouldn't fret about the trustworthiness
> of Subversion as a version control solution.

Trustworthiness is not just about losing data -- it's also about
availability of data, availability of the option to add new data,
appropriateness of data recorded, and suitability of the UI to data
for building long-lived infrastructure. So there.

-t

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Received on Tue Apr 22 01:50:43 2003

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