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No More BitKeeper Linux

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the submission-avalanche dept.

Linux Business 958

An anonymous reader writes "KernelTrap has a lengthy article detailing BitMover's recent decision to drop support for its free version of BitKeeper. Linus Torvalds began using BitKeeper back in February of 2002, a decision that has resulted in frequent flamefests, but also in increased kernel development productivity. Evidently the recent decision was due to OSDL's decision to keep paying a developer who was working on reverse engineering BitKeeper... What tool Linus will move to is still being determined."

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958 comments

I cant wait (4, Interesting)

Wizy (38347) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154215)

I cant wait for the "I told you so" articles. Lets put money on whose will be best. I have my money on Richard Stallman.

Re:I cant wait (4, Funny)

FreeLinux (555387) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154443)

Looks like you win. See here. [slashdot.org]

Re:I cant wait (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12154456)

But it's true, linus didn't consider the nature of what he was using and got burned.

While everyone has a fit when stallman is mentioned, it's true that the people who don't consider the politics of licences are often burned.

Look at how much MS or Apple have given back to BSD as opposed to how much linux has got from IBM. Who has the better dynamic community of sharing?

Seriously, there are many reasons FOR the GPL. I am sick of people who aren't political having an allergic reaction to it, while you might not value the reasons for the GPL there *ARE* perfectly legitimate and powerful reasons for believing in it.

There is tons of hateful propaganda against the GPL. I don't mind the BSD guys* doing what they do, it's cool. I have respect for them. But I don't like the hate that gets sent back. It's one thing not to agree, it's another thing to just characterise other people as "weenies" and "hippies" or whatever.

*Fully comprehending that there are pro-BSD trolls that don't represent all of BSD community. Just talking about impressions.

Re:I cant wait (2, Insightful)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154463)

If by best, you mean most condescending, long-winded, repetitive, and self-righteous, I think you win.
...Not that the man doesn't have point this time, but I wish he could make it without being so insufferable about it.

Re:I cant wait (2, Insightful)

caluml (551744) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154532)

I went to see him speak in Bristol once [wirefree.org] . I can see why people think he is a bit of a nut, ranting, and raving.
I think it's just that he really, really, really, really believes strongly in what he believes in. And that if you don't understand it, you are somehow stupid/lesser/not worth talking to.

Re:I cant wait (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154491)

McVoy demonstrated his self-interest and opportunism with this long ago.

BitKeeper is a minor player - headed for the heap. There is a place in the market for something like this... That place is occupied by Perforce.

Re:I cant wait (5, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154544)

Well, mine isn't best but I sure want to be counted as an "I told you" on this one too. But it seems like lots of people told him so, and we all got dissed because they said we weren't pragmatic. Well, we were pragmatic, and the folks who thought they were the pragmatic ones weren't thinking through consequences all of the way to the end-game.

The question is where to go now? My preference would be GNU Arch, as it's more decentralized. But it may not be ready for this heavy a use, and I am hardly an expert in revision control.

Bruce

Take aim at foot, Fire! (5, Interesting)

Sanity (1431) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154231)

Wow, non-free software vendor decides to drop support for a piece of software leaving their loyal users out in the cold. Thanks BitMover for proving why Linus' decision to rely on a non-free version control system was a mistake.

Having quickly read the RTFA, it looks like the motivation behind BitMover's hissy-fit was that a contractor of OSDL was working on reverse engineering BitKeeper's protocol in his spare time, and OSDL must have refused to, or failed to make him to stop (ouch, threatening someone's job to make them stop doing open source in their spare time, not cool!). BitMover's CEO claims to be on the side of open source, yet last time I checked interoperability was a good thing, and reverse engineering was a legitimate way to achieve it. Not according to CEO Larry McVoy, to him reverse engineering is evil, and those that do it are "bad apples" that should be punished by the rest of the open source movement.

Of course, lots of this is my own suppositions based on reading between the lines of the article, I am sure if I have got anything wrong people will be quick to correct me.

Re:Take aim at foot, Fire! (0, Flamebait)

Wizy (38347) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154272)

"Having quickly read the RTFA"

"Having quickly read the READ THE FUCKING ARTICLE". Well, good job reading an acronym.

