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Subversion Branding / "whole product" (Was: Re: SmartSVN - a new Subversion client)

From: Steve Dwire <sdwire_at_parkcitysolutions.com>
Date: 2005-02-24 15:55:35 CET

The tigris.org "family" comparison to Apache is an interesting
observation, and I agree that for Windows users, TortoiseSVN "is"
Subversion. Well, almost. There's also AnkhSVN, which I believe will
"be" Subversion for Visual Studio users. Both of these projects are
part of the tigris.org "family."

Armed with this perspective, I now see Karl's point (from an earlier
thread, regarding the difficulty of managing a subversion "whole
product") more clearly. A "whole product" approach would have
TortoiseSVN and AnkhSVN share libraries, using a common (or at least
consistent) GUI, regardless of whether I was versioning from within
Windows Explorer or from within Visual Studio. However, these two are
truly independent projects, led by different people, with different
agendas, built on different run-times (MFC vs. .NET), and even different
Open Source licenses (both of which are different from Subversion's!).

And, by the way, both of these projects use the "SVN" string in the

And, (again), I recall that even "SVK" was once called
"SubversionKeeper", and there was a reason list members persuaded the
author to remove the "Subversion" from the name.

At this point I'm at a loss to understand the logic of supporting "SVN"
in some projects, complaining about it in others, and (almost)
arm-twisting the removal of the Subversion name from others... I
suppose we can chalk it up to the dynamic nature of dev@ list
participation, but it seems to me that the start of any "whole product"
understanding would depend on having some sort of consistent philosophy
on Subversion/SVN branding expectations.

Unfortunately, my brain most likely won't be able to contribute to the
solution to that problem, since my specialty is technical, not
marketing. I do, however, see it as a problem that needs to be solved
if we are to prevent the FUD and name dilution that we seem to agree we
want to avoid.

Steve Dwire

-----Original Message-----
From: Martin Tomes [mailto:lists@tomes.org]
Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2005 3:41 AM
To: Brian Behlendorf
Cc: dev@subversion.tigris.org
Subject: Re: SmartSVN - a new Subversion client.

Brian Behlendorf wrote:
> On Sat, 20 Feb 2005 kfogel@collab.net wrote:
>> Brian Behlendorf <brian@collab.net> writes:
>>> Any particular reason you are using the "SVN" abbreviation in the
>>> of a product that isn't part of the Subversion project, or even open
>>> source?
>>> I guess the rest of us will keep using "DumbSVN"...
>> Marc, just to clarify:
>> I think what Brian's objecting to is not the mere presence of the
>> string "SVN" in your product's name.
> The point made last week about thinking about _Crossing the Chasm_ and

> thinking about the "whole product" resonated deeply with me.

You gave Apache as an example and I think Subversion could learn from

The current structure of the Subversion web presence is as a project
among many other projects in the tigris system, and it is collab.net
branded. I know projects are grouped but it doesn't hit you in the

If you visit apache.org you don't arrive at the web server page with
links to other projects, you end up at a 'whole product' site and the
http server is a part of it. It is also Apache branded.

If you want to promote the whole Subversion ecosystem then you need to
present it in a coherent way. I have tried to make a start with my Wiki

at www.subversionary.org but my attempts so far are woefully inadequate
because of a lack of time. I see Karl owns the subversion.org domain,
making good use of this would help enormously.

On a similar note my personal opinion is that the TortoiseSVN and
Subversion teams should work together to provide a single binary
download for the Windows platform. Like it or not the Windows platform
will be the major client for Subversion and making it simple to install
and maintain on that platform will help promote Subversion more than
anything else. Also, Subversion on Windows *is* TortoiseSVN for most
users, I am a command line type of person and I rarely use the command
line client on Windows. In fact I can't remember the last time I used
it on Windows.

Perhaps once version 1.2 is out the core developers could devote a few
hours to working out how some of this could be achieved, it would be
time well spent. Certain large software companies have proved that it's

marketing which gets your software used and not quality, Subversion
could have both!

Meanwhile there's always my Wiki;-)

Martin Tomes
echo 'martin at tomes x org x uk'\
  | sed -e 's/ x /\./g' -e 's/ at /@/'
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Received on Thu Feb 24 15:59:07 2005

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