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Questions from the Subversion 1.6 Preview event in Berlin

From: Neels Janosch Hofmeyr <neels_at_elego.de>
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2009 22:31:48 +0100

Hi all,

Tuesday saw the first day of the Subversion 1.6 Preview (in Berlin),
organized by CollabNet and elego. Everything went well, and there were a lot
of questions about new features and the immediate future plans.

The committers present were Julian Foad, Stephen Butler, Stefan Sperling and
me, and there were 20-odd attendees with corporate background.

So I'd like to pass on some feedback and am hoping for comments that we can
forward back to those guys who asked the questions.

wc-ng
~~~~~

There was a sort of eerie concern about wc-ng, in that it will change some
basic properties of working copies on disk. There was mention of some people
zipping whole working copies and sending them by Email, or storing them away
for later committing. Our general reply to those remarks was "use branches",
but people were insistent that some users will not be happy with making the
use of working copies any more complex by adding restrictions. Needing to
announce the rename or deletion of a working copy to a central database
could, in essence, break a lot of people's workflow, blocking an upgrade.

After stsp broke down the main reasons for and benefits of wc-ng (developer
sanity, speed, concurrency, complex queries), there was some sort of "ok, we
understand now". But, ...

user participation
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

... directly from that followed an almost accusingly toned plea to let the
users have a say in the planning of such features like wc-ng. Obviously, it
sounds outright ridiculous to say that to an open source community. But the
reality is that the typical subversion user is not able to keep up with the
dev@ mailing list to filter out any significant changes emerging. Maybe most
of the plans aren't even written down anywhere, but are incubating in the
developers' heads.

So maybe we need some justification for and an estimate of consequences of
(particularly wc-ng, and maybe other) changes that are still in the
pipeline, published on tigris.org, easy to find.

And an affinity to officially released prototypes for user feedback was
mentioned.

other questions
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

- We were again asked about svn obliterate. How far are the plans?
  Is it going to come any time soon?

- We were again asked about server-imposed rights restrictions.
  This time the wish was to "at least" be able to forbid certain
  operations in certain directories. Our gut answer was:
  use commit hooks. Anything to add here?

- We were asked about automatic commits of svn:externals (directories)
  together with their parent directories in the working copy. Can this
  be switched on somehow?

- And interest was mentioned in *sparse* svn:externals, to be able
  to include a directory to a limited depth as an external.

So, here's to us to answer the outcry of our corporate users. I'll gather
our comments and forward them directly to the participants of the Subversion
1.6 Preview, labeled "comments from the dev@ list".

Thanks
~Neels

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Received on 2009-02-25 22:32:12 CET

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