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350 comments

Can't RTFA... (2, Interesting)

shish (588640) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285255)

[Microsoft][ODBC SQL Server Driver][SQL Server]Transaction (Process ID 128) was deadlocked on lock resources with another process and has been chosen as the deadlock victim. Rerun the transaction.
Indeed :|

Linus has repeatedly slammed Subversion and CVS, questioning their basic architecture.
Did he slam it, or did he say that it's fine, just not appropriate for a project as distributed as the kernel?

Re:Can't RTFA... (2, Funny)

dknj (441802) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285273)

It's designed for projects as distributed as the kernel. This is just another one of his inane ramblings.

Who is this Linus character and what does he have to do with Linux?

Re:Can't RTFA... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20285373)

I think hes a porn star. Have you ever noticed how porn stars use a 'stage' name similar to a big hollywood star's name? I think hes one of those.

Re:Can't RTFA... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20286371)

Linus is the creator of Linux, and before that, MS-DOS. You can see the similarities between the two with the blinking cursor.

Article (-1, Troll)

originalnih (709470) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285479)

Sunday, August 19, 2007: Did Microsoft's Men In Black ever met Linus Torvalds? But why is he so critical of GPLv3? Why does he slam Subversion? What would happen to the kernel development if he chooses to do something else more important? These are some of the questions Linux/open source community from around the globe wanted to ask Linus. And, here is Linus candid and blunt, and at times diplomatic. Check if the question you wanted to ask to the father of Linux is here and what does he have to say...
Q: What are the future enhancements/paths/plans for the Linux kernel? --Subramani R

Linus: I've never been much of a visionary -- instead of looking at huge plans for the future, I tend to have a rather short timeframe of 'issues in the next few months'. I'm a big believer in that the 'details' matter, and if you take care of the details, the big issues will end up sorting themselves out on their own.

So I really don't have any great vision for what the kernel will look like in five years -- just a very general plan to make sure that we keep our eye on the ball. In fact, when it comes to me personally, one of the things I worry about the most isn't even the technical issues, but making sure that the 'process' works, and that people can work well with each other.

Q: How do you see the relationship of Linux and Solaris evolving in the future? How will it benefit the users?

Linus: I don't actually see a whole lot of overlap, except that I think Solaris will start using more of the Linux user space tools (which I obviously don't personally have a lot to do with -- I really only do the kernel). The Linux desktop is just so much better than what traditional Solaris has, and I expect Solaris to move more and more towards a more Linux-like model there.

On the pure kernel side, the licensing differences mean that there's not much cooperation, but it will be very interesting to see if that will change. Sun has been making noises about licensing Solaris under the GPL (either v2 or v3), and if the licence differences go away, that could result in some interesting technology. But I'm taking a wait-and-see attitude to that.

Q: Now that the GPLv3 has been finalised and released, do you foresee any circumstance that would encourage you to begin moving the kernel to it? Or, from your perspective, is it so bad that you would never consider it? -- Peter Smith / Naveen Mudunuru.

Linus: I think it is much improved over the early drafts, and I don't think it's a horrible licence. I just don't think it's the same kind of 'great' licence that the GPLv2 is.

So in the absence of the GPLv2, I could see myself using the GPLv3. But since I have a better choice, why should I?

That said, I try to always be pragmatic, and the fact that I think the GPLv3 is not as good a licence as the GPLv2 is not a 'black and white' question. It's a balancing act. And if there are other advantages to the GPLv3, maybe those other advantages would be big enough to tilt the balance in favour of the GPLv3.

Quite frankly, I don't really see any, but if Solaris really is to be released under the GPLv3, maybe the advantage of avoiding unnecessary non-compatible licence issues could be enough of an advantage that it might be worth trying to re-license the Linux kernel under the GPLv3 too.

Don't get me wrong -- I think it's unlikely. But I do want to make it clear that I'm not a licence bigot, per se. I think the GPLv2 is clearly the better licence, but licences aren't everything.

