Linux is Subversive....

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So begins Eric Raymond's famous analysis of why free software works, The Cathedral and the Bazaar. But alongside this deep-rooted, conceptual subversion, there is Subversion the program, a new release of which has just appeared:

The CollabNet-sponsored Subversion open source community today announced the general availability of Subversion 1.5, the world’s leading Software Configuration Management (SCM) tool for managing software development and maintenance across distributed teams. Highly anticipated by both individual and enterprise users, Subversion 1.5 includes key features and functionality to help drive developer productivity including:

Merge tracking for more automated and efficient branch management;

Sparse checkouts to enable users to check out only a portion of a source tree to reduce the total footprint on their individual workstations;

Repository sharding and partitioning, to more efficiently distribute repository storage across filesystem resources and to improve server performance;

A proxying system for spreading read-load across multiple repository servers for improved performance.

It always augurs well for the open source world when its major tools continue to progress in this way. Indeed, these meta-projects – applications that enable free software projects – are one of the best indicators of the health of the ecosystem that we have.