CollabNet upgrades Subversion developer tool

Open source software configuration management project emphasizes merge tracking for distributed development

Subversion 1.5, the latest version of the popular open source software configuration management tool, was made available this week, featuring merge tracking for distributed development projects.

Subversion manages changes in software development efforts and supports geographically distributed projects, said Subversion sponsor CollabNet.

"This is the first major release in over 18 months for Subversion," and it features capabilities for teams and large code bases, said Tony de la Lama, vice president of corporate marketing and strategy at CollabNet.

Merge tracking offers automated branch management and keeps track of different merges. It is beneficial in projects in which different developers work on different parts of the code bases. 

"Anytime you're working on only part of a code base, it’s a very difficult and drawn-out process," to merge code, de la Lama said.

CollabNet plans to open-source its customized merge client that is designed for accessing merge-related features through a graphical user interface. The client, to be called Merge Client for Eclipse, will be offered for use with the Eclipse platform, as a plug-in. Plans call for extending it to Microsoft Visual Studio as well.

Also featured in version 1.5 is sparse checkouts, to enable users to check out only a portion of a source tree to reduce the footprint on their workstations, CollabNet said. Repository sharing and partitioning in release 1.5 offer more efficient distribution of repository storage across file system resources. This improves server performance, CollabNet said.

A proxying system in version 1.5 spreads the read-load across multiple repository servers, also improving performance, the company said.

CollabNet plans to provide certified binaries for Subversion 1.5 as well as support and education services and integrations for HP Quality Center and IBM Rational ClearCase.

Subverison is available under an Apache/BSD-style license.