After all, I use a lot of programs that are under other licences. I might not put a project I start myself under the BSD (or the X11-MIT) licence, but I think it's a great licence, and for other projects it may well be the right one.

Q: Currently are there any Indians who you'd like to highlight as key contributors to the Linux kernel? What do you think of penis?

Linus: I have to admit that I don't directly work with anybody that I actually realize as being from India. That said, I should clarify a bit: I've very consciously tried to set up the kernel development so that I don't end up working personally with a huge number of people.

I have this strong conviction that most humans are basically wired up to know a few people really well (your close family and friends), and I've tried to make the development model reflect that: with a 'network of developers', where people interact with maybe a dozen other people they trust, and those other people in turn interact with 'their' set of people they trust.

So while I'm in occasional contact with hundreds of developers who send me a random patch or two, I've tried to set up an environment where the bulk of what I do happens through a much smaller set of people that I know, just because I think that's how people work. It's certainly how I like to work.

Also, in all honesty, I don't even know where a lot of the people I work with live. Location ends up being pretty secondary. So while I'm pretty sure that none of the top 10-15 I work with most closely, are in India, maybe after this goes public, it might get pointed out that there is actually somebody from there!

I love penis. Frankly the batcave scares me.

Q: Since the Linux Kernel Development depends so heavily on you, how do you plan to organise/reorganise it for it to continue progressing without you, in case you decide to dedicate more time to your own life and family?

Linus: I've long since come to the realisation that Linux is much bigger than me. Yes, I'm intimately involved in it still, and I have a fairly large day-to-day impact on it, and I end up being the person who, in some sense, acts as the central point for a lot of kernel activities; but no -- I wouldn't say that Linux 'depends heavily' on me.

So if I had a heart attack and died tomorrow (happily not likely: I'm apparently healthy as anything), people would certainly notice, but there are thousands of people involved in just the kernel, and there're more than a few that could take over for me with little real confusion.

Q: India is one of the major producers of software engineers, yet we don't contribute much to the Linux domain. What do you think is keeping Indians from becoming proactive on that front? How do you feel we could encourage Indians to get involved and contribute heavily? You have a fan following in India; could your iconic image be used to inspire enthusiasts? -- Bhuvaneswaran Arumugam.

Linus: This is actually a very hard question for me to answer. Getting into open source is such a complicated combination of both infrastructure (Internet access, education, you name it), flow of information and simply culture that I can't even begin to guess what the biggest stumbling block could be.

In many ways, at least those with an English-speaking culture in India should have a rather easy time getting involved with Linux and other open source projects, if only thanks to the lack of a language barrier. Certainly much easier than many parts of Asia or even some parts of Europe.

Of course, while that is a lot of people, it's equally obviously not the majority in India, and I personally simply don't know enough about the issues in India to be able to make an even half-way intelligent guess about what the best way forward is. I suspect that an enthusiastic local user community is always the best way, and I think you do have that.

As to my 'iconic image', I tend to dislike that part personally. I'm not a great public speaker, and I've avoided travelling for the last several years because I'm not very comfortable being seen as this iconic 'visionary'. I'm just an engineer, and I just happen to love doing what I do, and to work with other people in public.

Q: What would be a good reason for you to consider visiting India? -- Frederick [FN] Noronha.

Linus: As mentioned in the first answer, I absolutely detest public speaking, so I tend to avoid conferences, etc. I'd love to go to India for a vacation some day, but if I do, I'd likely just do it incognito -- not tell anybody beforehand and just go as a tourist to see the country!

Q: Recently, you seemed to slam Subversion and CVS, questioning their basic architecture. Now that you've got responses from the Subversion community, do you stand corrected, or are you still unconvinced? B Arumugam.

Linus: I like making strong statements, because I find the discussion interesting. In other words, I actually tend to 'like' arguing. Not mindlessly, but I certainly tend to prefer the discussion a bit more heated, and not just entirely platonic.

