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A word of thanks to the Subversion team

From: Eric S. Raymond <esr_at_thyrsus.com>
Date: 2007-06-27 01:48:33 CEST

I notice Subversion has been catching a lot of crap lately from
proponents of newer systems such as git, Mercurial, monotone, etc.
I think a lot of this is unfair, and for whatever good it might
do I am posting here to say so and to thank all of you.

Subversion isn't perfect. At least once in the past I've come down on
the subversion devs like a ton of bricks myself, for a bad bug which I
believe you did subsequently fix. But I don't waste my energy
criticizing utter incompetents; they can't learn from it, so there's no
point. I got pissed at you guys, when I did, because you failed to meet
the high expectations set by your usual performance.

The Subversion dev team has done, in general, an extremely creditable
job of addressing the problem it set out to solve. And I *will* say
that. loudly, when I see you guys taking cheap shots from people who
ought to know better. Even when they're Linus Torvalds.

Are the critics right that the day of the centralized VCS has passed,
and the future belongs to distributed systems like git, Mercurial,
and monotone? Probably they are. I'm looking at moving to Mercurial
myself; it seems to be time.

Still. Subversion accomplished a lot; (a) it killed off RCS/CVS; (b)
it achieved best-of-breed status among centralized VCSes, and (c) it
provided unobtrusive and reliable support to a lot of developers for
a good span of years.

These are not accomplishments to be dismissed with snarky putdowns.
I think you guys deserve more respect than you are getting these days,
and I hope that when the dust settles a bit around some of these
controversies the good work you've done will be properly recognized.

I'll do what I can to help that happen.

		Eric S. Raymond
  "...quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est."
[...a sword never kills anybody; it's a tool in the killer's hand.]
        -- (Lucius Annaeus) Seneca "the Younger" (ca. 4 BC-65 AD),
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Received on Thu Jun 28 23:51:59 2007

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