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Re: Looking to hire Software Engineers to Help Develop Subversion

From: Johan Corveleyn <jcorvel_at_gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2010 10:54:08 +0100


Ok, thanks for settings the record straight. These nuances are important to me.

I definitely like the passion you guys have, the big plans, and the
intention to "take the bull by the horns" :-). I hope you can get the
ball rolling, with an actively participating community, and make
Subversion better ...

I look forward to it!


On Wed, Dec 22, 2010 at 2:20 AM, David Richards <david_at_wandisco.com> wrote:
> Johan,
> Firstly, thank you for caring about Subversion - we *do*, passionately.
> 1. The feeling of a lack of progress is not new and it's not just
> "WANdisco's big customers" as you put it. I don't think I am blaming any
> individual - it's just a fact of life as I said "We are not happy with the
> volume, speed or participation on the project right now". This is not new -
> it's been a†criticism†since 2007. In fact these [fundamental] requirements
> have been around and published since then. What we are saying, in fact, is
> that Subversion cannot live in a†vacuum - there is no point in us
> complaining about a lack of action. That will achieve *nothing* about from
> wasting time. As I say at the outset "We are not doing this for direct
> commercial reasons. We are doing this to protect the future of Subversion.
> We are doing this because we care. We are doing this because we need to. We
> are doing this because it is the right thing to do."
> 2. On the question of the road-map / commit logs. Firstly WC-NG, httpv2 etc
> were already in train and we were already working on those things. Julian
> Foad, for example, one of our core developers was actually a long way into
> obliterate but he *had* to switch over to 1.7. I therefore don't regard 1.7
> as an issue with the road-map. There are more immediate issues that *must*
> be tackled now, ideally in parallel†associated†with branching & merging.
> †Developers are working hard but there simply aren't enough of us, for
> whatever reason, *actively* working on the project right now. Not
> a†criticism†- just a fact of life.
> 3. On the question about "answering questions on user lists". Note I did say
> "Blogging, or answering questions on user lists are important" Active user
> lists are a good measure of an open source project and so is commits. I have
> already†received†several offers to help code and that is *very* much
> appreciated.
> 4. "unscrupulous committers†decide to commit trivial changes in large files
> to simply get their†stats up." I'm not going to go into that here but I
> repeat that the best way to create open source developers is by hiring great
> people who create wonderful source code. The core developers of Subversion,
> in my experience, are amazing individuals who maintain and create the best
> SCM product on the planet I am *not* repeat *not*†criticizing†or setting any
> of you / them in a bad light. that will *never* happen.
> Johan, I hope this set's the record straight. We knew that by doing this
> that we would open ourselves up to criticism.
> We†have†tried†alternative†paths to effect change on the project but we feel
> that now it the time to act.
> Feel free to contact me directly and I am more than happy to talk directly
> with you.
> - David
> On Tue, Dec 21, 2010 at 3:53 PM, Johan Corveleyn <jcorvel_at_gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Tue, Dec 21, 2010 at 9:32 PM, David Richards <david_at_wandisco.com>
>> wrote:
>> > On Tue, Dec 21, 2010 at 12:25 PM, David Weintraub <qazwart_at_gmail.com>
>> > wrote:
>> >>
>> >> On Tue, Dec 21, 2010 at 3:03 PM, Pablo Beltran <pablo_at_svnflash.com>
>> >> wrote:
>> >> > Hi,
>> >> >
>> >> > I have no doubt about those all features will be good for the future
>> >> > of
>> >> > Subversion, from a technical point of view.
>> >> >
>> >> > On the other hand, the underlaying message scares me. The message is
>> >> > clear:
>> >> > Apache can't drive the development process by itself and only
>> >> > Wandisco
>> >> > can
>> >> > do it in the right way and in timing.
>> >> >
>> >> > And I think that this exceeds Subversion project and undermines
>> >> > Apache's
>> >> > authority.
>> >> >
>> >> > Today is Wandisco and Subversion. Tomorrow could be Oracle or
>> >> > Microsoft
>> >> > doing the same with other project. I would not like see Apache become
>> >> > in
>> >> > a
>> >> > silly Software Factory.
>> >> >
>> >> > But of course, I have not enough knowledge about how Apache
>> >> > internally
>> >> > works
>> >> > and perhaps I'm saying a very great stupidness. So, my apologizes for
>> >> > that
>> >> > if that is the case.
>> >> >
>> >>
>> >> I am going to look at this a bit differently: Has IBM taken over
>> >> Linux? A majority of the changes in Linux are done by IBM paid
>> >> employees. IBM has its own goals and its own ideas about what they
>> >> want to do with Linux.
>> >>
>> >> However, I believe most people feel that Linux isn't an IBM project
>> >> despite the massive amount of work done by a single company.
>> >> Basically, IBM benefits from Linux, so they do a lot of code work,
>> >> sometimes working on areas that have been previously neglected. The
>> >> better Linux is, the more IBM can sell Linux solutions.
>> >>
>> >> Subversion has had a lot of problems since version 1.5 has come out.
>> >> Basically, the merge/branch tracking isn't that great. In fact, many
>> >> people prefer the 1.4 version which doesn't make any pretensions about
>> >> tracking branching and merging.
>> >>
>> >> Meanwhile, many people feel Subversion is past its prime. Many open