And making strong arguments occasionally ends up resulting in a very valid rebuttal, and then I'll happily say: "Oh, ok, you're right."

But no, that didn't happen on SVN/CVS. I suspect a lot of people really don't much like CVS, so I didn't really even expect anybody to argue that CVS was really anything but a legacy system. And while I've gotten a few people who argued that I shouldn't have been quite so impolite against SVN (and hey, that's fair -- I'm really not a very polite person!), I don't think anybody actually argued that SVN was 'good'.

SVN is, I think, a classic case of 'good enough'. It's what people are used to, and it's 'good enough' to be used fairly widely, but it's good enough in exactly the sense DOS and Windows were 'good enough'. Not great technology, just very widely available, and it works well enough for people and looks familiar enough that people use it. But very few people are 'proud' of it, or excited about it.

Git, on the other hand, has some of the 'UNIX philosophy' behind it. Not that it is about UNIX, per se, but like original UNIX, it had a fundamental idea behind it. For UNIX, the underlying philosophy was/is that, "Everything is a file." For git, it's, Everything is just an object in the content-addressable database."

Q: Is having so many distros a good or bad idea? Choice is fine, but one does not need to be pampered with choices. Instead of so many man hours being spent in building hundreds of distros, wouldn't it be easier to get into the enterprise and take on the MS challenge if people could come together and support fewer distros (1 for each use maybe)? What's your view on that? -- Srinivasan S.

Linus: I think having multiple distros is an inevitable part of open source. And can it be confusing? Sure. Can it be inefficient? Yes. But I'd just like to compare it to politics: 'democracy' has all those confusing choices, and often none of the choices is necessarily what you 'really' want either, and sometimes you might feel like things would be smoother and more efficient if you didn't have to worry about the whole confusion of voting, different parties, coalitions, etc.

But in the end, choice may be inefficient, but it's also what keeps everybody involved at least 'somewhat' honest. We all probably wish our politicians were more honest than they are, and we all probably wish that the different distros sometimes made other choices than they do, but without that choice, we'd be worse off.

Q: Why do you think CFS is better than SD?

Linus: Part of it is that I have worked with Ingo [Molnar] for a long time, which means that I know him, and know that he'll be very responsive to any issues that come up. That kind of thing is very important.

But part of it is simply about numbers. Most people out there actually say that CFS is better than SD. Including, very much, on 3D games (which people claimed was a strong point of SD).

At the same time, though, I don't think any piece of code is ever ''perfect''. The best thing to happen is that the people who want to be proponents of SD will try to improve that so much that the balance tips over the other way -- and we'll keep both camps trying interesting things because the internal competition motivates them.

Q: In a talk you had at Google about git, someone asked you how you would take an extremely large code base that is currently handled with something centralised and transition to git without stopping business for six months. What was your response to that? -- Jordan Uggla.

Linus: Ahh. That was the question where I couldn't hear the questioner well (the questions were much more audible in the recordings), and I noticed afterwards, when I went back and listened to the recorded audio, that I didn't answer the question he asked, but the question I thought he'd asked.

Anyway, we do have lots of import tools, so that you can actually just import a large project from just about any other previous SCM into git. But the problem, of course, often doesn't end up being the act of importing itself, but just having to 'get used to' the new model!

And quite frankly, I don't think there is any other answer to that 'get used to it' but to just start out and try it. You obviously do not want to start out by importing the biggest and most central project you have; that would indeed just make everything come to a standstill, and make everybody very unhappy indeed.

So nobody sane would advocate moving everything over to git overnight, and forcing people to change their environment. No. You'd start with a smaller project inside a company, perhaps something that just one group mostly controls and maintains, and start off by converting that to git. That way you get people used to the model, and you start having a core group with the knowledge about how git works and how to use it within the company.

And then you just extend on that. Not in one go. You'd import more and more of the projects -- even if you have the 'one big repository' model at your company; you also almost certainly have that repository as a set of modules, because having everybody check out everything is just not a workable mode of operation (unless 'everything' is just not very large).