As for Larry McVoy, the company needs to make money. I can understand that. I wish his software was free (as in freedom,) but it isnt. One of the open source efforts just needs to catch up. I say "just" but I know its a big task.

Re:Take aim at foot, Fire! (4, Funny)

Sanity (1431) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154332)

"Having quickly read the READ THE FUCKING ARTICLE". Well, good job reading an acronym.
Wow, only a real pain in the PITA would feel the need to point out such a pissy little error.
I wish his software was free (as in freedom,) but it isnt.
You forgot the ' in "isn't" you moron. Wow - now I feel special too! :-)

Re:Take aim at foot, Fire! (1)

Wizy (38347) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154387)

I must need more coffee. Its "gregg-gets-petty" day today.

Re:Take aim at foot, Fire! (4, Insightful)

pianoman113 (204449) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154284)

Wow, non-free software vendor decides to drop support for a piece of software leaving their loyal users out in the cold. Thanks BitMover for proving why Linus' decision to rely on a non-free version control system was a mistake.

How has this left Linux out in the cold? Because he now has to pay to use BitKeeper? What's wrong with that? BitMover feels that OSDL broke faith with them by having a developer who was reverse engineering their product.

If BK is such hot stuff, then it will be worth some money to Linus. If it isn't, I guess he'll find something else to use.

Re:Take aim at foot, Fire! (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154349)

Well said. Further, let me point out for many who don't know that McVoy & company are not a bunch of sleazy marketeers, but rather are a group of people who have, for the most part, toiled in the fields od *nix for a decade or more. And Beth is still as cute as she was at MIPS. :)

Re:Take aim at foot, Fire! (5, Insightful)

Sanity (1431) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154385)

How has this left Linux out in the cold? Because he now has to pay to use BitKeeper? What's wrong with that?
Because people were encouraged to rely on BitKeeper on the basis that it was free as in beer, but now it isn't, and migrating to an alternative will undoubtedly be a major burden for the Linux development process.

Re:Take aim at foot, Fire! (2, Funny)

computerme (655703) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154437)

so they can pay for it.

I went to the store today. i had to pay for bread and milk.

the manager did not understand my "free and in freedom is on the march" arguments he told me to just pay the damn 4 bucks.

Re:Take aim at foot, Fire! (2, Informative)

pianoman113 (204449) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154470)

A number of licenses have been set aside by BitMover (according to TFA) for some kernel developers. No licenses were set aside for Linus or Andrew because of their association with OSDL.
They can either purchase licenses on their own, or find new employment.

Re:Take aim at foot, Fire! (2, Informative)

Sanity (1431) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154505)

Yup, like I said - a childish hissy fit, they are taking their ball and going home because OSDL wouldn't put pressure on some contractor to limit his spare time closed source activities.

Hopefully this will encourage development of a free (as in speech) alternative to BitKeeper.

Re:Take aim at foot, Fire! (1)

eugene_roux (76055) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154527)

They can either purchase licenses on their own, or find new employment.
Or they could, of course, dump BitKeeper.

There are very few things in life you can not walk away from...

hmpf (2, Insightful)

N3wsByt3 (758224) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154542)

Pitty I have responded in this thread also, or I would mod you up for this post, and down in the one below (which, indeed, was flamebite).

But you were right in your original assessement. That said, let's not forget that, at least in the former version, Freenet was heavily dependent on suns' java too.

There IS merit in taking the " only technological superiour" route, only one takes a risk as well, as is shown in this case.

Re:Take aim at foot, Fire! (3, Insightful)

Sanity (1431) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154430)

BitMover feels that OSDL broke faith with them by having a developer who was reverse engineering their product.
According to the article the developer wasn't doing this as part of his work for OSDL.

Re:Take aim at foot, Fire! (1)

pianoman113 (204449) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154495)

And if you continue to read the article, BitMover still considered his and OSDL's actions a violation of their license agreement.

Re:Take aim at foot, Fire! (3, Interesting)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154330)

Although it may be offtopic, but non-free software vendors aren't the only ones dropping support for popular products and disappointing their loyal users. Mozilla recently did that with Seamonkey, so that they could focus on Firefox.

User loyalty means nothing anymore. It's all about the bottom-line.

