Frequently Asked Questions

Why is CollabNet hosting this project?

The Subversion developers do not provide official binaries for their releases. They rely on downstream distributions provided by the community. For some platforms this works well but for other platforms the availability of binaries and related bindings is spotty. With the SVNbinaries project CollabNet provides a place where people can collaborate on the creation of binaries in a way that ensures availability and continuity. Subversion usage is soaring and with all these new users coming to the product the need for this is greater than ever.

Won’t you be "competing" with other people who already provide binaries?

No, we want to do the opposite. We invite these people to join and have the community assist them. We can provide hosting and bandwidth for their binaries, we provide tools in the form of mailing lists and discussion forums and we can provide greater visibility. We will also link to other web sites where binaries are available and offer a mirror for their binaries to distribute the load and provide a backup. The goal isn't to be the one place where people can download binaries, the goal it to create a community that improves build scripts and ensures that a wide variety of binaries and bindings is available on a continuous basis.

So, if you already make binaries available, we welcome you into this project so that we can all benefit from the strength of a vibrant community to provide feedback, ideas and contributions.

Will all binaries have to contain the same components or be built from the same dependencies?

We want to let the community decide. Over time the community can develop best practices about what ought to be included or not. As an example, we'd like to see that binaries include all of the language bindings (Java, Python, Perl, Ruby) as we think this is an area where there is a need and it can be particularly hard for a user to find what they need today.

The dependencies are always a challenge with Subversion and one of the main reasons people do not want to provide binaries. Some people really need Subversion built on top of Apache 2.0. others need 2.2. Some need the latest version of a dependency like Neon, others want older versions. There is legitimate room for variety and choice if someone wants to step forward to provide it.

A key thing we want to collaborate on in this project is scripts to produce binaries. This will make it easier for other users to provide alternate binaries with different dependencies. We can host all of these variants.

Are there any guidelines that have to be met before binaries can be hosted?

No, but we will likely develop some quickly as we see what people provide. As said, we really want people to contribute the scripts they use to create the binaries. We feel this is important so that the binaries belong to the community and are not purely reliant on one person's effort and goodwill. A lot of Subversion binaries seem to be one-offs and we do not want that to happen here. At the same time, we recognize that not everyone will have bothered to script the process. So maybe we accept their binaries as a start and the community can help them to get the process scripted for the future.

What platforms will be included?

The community will decide that based on who steps forward to provide them and what platforms users request. We might take actions to solicit/encourage someone to step forward if we see a lot of people asking for something that is not provided.

What is the difference between the CollabNet “certified” binaries and binaries created in this project?

The certified binaries are produced by our engineering team, tested by our QA and Support teams and signed off on by a cross functional team. They represent the platforms and options that we feel we can support more efficiently (they install using a standard configuration). Because of this, we offer a discount to our support customers if they use CollabNet Subversion. But other than that, CollabNet's binaries are just as much part of the community provided binaries as somebody else's and they are a free download for everybody who wants to use them.