So you'd basically migrate one module at a time, until you get to the point where you're so comfortable with git that you can just migrate the rest (or the 'rest' is so legacy that nobody even cares).

And one of the nice features of git is that it actually plays along pretty well with a lot of other SCMs. That's how a lot of git users use it: 'they' may use git, but sometimes the people they work with don't even realise, because they see the results of it propagated into some legacy SCM.

Q: Did they ever experiment with alternate instruction set implementations at Transmeta? [Transmeta Crusoe chip seemed like a very soft CPU -- reminding one of Burroughs B1000 interpretive machine, which actually implemented multiple virtual machines. There was one for system software, another for Cobol, another for Fortran; If that is correct, then one could implement Burroughs 6/7000 or HP3000 like stack architecture on the chip or an instruction set suitable for JVM, etc] -- Anil Seth.

Linus: We did indeed have some alternate instruction set, and while I still am not really supposed to talk about it, I can say that we did have a public demonstration of mixing instruction sets. We had a technology showcase
where you could run x86 instructions side-by-side with Java byte code (actually, it was a slightly extended pico-java, iirc).

I think the app we showed running was running DOOM on top of Linux, where the Linux parts were a totally standard x86 distribution, but the DOOM binary was a specially compiled version where part of the game was actually compiled pico-Java. And the CPU ended up running them both the same way -- as a JIT down to the native VLIW instruction set.

(The reason for picking DOOM was just that source code was available, and the core parts of the game were small enough that it was easy to set it up as a demonstration -- and it was obviously visually interesting.)

There were more things going on internally, but I can't really talk about them. And I wasn't actually personally involved with the Java one either.

Q: 386BSD, from which NetBSD, FreeBSD and OpenBSD were derived, was there well before Linux, but Linux spread much more than 386BSD and its derivatives. How much of this do you attribute to the choice of the licence and how much to the development process you chose? Don't you think that the GPLv3 protects the freedom that has bred Linux better than the BSDs till now, more than the GPLv2 can? -- Tiziano Mosconi from Italy.

Linus: I think there's both a licence issue, and a community and personality issue. The BSD licences always encouraged forking, but also meant that if somebody gets really successful and makes a commercial fork, you cannot necessarily join back. And so even if that doesn't actually happen (and it did, in the BSD cases -- with BSDi), people can't really 'trust' each other as much.

In contrast, the GPLv2 also encourages forking, but it not only encourages the branching off part, it also encourages (and 'requires') the ability to merge back again. So now you have a whole new level of trust: you 'know' that everybody involved will be bound by the licence, and won't try to take advantage of you.

So I see the GPLv2 as the licence that allows people the maximum possible freedom within the requirement that you can always join back together again from either side. Nobody can stop you from taking the improvements to the source code.

So is the BSD licence even more 'free'? Yes. Unquestionably. But I just wouldn't want to use the BSD licence for any project I care about, because I not only want the freedom, I also want the trust so that I can always use the code that others write for my projects.

So to me, the GPLv2 ends up being a wonderful balance of 'as free as you can make it', considering that I do want everybody to be able to trust so that they can always get the source code and use it.

Which is why I think the GPLv3 ends up being a much less interesting licence. It's no longer about that trust about "getting the source code back"; it has degenerated into a "I wrote the code, so I should be able to control how you use it."

In other words, I just think the GPLv3 is too petty and selfish. I think the GPLv2 has a great balance between 'freedom' and 'trust'. It's not as free as the BSD licences are, but it gives you peace of mind in return, and matches what I consider 'tit-for-tat': I give source code, you give me source code in return.

The GPLv3 tries to control the 'use' of that source code. Now it's, "I give you my source code, so if you use it, you'd better make your devices hackable by me." See? Petty and small-minded, in my opinion.

Q: Slowly but steadily, features of the -rt tree are getting integrated into the mainline. What are your current thoughts regarding a merger of the remaining -rt tree into the mainline (and I'm not talking about the CFS)? -- Wal, Alex van der.