Re:Take aim at foot, Fire! (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154435)

Seamonkey, however, is different in that the source code is available for anyone who wants to keep working on it. From what I know, there already is a group of people who want to do just that, too; whether they will succeed remains to be seen, of course, but the important thing is that they can TRY.

What's more, the fact that the Mozilla guys won't develop Seamonkey anymore does not mean that those who're using it now will have to stop doing so, which seems to be the case with BK now.

Re:Take aim at foot, Fire! (5, Insightful)

mattdm (1931) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154448)

Although it may be offtopic, but non-free software vendors aren't the only ones dropping support for popular products and disappointing their loyal users. Mozilla recently did that with Seamonkey, so that they could focus on Firefox.

Actually, it's very relevant, because it's exactly the point: since Mozilla is open source, if enough people are interested, it's easy for the browser suite version to live on even if the original maintainers are no longer pursuing it. And, it turns out that enough people are, so we get a solid maintainer transition plan and a workable future for Mozilla SeaMonkey [mozilla.org] . No such thing is possible with BitKeeper.

Re:Take aim at foot, Fire! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12154391)

last time I checked interoperability was a good thing, and reverse engineering was a legitimate way to achieve it
Unless the company whose product is being reverse engineered is named Apple, in which case it's evil!

Moving to Subversion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12154541)

This brings up the question of how much effort it is to move from BitKeeper to something else (like maybe Subversion). On the surface, this would seem to be a straightforward process of setting up the new software, loading the bits, and modifying the check-in and check-out scripts. Does anyone have some deeper insight?

I know.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12154233)

It won't be that POS that is ClearCase.

Freedom matters (4, Insightful)

Concern (819622) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154247)

Man, remember all those people "flaming" over the freedom of tools on the lists? What was with them, anyway? Aren't they just starting a "religious war?" Who cares if this tool is free. It didn't cost me anything. Those crazy license zealots.

But wait.

Now, look what happened. The company (or individual) that was your friend a couple of years ago, decides today that you've offended them. Now they are taking their ball and going home.

Now you are stuck. You need to replace what they gave you. Oh, it'll cost you: manpower, lost opportunities, potentially a pile of pesos... Get ready for a painful transition. And as annoying and dangerous as this is for source control in mainline kernel development, there are many, many scenarios where this kind of manuevering will screw you much worse - alienating your customers, stranding years of development, the whole works.

This is why freedom matters.

And what is BitMover so upset about? That anyone would dare compete with them?

The audacity!

Does any vendor of a commercial product have a moral high ground to complain when a competitor appears? And whose problem is it if they are trying to charge money for something other will do for free?

Re:Freedom matters (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12154436)

No you don't. You just have to pay for a fucking licence. I know that is hard for you guys to believe, but in order to produce quality software money must be spent. The money needs to be recouped somehow. Selling Bitkeeper t-shirts and "support" isn't going to cut it.

Of course, a bunch of snot-nosed OSS "programmers" will attempt to reverse engineer BK and there will be poor quality knockoffs that will come out. They can do this because it doesn't require any real investment: they can simply copy all the R&D and work BK did! And you know what the end result is? OSS is left with a LOUSY COPY OF A PROPRIETARY PRODUCT. What else is new?

Re:Freedom matters (1)

stecoop (759508) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154453)

I don't disagree with you on the freedom mattering part but you do have to realize that it is their product and their right to do what ever they feel. Basically everyone is in a pickle; first you have a company that wants to survive buy selling a service or product and second you have a developer wanting to be productive.

You really can't blame anyone for this, its just business.

Re:Freedom matters (3, Insightful)

arkanes (521690) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154531)

Of course it's reasonable for them to do this. But this is exactly why people didn't want to start using it in the first place - because you become beholden to the goodwill of a third party. That's an uncomfortable spot for anyone to be in, anywhere.

The fact that Larry is being pissy about a tenuous connection to a third party developer working on a BK alternative just makes him sound like an asshole. It was nice to read his little speech about accepting commercial developers, like any time a company releaases a commercial product for Linux all the OSS guys should cease work on anything to compete with it. That attitude is the whole reason OSS got started in the first place.

Re:Freedom matters (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154458)

And whose problem is it if they are trying to charge money for something other will do for free?

Oh, it's definitely their problem. When you want money to do something, you'll always get out-competed by somebody who'll do it for free. Basic economics.

Except...

