As most of you probably know, Volker and I have less time for working on Horde at the moment since we both have day time jobs now. Although this does certainly not mean that the project is stopped, development is progressing much slower compared to the time where we were still working for university.
Luckily we have a very capable and motivated community that keeps posting patches all the time. Although that helps a lot, it is still much work to review and adapt patches so that they fit perfectly to the overall standards of Horde. It would be more convenient and faster if the more experienced contributers could commit them directly. But since we all want to keep the main branch as stable as possible, the idea of an experimental branch controlled by the community came up. Basically that's a great idea. We hope to get an evolutionary collaborative development process through that. Someone can write a patch and commit it and if it is not yet perfect (or close to that
) someone else can refactor it. If a feature is mature enough it can be integrated to the main branch. This keeps the main branch clean from too many intermediate checkins that still need a bit refactoring or fixing in later revisions and helps to keep up the high quality standards of Horde.
So how will that work in detail? We are happy that the University of Augsburg (specifically the Lab for Multimedia Concepts and their Applications) is willing to host the community branch on its svn server. Many thanks to Professor André here for her great support. Every experienced community member can apply for write access to the community branch. Members who have already contributed a patch or are experienced with Horde have very good chances to be accepted. To apply, just post a private message to Volker. He will handle the user management.
We really hope to get a few sophisticated new features and fixes from the community branch. Besides that, I will have my personal non-public research branch where I will try out some new concepts. Volker will be responsible for integrating patches to the main branch. As most of you have probably already suspected, he is officially the chief maintainer of Horde3D now.
All this idea of a more community centric development process is still very experimental and we will see how it works out. But we think it has a lot of potential and we are very excited about it...