I Wish You’d Fix That Bug

Another comment saying “I can’t believe you haven’t fixed this bug yet!” A recent example in issue SVN-2507 prompted me to write this response to everyone who feels the same.

I understand your frustration. I’d love to fix this bug. I admit it’s our fault this problem exists, and I am embarrassed that we have not fixed it after so many years.

But who are we? Subversion is an open source project, developed by whoever wants or needs to develop it. “We” are myself, a part-time developer with my own priorities, and a small handful of other developers who contribute to Subversion development a few hours a week at most, with their own priorities. And … You.

How much do you and your company value a fix for this problem?

  • Can you allocate somebody to work on it for a few hours a week? The current developers, including myself, would be glad to help that person through all the stages.
  • Can your company offer X pounds or dollars for a freelancer to fix it, on one of those websites? Ask us for help with estimating the cost.
  • Do you pay for any Subversion services? If so, ask your supplier. If you are a customer of Assembla, for example, then you can raise the priority on my personal priority list.
  • Can you personally make progress towards a fix? Think through the problem and discuss a proposal? Create some sort of mock-up? Interaction like that often gets other volunteers interested.

As things stand, to my regret, “we” still can’t fix this bug…

Until “we” includes “you”.

Thank you for using and supporting open source software. (I understand you personally may not be able to do any of these things. That’s alright. Even then, you are still supporting Subversion in other ways.)

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