Except that Linus picked Bitkeeper for a reason. Presumably he picked it because it was good. I'll go even further to venture that it was good at least in part because they paid a bunch of guys to write the software, rather than waiting for other people to do it out of the goodness of their hearts. When you pay people they do the non-fun parts of the software, like maintenance and UIs and fixing those last little bugs that always take forever.

As long as free software exists, more power to those who wish to participate. I participate myself. But my mortgage is paid by the guys who want the exclusive rights to my software, guys who would go out of business right fast if a free alternative appeared. At least, if that alternative were as good as what I do. If some guy does for free what I do, wow. Power, buddy.

Linus will presumably go to his second-favorite free software, unless Bitkeeper is so good that he'll pay to keep using it. Or more to the point, if the free software requires so much extra work from him that he'd be better off paying Bitkeeper, he may well choose to stay there. More basic economics.

Right on (0)

Sanity (1431) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154465)

You hit the nail on the head. Now I wish someone would mod my comment down a bit, this one deserves to be higher up on the page :-)

Re:Freedom matters (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154499)

*And what is BitMover so upset about? That anyone would dare compete with them?*

well, didn't the license pretty much lay out that part out to open already? they don't want competition.

and um, yeah, it is a problem for them if someone does for free what they want money for.

Re:Freedom matters (5, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154500)

I always find it ironic that most of those who flame RMS et al usually argue that they're just being ideological, and all those who disagree "just want to get things done" and "free software 'zealots' are just being impractical".

Nah. I was won over to free software because it's practical. I've never seen handing your data over to be managed by proprietary software product as "practical".

I'm kind of bitter that way as I've been using computers for a long time, since the early eighties, and have had too much experience of what happens when proprietary vendors do not support you any longer, even often with no malice intended, as the manufacturers of the Dragon 32, Sinclair QL, and Commodore Amiga can demonstrate. I switched to GNU/Linux. Because it was practical. Because I knew that I didn't have to rely on a third party for support, because I could help others and get the information I need to support others, because no matter what happened, I'd be able to continue with what I had.

Practical? You bet. Ideological? Perhaps, but only the same way as my dive instructor was "ideological", I mean he was obsessed with safety, obsessed I tell you! All I wanted to do was go down 60 feet and look at coral, but oooooooo noooooh! It's all "Buddy System" and "nitrogen levels" and other stuff.

Ok, that's facetious. The latter is about life and death. But there's no reason that the less serious nature of proprietary vs open and free should make me unconcerned about the issue.

Re:Freedom matters (1)

Preacher X (545221) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154510)

They said they were removing support, so why does this automatically mean linus must change? So he is using unsupported software for a while till the code tree is moved? IS this really such a huge deal?

Re:Freedom matters (1)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154538)

I used to follow the BitKeeper controversey on the Kernel mailing list, and based on what I read, I don't blame BitMover at all.

It seemed to me like McVoy & co tried to "give back" a little by contributing their product to the Linux development effort in a way that kept them in business.

But the amount of flaming & grief that they got in return was blown far out of proportion to a nauseatingly high level. Several kernel developers "took their ball (license in this case) home" and made an a big fuss over a small issue. I'm shocked that they didn't pull BitKeeper two years ago, frankly.

This whole fiasco is a textbook example of what happens when too many big egos are in one place at the same time.

he hee (2, Funny)

amcdiarmid (856796) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154254)

In response to the article on Java in OpenOffice, and the hubabaloo that GPL purists were makeing about it... I wrote: ~"Linus is using Bitkeeper, Everyone should drop linux now and HURD everone to something else"

Score: -1 (Troll)

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

See. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12154255)

I told you so. Did I not tell you? WHAT DID I SAY? It's bad enough they don't put a GNU/ in front of the thing, but NOW this happens. I told Torvalds, you will rue the day, you will rue the day you used BitKeeper, but noooooo. He called me a crack addict and used it anyways. I get no respect. -- RMS

Easy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12154262)

The dude's just been given a G5 for the love of beezlebub.

Windows is Linus' only possible platform of choice.

Oh great... (1, Informative)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154267)

Re:Oh great... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12154307)

For everyone who doesn't unterstand this. It was an April fool.

Re:Oh great... (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154461)

that's why I put a winking smilie at the end of my post...

