Subversion moving to the Apache Software Foundation @ iBanjo

November 5, 2009 Jack Repenning

One of the stalwarts of Subversion, Ben Collins-Sussman (a Googler and former CollabNetizen), remarks

Not that this should shock anybody, but in case you didn’t know, now you do. The overlap between Apache and Subversion communities has always been huge since day one — with essentially identical cultures. We’ve talked about doing this for years. It means we can finally dissolve the ‘Subversion corporation’ and let ASF handle all our finances and legal needs.


Observers may not realize just how true this is. This announcement is a great thing for Subversion, for ASF, for CollabNet, and all other companies who depend on Subversion for their work and products, because it means that the supporting details are in good hands, and the contributors can get back to their contributions. But in another sense, it's about as "un" an event as it well could be.

One anecdote from the press conference yesterday really drove that home for me. John Mark Walker, of OStatic, and Paul Krill, of Infoworld, asked how this change will affect Subversion developers and users. Everyone around the table leaned forward to answer, but the winner was the current President of the Apache Software Foundation and a major Subversion committer, Justin Erenkrantz, whose response began "In the Subversion community, we've always operated in the Apache way." This was echoed and reinforced by Sander Striker, past President of the ASF and another major Subversion committer, and Greg Stein, several-time past Chairman of the ASF and one of the most active Subversion committers of the moment.

So there you have it: if Presidents and Chairmen of the ASF think of themselves first as members of the Subversion community, how much change could we really be talking about?

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