>> >> source projects are moving from Subversion to Git. Actually, this
>> >> makes sense for open source projects, but it is beginning to affect
>> >> commercial applications. People are starting to push Git as a
>> >> commercial SCM package.
>> >>
>> >> I recently pointed out on another list that I might recommend a piece
>> >> of software I don't think is as good as another piece of software
>> >> simply because the "inferior" product plays better with the other
>> >> software the company uses and because users are more familiar with it.
>> >>
>> >> I might not like Git as a commercial version control system, but if
>> >> most developers are more familiar with Git than Subversion, and 3rd
>> >> party products start integrating with Git in better ways than they
>> >> integrate with Subversion, guess what I'm going to start to recommend.
>> >>
>> >> So far, Subversion isn't being forked, and a fork would not be good
>> >> for WANdisco. They are heavily dependent upon people selecting
>> >> Subverson as a version control system. What they want to do is fix
>> >> some of the underlying issues Subversion has had for the last three
>> >> years and get the Subversion project to accept them. I can't see any
>> >> reason why the Subversion project would reject them. After all,
>> >> Subversion was once run by CollabNet which had commercial interests in
>> >> Subversion. Yet, no one complained about CollabNet "dominating" the
>> >> project.
>> >>
>> >> I hope that WANdisco is able to fix many of the issues that have been
>> >> plaguing Subversion for years. I don't believe that those who are
>> >> leading Subversion have "failed", but that a private company
>> >> committing resources to an open source project can be a good thing.
>> >>
>> >> --
>> >> David Weintraub
>> >> qazwart_at_gmail.com
>> >
>> >
>> > David,
>> > Absolutely correct!
>> > Your analysis / explanation is much better than my own. Thank you.
>> > - David
>> >
>> I like the "call for action", and the intention to invest more in the
>> development of Subversion. However, I do not like the blog entry. I
>> may be overly sensitive to this kind of thing, but I'm rather
>> antagonized by the paragraph "Hang on a Minute! Didnít the Community
>> Just Announce A Road Map?".
>> I can feel the frustration with the lack of progress (or translated
>> frustration of Wandisco's big customers). I understand this
>> frustration (I feel it too sometimes), and the desire to do something
>> about it (that's why I got involved myself). However, this paragraph
>> has an undertone of blaming it on lack of involvement/dedication by
>> the community and developers, and bad behavior by some developers.
>> This is not a good way to motivate the community positively to work
>> with you, it's a negative message. At least that's how it sounds to me
>> (admittedly, I may not have the full picture of all that's going on,
>> but so do probably most readers of the blog).
>> I'm specifically talking about the following sentences:
>> - In answer to the question "Didn't the community just announce a road
>> map?": "Yes they did, but thatís pretty much all that happened (and
>> that really pisses us off.) "
>> What? I'm subscribed to the dev-list and the commits-list for that
>> last year and a half, and I've seen a *ton* of work being done. Yes,
>> it can always be more/better/faster or more predictable, but it's not
>> that nothing has been done. And I always thought it was kind of
>> obvious that work on new stuff from the roadmap would have to wait for
>> 1.7 to be finished. Ok, 1.7 is slipping, but it seems it was harder
>> than anticipated. Regardless, I see a lot of people working hard. So
>> I'd just say: thanks to all the people who keep up the good work.
>> - "The commit logs (code committed by developers to the project) tell
>> the real story. We are not happy with the volume, speed or
>> participation on the project right now. "
>> I know (hope) you're probably not criticizing all those volunteers
>> spending their free time on Subversion, but it can be read that way.
>> As a participant in the user community, and beginning contributor
>> dev-wise, I feel kind of personally attacked by your unhappiness with
>> my lack of participation.
>> - "Blogging, or answering questions on user lists are important, but
>> so is writing source code."
>> Ok, the software needs to work, and features need to be developed. But
>> I do hope you're not down-playing answering questions on the user
>> list. I can't stress enough how important this list is to a lot of
>> users (and how many people put in countless hours to help out others).
>> Also, I think it's great that there are some developers who follow the
>> users list closely, answering some difficult user questions with
>> detailed explanations, backed by knowledge of svn internals. Ok,
>> that's time they aren't spending on coding, but IMHO it's time very
>> well spent.
>> - "We also believe itís unhelpful when certain unscrupulous committers
>> decide to commit trivial changes in large files to simply get their
>> stats up. That behavior has no place in any open source project; itís
>> a bad form and wastes everyoneís valuable time."
>> What? What are you talking about? I have seen nothing of the sort. Ok,
>> as I said, I only see part of the picture, so I might have missed
>> something. But even if it's true to some extent, I don't think it's a
>> good idea to make some vague accusations about it in this way. It puts
>> all committers in a bad light. Besides, even if this were the case, is
>> it really that big of a deal?
>> Cheers,
>> --
>> Johan

Received on 2010-12-22 10:56:17 CET

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