Re:Oh great... (2, Informative)

Wizy (38347) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154357)

Of course that was posted on April 1st....

Too Obvious Answer (4, Insightful)

4of12 (97621) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154271)

Evidently the recent decision was due to OSDL's decision to keep paying a developer who was working on reverse engineering BitKeeper... What tool Linus will move to is still being determined.

Considering what has transpired, the obvious choice is subversion [tigris.org] :)

Re:Too Obvious Answer (1, Interesting)

keesh (202812) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154413)

Subversion, sadly, is unusably slow once you go over a thousand or so files. It ended up being around twelve times slower than CVS (ouch) on tests with a ~120k files repo. Painful, and it's a real shame, since it's a far nicer technology.

Re:Too Obvious Answer (2, Informative)

MartinG (52587) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154416)

Subversion is not the obvious choice because its nothing like bitkeeper.

Have you ever used bitkeeper? It is highly distributed in the way it works.

Subversion on the other hand is very much like cvs (except it doesn't suck)

Re:Too Obvious Answer (1)

Erwos (553607) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154432)

I would second Subversion. Excellent tool - beats the snot out of CVS in pretty much every way. It can also run over HTTP(S), which reduces the number of people you have to let in via ssh.

There are some reasonable concerns that can be made about Subversion's maturity (bdb vs fsfs comes to mind), but overall, it's my favorite source code control system.

-Erwos

Re:Too Obvious Answer (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12154462)

no not subversion ... subversion is like cvs++ what the kernel guys want is something like cvs# so better start looking at arch . [gnu.org]

Re:Too Obvious Answer (1)

yruf (463879) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154558)

ok, so what's wrong with svn?
your comparison is not exactly obvious.

Re:Too Obvious Answer (1)

Krimszon (815968) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154483)

It seems there is no obvious choice since there's nothing quite like Bitkeeper (yet).

Re:Too Obvious Answer (1)

milgr (726027) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154485)

Linus may return to the source control system he used before switching to BitKeeper.

If I remember correctly, he refused to use any source control system before agreeing to use BitKeeper.

Re:Too Obvious Answer (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154537)

I've been fairly happy with subversion over all, but my impression is that it's not quite reliable enough. Arch would be another possibility. Darcs ihas some cool ideas in it, but I tried it, and the implementation didn't seem mature enough yet (bad error handling, for instance).

Re:Too Obvious Answer (1)

Bazer (760541) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154540)

I think the closest GNU alternative to BitKeeper is Arch [gnu.org] .

I'm not familliar with both but from what I recall they're distributed version control systems as opposed to centralised CVS and Subversion.

You can find more about the differences at
http://better-scm.berlios.de/comparison/ [berlios.de]

Re:Too Obvious Answer (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12154553)

Considering what has transpired, the obvious choice is subversion:)

I, unlike the rest of these boobs, understood your joke.

In it for the money (5, Interesting)

Kevster (102318) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154273)

Note that Larry McVoy has pointed out that the number of improvements to the commercial version due to suggestions from Open Source developers has been dropping sharply. To me, that means "giving free copies to these guys has been beneficial to my bottom line, but isn't doing much for me lately, in the financial sense". It sounds like this reverse-engineering issue is a smokescreen, a scapegoat for cutting off the "freeloaders" (those contributing to improving the product).

So, he's in it for the money. Is anyone surprised?

Re:In it for the money (2, Insightful)

Wizy (38347) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154297)

I am all for free and open source software. But can you fault someone for trying to make a profit? Dont you like eating?

When giving out the free version looks like it will start to HURT the bottom line, as the head a company with employees (who need to get paid) he has to reconsider things.

Re:In it for the money (2, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154417)

But giving out the free version *wasn't* hurting the bottom line. Starting to charge for the free version isn't going to get the people who were using it to start paying, instead it's likely to get them to find some other tool. It's not like source control packages aren't a dime a dozen...

In the past developers were exposed to bitkeeper through work on the Linux kernel. Then there was the possibility that through that exposure they would recommend BitKeeper for the proprietary projects they build on top of linux. This model seemed to work well due to the 'open comments' rule. (Anybody using the free version had their commit comments posted for all to see on the bitkeeper website).

