Both TortoiseSVN and Subversion are developed by a community of people who are working on those projects. They come from different countries all over the world, working together to create great software.
In 2002, Tim Kemp found that Subversion was a very good version
control system, but it lacked a good GUI client. The idea for a
Subversion client as a Windows shell integration was inspired by
the similar client for CVS named TortoiseCVS.
Tim studied the source code of TortoiseCVS and used it as a base for
TortoiseSVN. He then started the project, registered the domain
tortoisesvn.org and put the source code online.
Around that time, Stefan Küng was looking for a good and free version control system and found Subversion and the source for TortoiseSVN. Since TortoiseSVN was still not ready for use, he joined the project and started programming. He soon rewrote most of the existing code and started adding commands and features, up to a point where nothing of the original code remained.
As Subversion became more stable it attracted more and more users who also started using TortoiseSVN as their Subversion client. The user base grew quickly (and is still growing every day). That's when Lübbe Onken offered to help out with some nice icons and a logo for TortoiseSVN. He now takes care of the website and manages the many translations.
With time, other version control systems all got their own Tortoise client which caused a problem with the icon overlays in Explorer: the number of such overlays is limited and even one Tortoise client can easily exceed that limit. That's when Stefan Küng implemented the TortoiseOverlays component which allows all Tortoise clients to use the same icon overlays. Now all open source Tortoise clients and even some non-Tortoise clients use that shared component.
for starting the TortoiseSVN project
for the hard work to get TortoiseSVN to what it is now, and his leadership of the project
for the beautiful icons, logo, bug hunting, translating and managing the translations
for maintaining the documentation
for the log cache and revision graph
for the great introduction to Subversion and its chapter 2 which we copied here
for some of the styles which are reused in this documentation
for the patches, bug reports and new ideas, and for helping others by answering questions on our mailing list
for many hours of joy with the music they sent us