Subversion Controversy

WANdisco Reply To ASF

WANdisco's CEO David Richards has posted a reply to the recent controversy surrounding WANdisco's blogs about Subversion. He acknowledges that the blogs have polarised the Subversion community, but this what he expected. In his reply, he clarifies some of the points that caused upset within the community. These include comments where he referred to Subversion as "our project," which he states has been misinterpreted: he used the term 'our' in the "connected with context, like 'Our Soccer Team Won Today." Despite the blogs' occasional ambiguousness regarding WANdico's involvement in Subversion, at other times the blogs do make it clear that Subversion wasn't initiated by WANdicso. They refer to themselves as getting "involved" in Subversion, and headed one of the blogs as 'Why we got so heavily involved in the Subversion project...'

Richards makes it clear that when he talks about facing cynicism "from some factions of the Subversion project," he was not speaking out against any particular individual or group of committers. It also wasn't his intention to present features such as enhancing merge base ancestry calculation and tracking renames to eliminate tree conflicts during merges, as new, radical features, just that these areas had yet to be tackled within Subversion.

However, one of the most contentious issues has been WANdisco's claim that some Subversion committers were committing small changes in large files, in an attempt to boost their stats. Johan Corveleyn argued he has not seen this occurring within the community, and asked for evidence on a public mailing list, which was not forthcoming. Although Richards does not offer any evidence, he does say he regrets these comments and, moving forward, there "are better ways to deal with matters such as this within the project itself."

Richards takes a measured response to the reactions to WANdisco's blog posts "everyone is entitled to his or her opinion and I don't take any offence to any of the comments," and remains committed to Subversion: "the bottom line is that WE CARE because we have a deep vested interest in this Subversion stuff."

Jessica Thornsby

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