Now there is no high profile exposure for bitkeeper. They're about to lose the best free advertizing they ever had. In two years nobody will be using bitkeeper at all.

Re:In it for the money (2, Interesting)

Wizy (38347) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154503)

It was hurting the bottom line. As he says in the article it costs them money to develop both versions since the open source one has different requirements from the commercial one.

It takes time and resources away from the commercial one as well. With all of that, it was hurting the bottom line now that they werent getting enough return on the investment.

Really (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12154281)

What tool Linus will move to is still being determined

VB++

Really !!

Bitkeeper (1, Interesting)

Kaamoss (872616) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154282)

I don't understand why the community is up in arms about Linus using a different tool for kernel development. If that's what he feels most productive using, what difference does it make? On a side note, found an interesting wiki on the history of bitkeeper http://www.osdl.org/cgi-bin/osdl_development_wiki. pl?action=history&id=OSDL_Bitkeeper.Osdl.Org_How_T o [osdl.org] It's a realativly interesting read if you want to know more about it.

Re:Bitkeeper (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154335)

"If that's what he feels most productive using, what difference does it make?"

Indeed. If he decided tomorrow that future kernels would all be compiled in Microsoft Visual C++, what would be the problem? After all, it's not as though his choices on tools affect anyone but him, is it?

Oh, except that all the other developers are forced to either use the same tools he does or find workarounds to allow them to use different tools.

Personally I've always felt that relying on a payware source control program for kernel development was a big risk, and removed much of the stimulus to create really first-class open source source control programs: I guess that's now been clearly demonstrated. And regardless of who's in the wrong here, I can't help but feel that the Bitkeeper folks are going to lose a lot of sales due to programmers regarding them poorly as a result of this action.

Re:Bitkeeper (1)

Kaamoss (872616) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154433)

I agree with you about the necessity of using purly open source solutions in an open source project, however in some cases, compromises are thought necessary to make. I suppose in this case the compromise was shown to have a less than satisfactory outcome. Linux world has an interesting interview with McVoy here http://www.linuxworld.com/story/32618.htm [linuxworld.com] which kind of explains a little bit more about why Linus origionally decided to use bitkeeper.

Mirror of article (1, Informative)

winkydink (650484) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154289)

Here [networkmirror.com]

Re:Mirror of article (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154482)

The advertisements at the top are annoying. This isn't slashme this is slashdot.

Peddle your warez elsewhere [e.g. STOP SPAMMING SLASHDOT].

Tom

Re:Mirror of article (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154550)

Nobody's making you to visit Tom. Thousands of people certainly appear to appreciate the service as the access_log clearly shows. Not to mention private email.

Slashdot sells advsertising
Mirrordot sells advertising.

Think it's cheap to host a high-bandwidth connection? Think again. It's not about making money, just about not losing any.

So the best tool may not always..... (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154291)

... be the best choice?

Having your development workflow at the whim of a single proprietary vendor? How.. What's the word I'm looking for here?

Let's hope the free tools are as far along as Linus et al. need them to be.. I guess there'll be a lot more hacking on them now that the crutch has been pulled away...

Re:So the best tool may not always..... (1)

Wizy (38347) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154327)

The open source tools are not up to bitkeepers level yet. But lets hope with this that they get some more support and some more developers. This is proof that we need one. Subversion is probably the closest.

Classic Heroin Marketing (4, Informative)

The Angry Mick (632931) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154308)

Get 'em hooked on the gimmes, then ream 'em on the return.

Let's hope that the impending avalanche of negativity will influence BitKeeper to reconsider at least a token giveback to the Linux community.

Re:Classic Heroin Marketing (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154337)

classic knee jerk response...

Would you support a group who is actively undermining your business model?

That'd be like Linus paying for people who make contra-GPL rips of Linux...

People want to figure out how to break the license to effectively use unauthorized copies of BitKeeper. Why else would you reverse engineer it? And we're supposed to be surprised when they pull support?

Tom

Linus Shminus (0, Troll)

luna69 (529007) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154318)

> What tool Linus will move to is still being
> determined."

Who bloody cares?

Yes, this will be modded down as a troll, but seriously: who cares? I use what I use because it suits ME. What Linus uses isn't even remotely interesting to me, or important.

Enough with the hero worship.

Re:Linus Shminus (4, Insightful)

Mant (578427) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154364)

It is important to other people working on the kernel though.

