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Subversion's community health

From: Julian Foad <julianfoad_at_apache.org>
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2019 14:26:41 +0100

The Subversion community has gradually become much less active. We have
reached the point where we are struggling to even put out a release.

Johan said I may quote his thoughts, so I will:
> Indeed, I was just wondering about the same thing, before I read your
> response, Julian. It's quite clear that things are getting more and
> more quiet . I feel the project is slowly dying ...
> Sometimes I try to give an issue a little push by summarizing it on
> the dev list, or by giving some ideas, but for me that's usually about
> all I can do (limited time, limited knowledge, ...). I'm not the only
> one of course. Sometimes, others give a little push as well, and with
> enough hands some things still get done. But lately, those little
> pushes seem to become more and more rare.
> Also: if Julian's funding stops, will we get another release out?
> Theoretically we can, of course, but will we?
> I'm not blaming anyone of course. We're all volunteers, time gets
> consumed by other things, motivations and priorities shift, ... But it
> makes me a little sad .
> Can we do something about it? Or is this just the way it is ... a
> normal project lifecycle of which we've reached the end? It's become
> old and un-sexy legacy software ... at least in the perception of the
> masses. Can we revive it, or give it a second life?
> .oO("Make Subversion sexy again" :-))

Is this a Bad Thing? It is not objectively bad that the development has
tailed off; that's simply what happens when a project moves on to its
"mature" stage in its life cycle. But it is causing some problems in
adapting to the "new normal".

We have reached the point where we are struggling to even put out a
release because not enough developers are volunteering to do the work
required. (A release, no matter how minor the changes, currently
requires reviewing, testing, voting, writing release notes, updating
other web pages, and so on. Some of the steps are mostly automated but
others are not.)

So, we might want to look at changing how we do releases. I have some
other thoughts too. But first, I'd like to invite others to speak up.

Anyone with constructive suggestions, please do share them. Please let
us not dwell on our sadness and criticism of what went before; let us
try to keep this thread focused on positive solutions for what to do next.

- Julian
Received on 2019-06-14 15:26:47 CEST

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