Leading enterprise-grade Open Source version control system introduces numerous enhancements and features that simplify administration and further automate functionality
18 June 2013 --Forest Hill, MD-- The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of nearly 150 Open Source projects and initiatives, today announced Apache Subversion 1.8.0.
Considered the most popular and widely-used Open Source version control system [1], Subversion was established in 2000 and submitted to the Apache Incubator in 2009. Since graduating as an Apache Top-Level Project in 2010, the Subversion community has continued to focus on meeting the diverse needs of both Open Source developers and worldwide enterprise environments with large data sets and complex branch topologies.
"Version control is a fundamental element of best practices for software development," said Apache Subversion Vice President Greg Stein. "Subversion has experienced tremendous success, becoming the go-to solution for stable, reliable version control for countless development teams.  Version 1.8.0 reinforces our commitment to delivering enterprise-ready functionality with an entry-level learning curve."
"Apache Subversion helps us build tailor-made software for enterprises all around the world," said Damir Deželjin, IT Solutions Architect at ComTrade. "Using a stable, secure, mature, maintainable source control system is of the utmost importance in building upon our 20-year history of successfully delivering projects of all different sizes. We are happy to confirm that our choice to adopt Subversion as a core source control system was the right decision."
Under the Hood
Apache Subversion 1.8.0 builds and expands upon the feature provisions of earlier releases to address many of the most commonly requested enhancements.
Since their introduction in prior releases, Subversion’s merge tracking and tree conflict detection features have been critical to its ability to serve projects where branching and merging happens often. The 1.8.0 version improves these features, further automating the client-side merge functionality and improving both tree conflict detection during merge operations and tree conflict resolution during update operations. Additionally, the Subversion client now tracks moves of working copy items as first-class operations, which brings immediate benefit to users today and is a key step toward more thorough system-wide support for moved and renamed objects in a future release.
The release brings improvements which benefit administrators as well.  One of the most common requests made by Subversion administrators has been for a unified mechanism by which to govern client-side configuration settings such as ignore patterns and automatic property definitions.  Subversion 1.8.0 delivers a clean answer to this request via newly introduced support for inheritable configuration-related properties which are stored in the repository itself.
"ADVA Optical Networking's 800+ software engineers collaborate from 10 locations worldwide to deliver innovative networking solutions, and Subversion is an important part of those collaboration activities," said Sridhar Machina, Manager of R&D Source Control. "We are very excited about the 1.8.0 release, and are specifically interested in the administration simplifications promised by the new repository-dictated configuration feature."
Subversion developers also targeted the flat-file repository storage backend (known as "FSFS") for a series of improvements in this release which include revision property caching, revision property file packing, and deltified storage of properties and directory entries lists.  While most of these enhancements aren’t user-visible, administrators will appreciate the increased performance and reduced disk usage they deliver.
"WordPress.org hosts tens of thousands of Subversion repositories that are used and abused in every way imaginable," explained WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg. "I'm very much looking forward to seeing how the new storage efficiency saves us space so we can serve our community better."
In addition to new functionality, Subversion 1.8.0 completes the migration away from a dependency on the Neon HTTP library.  The client will now accomplish its HTTP-based network communications solely with the newer Serf library, which provides pipelined and cacheable access to the server, thereby improving performance.
Also, in light of the enhancements made for the newer FSFS repository storage backend and those already planned for future releases, the project has officially deprecated the original BerkeleyDB-based storage backend. The BerkeleyDB storage option will continue to be available and supported, but development efforts going forward will be focused on the FSFS backend.
"We are serious about addressing some long-term and nontrivial feature requests, and in order to do that we need to focus our efforts on a single storage backend," explained C. Michael Pilato, member of the Apache Subversion Project Management Committee. "Moving forward with the backend that is easiest to use and maintain and which is already nearly universally deployed makes sense."
Commitment to Progress
The Subversion 1.8.0 release is the culmination of many months of coding effort, but the design and development effort which resulted in this new version shows no sign of slowing in its wake. The release closely follows a recently held hackathon-style gathering of Subversion developers in Berlin, where participants celebrated the accomplishment and addressed future enhancements and releases. The driving force behind those discussions was the same as when the project was first founded: delivering reliable version control features that address tangible user requirements.
"Apache Subversion has continued to stay relevant and incredibly useful due to our commitment to working with our large community of users, understanding their requirements, and enhancing Subversion to meet those needs. That connection to our community is how we keep our broad base of Subversion users happy," added Stein.
Availability and Oversight
As with all Apache products, Apache Subversion software is released under the Apache License v2.0, and is overseen by a self-selected team of active contributors to the project. A Project Management Committee (PMC) guides the Project's day-to-day operations, including community development and product releases. Apache Subversion release notes, source code, documentation, and related resources are available at http://subversion.apache.org/.
About The Apache Software Foundation (ASF)
Established in 1999, the all-volunteer Foundation oversees nearly one hundred fifty leading Open Source projects, including Apache HTTP Server --the world's most popular Web server software. Through the ASF's meritocratic process known as "The Apache Way," more than 400 individual Members and 3,500 Committers successfully collaborate to develop freely available enterprise-grade software, benefiting millions of users worldwide: thousands of software solutions are distributed under the Apache License; and the community actively participates in ASF mailing lists, mentoring initiatives, and ApacheCon, the Foundation's official user conference, trainings, and expo. The ASF is a US 501(3)(c) not-for-profit charity, funded by individual donations and corporate sponsors including AMD, Basis Technology, Citrix, Cloudera, Facebook, Go Daddy, Google, HP, Hortonworks, Huawei, IBM, InMotion Hosting, Matt Mullenweg, Microsoft, PSW Group, VMware, WANdisco, and Yahoo!. For more information, visit http://www.apache.org/ or follow @TheASF on Twitter.
"Apache", "Apache Subversion", "Subversion", and "ApacheCon" are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Apache Software Foundation in the United States and/or other countries. All other brands and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
[1] http://www.ohloh.net/repositories/compare
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