Re:Linus Shminus (1)

luna69 (529007) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154528)

Ok, fair enough...but I'm still not sure I understand why.

How does what he uses impact their own work? They're able to work using their own choice of software, regardless of what he uses, right?

Re:Linus Shminus (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154524)

yeah, nobody would care what YOU use because you're not heading a biiiiig public project that depends on the whatever tools you will choose.

Thanks! (1)

jcn (55250) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154320)

Pulling the plug on bk is probably just
the thing free SCM development was waiting for.

Now you go arch, bazaar-ng, cvs ;-), darcs, monotone!

What tool to move to? (4, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154329)

Subversion, of course. What else is there? RCS? CVS?

OSS communities tend to settle on one project, and nothing or noone ever seriously competes with it. Ie; the linux kernel, SAMBA, OO.o, Mozilla, GIMP, eventually either KDE or Gnome (heck, used to be lots of desktops), etc..

In the source control realm, it seems to be all about subversion. It seems to have the mindshare and community behind it.

Re:What tool to move to? (1)

Walterk (124748) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154484)

What about Arch [gnu.org] ? Does anyone actually use it? Most projects I've seen either use CVS, or Subversion.

KDE is moving to subversion (2, Informative)

Dani Filth (677047) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154338)

...perhaps the kernel will follow.

Re:KDE is moving to subversion (1)

Wizy (38347) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154533)

The problem with this right now is that BitKeeper was built to be very distributed and subversion is not. They might have to change the workflow again and use something that doesnt allow for as much easy distributed work. But that would be a major step back I would think.

Bazaar-NG might step in? (5, Informative)

KhaZ (160984) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154347)

I've become a recent fan of Martin Pool [sourcefrog.net] , and I've been keeping tabs on his work with Bazaar-NG [bazaar-ng.org] , his next generation version of Bazaar, as a distributed free source code control system, for Ubuntu [ubuntulinux.org] . It's early in development yet, but if there's one thing I've learned from Martin Pool, is he does great work! Keep tabs on him. :)

Why change? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12154353)

What's wrong with the free version he already has? Does it require replacement?

I don't see this as a problem for the time being.

Collective Punishment (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12154354)

I'm surprised that Larry McVoy advocates collective punishment of a whole community as a good example to follow.

Does he really think that it is appropriate to transfer a military practice onto a community which supposes to act transparently, democratically (yes, there's a meritocracy, but also democracy) and with respect for individual rights (eg working on private project in their spare time).

Great way to squash all diversity and enforce group-think.

not a problem (2, Funny)

trollercoaster (250101) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154388)

What tool Linus will move to is still being determined."

The linux community is full of tools. This won't be a problem.

BitKeeper looks quite good (1)

FedeTXF (456407) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154399)

If you believe the comparison bitkeeper does with other SCM tools, it looks like it is the best tool, except for sun's teamwear, which is only worse in the tools it provides (opinions, opinions).

So, it looks hard to replace it without loosing a lot of functionality. But what if Linus gets a free license from BK? After all BitKeeper benefits from the publicity it gets.

Re:BitKeeper looks quite good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12154486)

Loose my ass...

Flamebait article, move along (-1, Troll)

dJOEK (66178) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154410)


OSDL got greedy. They should've respected Bitmover, and be glad with what they had. It's just IP Theft. Just because you don't like the rules doesn't give you the right to break the rules, and that is basically what is wrong with all you FOSS zealots.

Re:Flamebait article, move along (1)

Scarpux (556596) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154511)

If you had read the article you would have seen that "OSDL [getting] greedy" was that they merely refused to stop funding a guy who also, in his spare time and not being paid by OSDL, was attempting to reverse-engineer BitKeeper.

Not OSDL's problem.

Idiots (3, Insightful)

b0lt (729408) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154438)

Doesn't BitMover realize that companies license their products due to Linus using it? Linus's sarcastic comments about BitMover just pushes companies away, as probably intended. Won't that just screw themselves over?