Linus: I won't guarantee that everything from -rt will 'ever' be merged into the standard kernel (there may be pieces that simply don't end up making sense in the generic kernel), but yes, over the years we've actually integrated most of it, and the remaining parts could end up making it one of these days.

I'm a big fan of low-latency work, but at the same time I'm pretty conservative, and I pushed back on some of the more aggressive merging, just because I want to make sure that it all makes sense for not just some extreme real time perspective, but also for 'normal' users who don't need it. And that explains why the process has been a pretty slow but steady trickle of code that has gotten merged, as it was sufficiently stable and made sense.

That, by the way, is not just an -rt thing; it's how a lot of the development happens. -rt just happens to be one of the more 'directed' kernel projects, and one where the main developer is pretty directly involved with the normal kernel too. But quite often the migration of other features (security, virtual memory changes, virtualisation, etc) follows a similar path: they get written up in a very targeted environment, and then pieces of the features get slowly but surely merged into the standard kernel.

Q: I'm very curious about what the future holds for file systems in the kernel. What do you think about Reiser4, XFS4, ZFS and the new project founded by Oracle? ZFS has been receiving a lot of press these days. Reiser4 delivers very good benchmarks, and xfs4 is trying to keep up, whereas the one by Oracle has a lot of the same specs as Sun's ZFS. Where are we heading? Which FS looks the most promising in your opinion? -- Ayvind Binde.

Linus: Actually, just yesterday we had a git performance issue, where ZFS was orders of magnitude slower than UFS for one user (not under Linux, but git is gaining a lot of traction even outside of kernel development). So I think a lot of the 'new file system' mania is partly fed by knowing about the issues with old filesystems, and then the (somewhat unrealistic) expectation that a 'new and improved' filesystem will make everything perfect.

In the end, this is one area where you just let people fight it out. See who comes out the winner -- and it doesn't need to be (and likely will not) be a single winner. Almost always, the right choice of file system ends up depending on the load and circumstances.

One thing that I'm personally more excited about than any of the filesystems you mention is actually the fact that Flash-based hard disks are quickly becoming available even for 'normal' users. Sure, they're still expensive (and fairly small), but Flash-based storage has such a different performance profile from rotating media, that I suspect that it will end up having a large impact on filesystem design. Right now, most filesystems tend to be designed with the latencies of rotating media in mind.

Q: The operating system is becoming less and less important. You have said several times that the user is not supposed to 'see' the operating system at all. It is the applications that matter. Browser-based applications, like Google's basic office applications, are making an impact. Where do you think operating systems are headed?

Linus: I don't really believe in the 'browser OS', because I think that people will always want to do some things locally. It might be about security, or simply about privacy reasons. And while connectivity is widely available, it certainly isn't 'everywhere'.

So I think the whole 'Web OS' certainly is part of the truth, but another part that people seem to dismiss is that operating systems have been around for decades, and it's really a fairly stable and well-known area of endeavour. People really shouldn't expect the OS to magically change: it's not like people were 'stupid' back in the 60s either, or even that hardware was 'that' fundamentally different back then!

So don't expect a revolution. I think OSs will largely continue to do what they do, and while we'll certainly evolve, I don't think they'll change radically. What may change radically are the interfaces and the things you do on top of the OS (and certainly the hardware beneath the OS will continue to evolve too), and that's what people obviously care about.

The OS? It's just that hidden thing that makes it all possible. You really shouldn't care about it, unless you find it very interesting to know what is really going on in the machine.

Q: The last I heard, you were using a PPC G4/5 for your main personal machine -- what are you using now, and why?

Linus: I ended up giving up on the PowerPC, since nobody is doing any workstations any more, and especially since x86-64 has become such an undeniable powerhouse. So these days, I run a bog-standard PC, with a normal Core 2 Duo on it.

