Looking forward to Berlin

If all goes as planned, next week at this time I’ll be in Berlin for the third Subversion Day mini-conference, hosted by elego Software Solutions GmbH. Elego — a corporate sponsor of Subversion development and a CollabNet Solutions Partner — always provides a first-class event. This year’s event promises nothing less, offering a packed agenda of back-to-back presentations about the latest Subversion features and how corporations can leverage Subversion to get the most bang for their development buck. Besides the fantastic opportunity that events such as this present to speak in-person with Subversion’s user base, Subversion Day offers another high-value opportunity: just off of “the main stage”, a gang of Subversion developers will be huddled in a room, cranking out the changes that will continue bringing our next release to closure.

Speaking of release closure, I’m happy to report that the atmosphere on the Subversion development discussion list seems — to me, at least — to be converging towards optimism that we’re nearing the end of what has been another admittedly long development cycle. Numerous threads have been started in recent days and weeks attempting to clarify just how close we are to being able to wrap a ribbon around the codebase and called it “1.7.0”. We’re talking about different ways that we can facilitate users taking our pre-release snapshots out for a spin. Most importantly, we’ve been able to settle into that mindset that keeps the goal clearly in mind, empowering us to defer non-blocking issues and remain on-target.

Speaking of issues, I’ve been tracking Subversion’s issue tracker trends for the past few weeks, and I’m excited by what I’m seeing in the issue counts for those issues targeted as release blockers for 1.7.0. Here’s a graph that tells the story:

Subversion issue chart

Now, I’m a pessimist realist by nature, so I simply cannot allow myself to jump to the conclusion revealed by the numbers alone: that in two weeks’ time, we’ll have resolved all the remaining 1.7.0-milestoned issues. (Have you ever seen the human brain SEGFAULT? Yeah, that’s what happens when I overdo the optimism thing.) Still, the trend is a positive one. And who knows? Maybe — just maybe — the hackathon in Berlin will end with exactly that reality. Wouldn’t that be something?

Meanwhile, we’ll keep doing what we’re doing. Some of the progress is easy to track with statistics such as issue tracker counts or performance benchmark tallies; some isn’t. Watch this space for further updates. Or, better still, plan to partner with the community through your willingness to install and use our beta and release candidate snapshots when they become available and share your experiences back with the developer community.

C. Michael Pilato

C. Michael Pilato is a core Subversion developer, co-author of Version Control With Subversion (O'Reilly Media), and the primary maintainer of ViewVC. He works remotely from his home state of North Carolina as a software engineer for CollabNet, and has been an active open source developer since early 2001. Mike is a proud husband and father who loves traveling, soccer, spending quality time with his family, and any combination of those things. He also enjoys composing and performing music, and harbors not-so-secret fantasies of rock stardom. Mike has a degree in computer science and mathematics from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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