-b0lt

What tool, you ask? (4, Informative)

geniusj (140174) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154449)

Perforce is free for open source development.. for now.. ;-)

and thus, R.Stallman was right after all (5, Insightful)

N3wsByt3 (758224) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154460)

It's a bit silly to say 'I told you so" - especially since I didn't actually say it. I thought the arguments made by Linus had some logic behind it too (the technical-merrit-before-anything-else approach). Often I thought both sides (Stallman and Linus) had some valuable viewpoint on it, and it was difficult to say who actually was right on the matter.

It seems now, after all, it was R.Stallman all along. Yes, Linus has a good point in chosing for technical superior alternatives...BUT, in the end, as is clearly shown now, you can't just devide the political/ideological/proprietary issue from the mere technical one. When push comes to shove, an alternative that isn't really free, isn't really an alternative. You are always dependend on the goodwill of whomever owns the product- even when buying it, I may add.

So, it would seem the viewpoint of Linus, in this instance, is the weaker one, because now he doesn't have a 'tecnological superior' product anymore, and what is he going to do? Go for another proprietary product, because it's technologically better? And have the same thing happen to him again? I don't think so. I think he learned his lesson, and he will go for the really free alternatives that R.Stallman suggested, which, albeit not as good, at least allow you to continue with it as you see fit.

Stallman can be a nag sometimes because of his gnu/linux diatribe, but in this instance, he was right.

Re:and thus, R.Stallman was right after all (3, Insightful)

Mant (578427) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154554)

If you follow some of the links from the article, it talks about productivity doubling since using BitKeeper.

Even if there is a cost now moving to something else, it may still work out better in terms of productivity to have used BitKeeper for the three years. Also the use of BitKeeper in Linux seems to encouraged a lot of work on open source alternatives, so they may well be better now than they would have been had BitKeeper not been chosen.

So from the practical, rather than ideological, point of view, even with dropping it now it may still have been the best choice.

Big Mistake (5, Insightful)

dmh20002 (637819) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154469)

If this is true, BitMover should expect a big financial hit.

BitKeeper's main claim to fame was that Linus and the kernel folks used it. That's the kind of endorsement that you can't buy for any amount of money. Without that, most people would never even know BitKeeper exists.

Its a really stupid move. An open source competitor might have taken some of their business, but most of the open source users would probably be using something else free anyway. 90% of corporate customers would rather pay for something. An open source clone would probably validate BitKeeper.

Not to mention the ill will they will generate.

this an omion storey? well heres the headline. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12154477)

New Linux Warez Scene Busted!
BSA agents said to be working with FOSS kernel hacker Torvalds in continued enquiries. Acting on an anonymous tip the BSA and FBI and homeland security busted down the doors of OSDL and confiscated nearly all the caffeine based beverages as a kind of psyhcological siege tactic.

Torvalds himself offered a "no comment" in response to allegations that he was "heavily dependant" on reverse engineered updates to BitKeepr software for linux due to the proprietrary official vendor software being withdrwan.
"none of us could handle handle cold turkey" shouted an angry Linus.

Further speculations continue as to why Torvalds and OSDL is of such interest to the BSA despite no one being formally charged.
there are whispers of plea bargaining and possible witness relocation.

SourceForge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12154502)

Isn't it obvious Source Forge [sourceforge.net] just like all the other OSS projects.

He can announce new releases on FreshMeat [freshmeat.net] and close up the LKML.

Larry never got it (4, Interesting)

nagora (177841) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154526)

Larry goes on about how pro-open source he is but anyone that licences products with a restriction on what the users can do in their own free time is an arsehole. If MS had produced an EULA for Word that said it can't be used by people who use Acrobat Distiller, they would have rightly been scorned. Same goes for Larry and his odious BitKeeper restrictions.

TWW

Freedom over Function (4, Insightful)

codepunk (167897) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154530)

I guess freedom is actually way more important than function now isn't it.... Had the developers not fallen into the non-free trap a alternative would have already existed by now do to need.

From the article... (3, Insightful)

mshiltonj (220311) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154543)

...in the commercial community binary managment is critical. For example, someone may be tracking a 1 MB word document that goes through hundreds of revisions resulting in consuming 1 GB of space.

That may be the stupidest things I've ever heard. Clearly, Word-formatted documents are the wrong format to be using.

Excellent! (1, Interesting)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 9 years ago | (#12154556)

"I have to say that the open source community couldn't have failed more than they have" -- Larry McVoy

Thanks for that Larry, and good riddance.
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