This is the second in our series of posts leading up to Evergreen’s birthday. The series starts with Jason’s post from yesterday. Please do read that if you haven’t already!
In 2007 Evergreen became Open Source software in practice, not just in name.
The three committers to the subversion repository in use at the time, Jason, Bill, and myself had, over nearly three years, personally typed all of the code that made up the software, gladly accepting the many suggestions for improvement we received via email and in person, of course.
On Monday, March 5, 2007 that changed when Bill applied the first actual patch we’d received over the previous weekend. It wasn’t a huge new feature or reams of documentation, but it was a watershed moment for the project — with that one commit, pictured below, Evergreen was now software owned by more than one entity, locking in the promise of its Open Source licence by making sure nobody could hide the code away in the future.
Soon after that we began receiving contributions of code from more individuals, some folks from libraries, such as Travis Schafer, and some, like Scott McKellar, just folks that make a hobby of “nosing about in other people’s code.” By the end of 2007, the list of committers had grown from 3 to 4 — Dan Scott got the commit bit on September 7 — and contributors were in the double digits. Both accelerated quickly in later years.
Some of these early contributors were at institutions either testing or deploying Evergreen. Some of them are still there, running those installations. Of the production deployments, most were small compared to the PINES. However, the seeds of large sites were being planted.
It was in late 2007 that the first two SITKA libraries migrated to Evergreen; Prince Rupert Library and Fort Nelson Public Library. Now SITKA numbers approximately 200, but I’ll remember those first two clearly forever. I’ll remember them because 2007 was also the year Equinox began providing services to libraries interested in Evergreen, and I had the opportunity to personally perform those migrations in the fall of 2007.
It’s interesting, to me, at least, to remember that SITKA was Equinox’s very first customer; they signed their support and migration contract with us more than a month before PINES. In a way I think of that as emblematic of Evergreen’s past and its future promise. We are a community that innovates. We are largely a community of early-adopters-cum-leaders. And we are a community focused on both the promise and the pledge of Open Source — the development methodology and philosophy. Looking back, all the way to the start, I see that’s always been the case and I’m proud to have been and still be a part of that.
— Mike Rylander, President