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Re: FSFS as default for svn 1.2?

From: Michael Sweet <mike_at_easysw.com>
Date: 2005-03-22 13:58:52 CET

Greg Hudson wrote:
> This has been discussed on IRC from time to time, but I guess not on
> the mailing list. Since we want to branch for 1.2 pretty soon, now is
> the time to decide it.
> Although neither back end is perfect, I think FSFS is less likely to
> bite new users than BDB is. As such, I think it makes a better
> default. It wouldn't have been prudent to make it the default in 1.1
> due to lack of maturity, but I don't think that is a concern any
> longer.
> I guess the right way to decide this is a +/- vote, although people
> should give arguments if they have them. I'm +1, of course.

I'm not a developer, but I am +1 for this. My reasons:

     1. Until Subversion offered fsfs, we weren't able to use it.
        The BDB provided with Red Hat 9 (the version we had been
        using on our servers) was too buggy to use, and getting
        newer non-buggy versions working without breaking everything
        else on the system proved to be too much trouble. Combine
        that with a number of other kernel-related issues and you
        have a very fragile (from our perspective) system.

     2. FSFS hasn't given us a bit of trouble on any of the repos
        we have converted, and we have a LOT of them now for all of
        our OSS and commercial stuff), and the size (390MB) and
        speed of the repos has been great.

     3. FSFS works on all filesystems and OS's.

Given that, it makes a lot of sense to ship 1.2 with a default
configuration that has the best chances of working out-of-the-box.
If users try Subversion and run into BDB problems (like I did in
1.0), they may not look further to see there is an alternative
backend they can use and you could lose them forever... There
is an old business adage - customers that have a good experience
tell one other person, but customers that have a bad experience
tell ten people about it.

As Ben pointed out, you probably want to word the change in
default carefully. I would emphasize that both FSFS and BDB
are actively supported, but the change is to make Subversion
work out-of-the-box on more systems (i.e. you don't need BDB)

Michael Sweet, Easy Software Products           mike at easysw dot com
Internet Printing and Publishing Software        http://www.easysw.com
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Received on Tue Mar 22 14:00:28 2005

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