An interview with Codeplex’s Sara Ford

by Sam Ramji on October 16, 2008 04:20pm

It has been a month or so since the Codeplex announcement of server support for SVNBridge, which enables TortoiseSVN to talk to Team Foundation Server, and the team is looking for feedback now this has been out for a while. I also recently interviewed Codeplex's Sara Ford on this, and wanted to share her responses with you.

Sam Ramji: So, Sara - this has been a top request for some time.  What are the most interesting comments you've received requesting this feature?

Sara Ford: There have been countless requests and comments for this feature, but one of the more memorable ones when we first announced the SVNBridge project last year is "It's so crazy it just might work," was one.

Many of our users view CodePlex, when compared to other open source hosting sites, as Team Foundation Server (TFS) versus Subversion (SVN). Now, our users can use either TFS or SVN clients against any of our projects. It's like soccer fans and American football fans are unexpectedly findings themselves in the same arena, conversing for the first time.

Sam Ramji: What made it hard to deliver this feature?

Sara Ford: When we first started investigating this, we were skeptical that it could be done, since TortoiseSVN and Team Explorer are so different.  But once we began comparing the protocols used for Subversion and Team Foundation Server, we were surprised by how much of it could easily be translated.  So a lot of things started working quickly, but there were a couple of areas that didn't map directly, and those represented the bulk of the effort to get all the kinks worked out.

Sam Ramji: What can Subversion fans expect next from Codeplex?

Sara Ford: Well, as always, we look at the features users have voted the highest on the CodePlex Issue Tracker. Now that we're closing our number one most requested feature, we're asking our Subversion fans to visit our Issue Tracker and start voting for what they want to see next!

Sam Ramji: It's interesting that now we have Subversion support in Visual Studio through the AnkhSVN project, and SvnBridge support from Codeplex on the server side. You can probably do round trips via SVN from Visual Studio to Codeplex.  Interesting?  Or just plain strange?

Sara Ford: VisualSVN and AnkhSVN are both popular plug-ins for Visual Studio that provide integrated IDE support for Subversion, and several users have mentioned they've tried them against CodePlex and they work great!  We really like the idea of providing the broadest support for different clients and tools, so users can pick the tools they prefer.

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