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Jul 21, 2013 12:18:55 PM

Subversion 1.8 drives greater competition with Git

The Apache Subversion (SVN) open source version control system launched it's new 1.8 release after 20 months and offers a slew of new features for developers.

subversion

This 1.8 release of SVN makes SVN more competitive with it's arch nemesis Git. With this release, one of the outstanding features was the introduction of WC-NG (working copy next generation). Basically, WC-NG serves as the basis for new functionality for SVN--essentially a platform for new work/improvements/features with the system.

Prior to this release, the code that handled the "working copy" (your local files, checked out from the server) was produced over the last decade... this new release overhauls that system with a clean, modern library. SVN now tracks the moves of working copy items--an improvement in the storage of metadata, which allows the system to recognize the moves.  Previously SVN didn't "move" items--it copied items from one location and deleted them from another... One fundamental problem with this method for developers was that edits to the deleted file didn't apply to the copied item. Moving items eliminates this issue.

Many developers preferred Git over SVN due to capabilities of forking and merging. With the new additional of 1.8 of SVN, lots of work was done with simplifying the merging features. On the back of this, conflict resolution has also been improved... helping to make a case for SVN over Git.

For 1.9, SVN is aiming to reduce the release timeline to nine month schedules. The release of 1.8 was 20 months.