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Status of Eclipse SVN Proposal

The members of the team that proposed the SVN project at Eclipse.org have decided to withdraw the proposal. There are a lot of factors that have gone into this decision, so any answer or explanation will be incomplete, but it is necessary to state some of the reasons we have come to this decision.

For most of the team members, our motivation in making this proposal was to eventually make great Subversion support a part of the Eclipse platform and also to work with the existing developers of the Team API to make it better and offer more common functionality to team providers. While we would not go so far as to say we were told neither of these things were ever going to happen, it would be fair to say that is the current feeling of most of our members. In other words, Subversion support does not appear likely to ever become part of the Eclipse Platform SDK component; it will always be a separate download like Mylar or CDT. Certainly it would become part of some future release train, like Europa, but it seems unlikely it would ever be more than that. Likewise, we did not sense a great deal of interest in enhancing the Team component to provide more functionality than exists today. Again, let me be clear, these are just our perceptions. We might be wrong, and they are certainly not aimed at any specific individual working on Eclipse.

It would be less than honest to not also mention the Subversive proposal. We do not have any problems with their proposal or their team. The fact that they exist, and that continuing with our proposal would also mean having to contend with those issues, was just another factor in not wanting to pursue our proposal. It was clear to our team that the only way we could work together would be for one of our teams to drop our existing code and join the other. We are not prepared to do that and neither are they.

One final factor in this decision was licensing. Any Subversion plug-in is going to depend on either Subversion's JavaHL library or the SVNKit pure Java library. SVNKit's license was rejected by Eclipse, and in the case of Subversion they were planning to review all the code before allowing us to use the library. Subversion has dependencies on libraries like Neon and BDB that have licenses that are not typically accepted by Eclipse. So we had some question as to whether we would be able to include JavaHL or SVNKit with our plug-in. Again, maybe this will turn out to not be an issue for Subversive. Also, we are not faulting the Eclipse IP code review process wither. That review is one of the best features of being part of Eclipse.org.

In the end, the only benefits we saw were being able to be listed on the release train update site, and possibly getting some new participants in the project. Those are real benefits without question, but they have to be balanced against the negatives, of which we thought there were many. So we have decided that we will stick with Subclipse and leave the project right here on tigris.org.

Moving forward we have a lot planned for Subclipse this year. We are working more closely than ever with the Subversion development community and we have a number of great enhancements coming to Subversion and JavaHL in the Subversion 1.5 release. We will be updating the roadmap page in the near future with some of our plans, but it should be an exciting year for Subclipse.

$LastChangedDate: 2010-01-07 11:35:03 -0800 (Thu, 07 Jan 2010) $