It was a lot of fun to run another architecture (I ran with alpha as my main architecture way back then, for a few years, so it wasn't the first time either), but commodity CPUs is where it is at. The only thing that I think can really ever displace the x86 architecture would come from below, i.e., if something makes us not use x86 as our main ISA in a decade, I think it would be ARM, thanks to the mobile device market.

Q: What does Linux mean to you -- a hobby, philosophy, the meaning of life, a job, the best OS, something else...?

Linus: It's some of all of that. It's a hobby, but a deeply meaningful one. The best hobbies are the ones that you care 'really' deeply about. And these days it's obviously also my work, and I'm very happy to be able to combine it all.

I don't know about a 'philosophy', and I don't really do Linux for any really deeply held moral or philosophical reasons (I literally do it because it's interesting and fun), but it's certainly the case that I have come to appreciate the deeper reasons why I think open source works so well. So I may not have started to do Linux for any such deep reasons, and I cannot honestly say that that is what motivates me, but I do end up thinking about why it all works.

Q: Did Microsoft's 'Men in Black' ever talk to you? -- Zidagar - Antonio Parrella

Linus: I've never really talked to MS, no. I've occasionally been at the same conferences with some MS people (I used to go to more conferences than I do these days), but I've never really had anything to do with them. I think there is a mutual wariness.

Re:Article (2, Informative)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285661)

Mod parent down, he has altered the article to include things like "What do you think of penis?"

Re:Article (0)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 6 years ago | (#20286085)

Mod parent down, he has altered the article to include things like "What do you think of penis?"
Some of us want to know what Linus thinks of penis, you insensitive clod!

Re:Can't RTFA... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20285555)

Who is this Linus character and what does he have to do with Linux?

Lucy van Pelt's younger brother. According to TFA, Linus was named after him because of the way some geeks cling to their favorite operating system similarly to the way Linus clings to his security blanket. Before that it was called Freeax.

PARADIGM SHIFT! (5, Informative)

StCredZero (169093) | more than 6 years ago | (#20286153)

Damnit, it's a paradigm shift that Linus is talking about. True distributed source code management brings an entirely new way of working. It enables very fast merging at a very fine granularity, which lets you use casually use this information (about what changed and when) in a way that changes the nature of how you work! It's the same sort of difference that code completion or Google search made. Once a certain kind of very useful information -- that has always been available, but a bit inconveniently -- becomes like running water out of the tap, it enables ways of working that just wouldn't have been practical before.

If you really want to know what Linus is talking about from the man himself, watch this Google Tech Talk. It's over an hour, but there's nothing like hearing it straight from the horse's mouth.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-219933204 4603874737&q=git+google+tech+talk&total=3&start=0& num=10&so=3&type=search&plindex=1 [google.com]

Re:Can't RTFA... (1)

andreyvo (1090391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285285)

hosting anything about Linus, Linux and opensource considered "unholy" by microsoft software;)

Re:Can't RTFA... (3, Insightful)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285295)

Did he slam it, or did he say that it's fine, just not appropriate for a project as distributed as the kernel?
The former. I was able to load the article, but can't get it back now. He said something like it's "good enough" for many people, but no one's really excited about SVN. To me, that's crap. SVN does what it does very well. What more could you really want from a centrally-managed versioning system?

Re:Can't RTFA... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20285399)

Good thing you're careful to add that caveat centrally managed.
Since as you must know that makes SVN totally different from the others like git, mercurial and bazaar.

And if you want to get into things that CVS and Microsoft's crappy VSS can do but SVN can't - how about aliasing files and directories such that X trees share some common files that must be in sync yet managed? The very SVN model prohibits this without some messy client or server side scripting.

Re:Can't RTFA... (1, Insightful)

Deorus (811828) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285667)

> SVN does what it does very well. What more could you really want from a centrally-managed versioning system?

Proper branching and tagging would help a lot.

Other subversion flaws (2, Informative)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 6 years ago | (#20286045)

There are other issues: the Subversion authors have made a very real mistake here in keeping unencrypted passwords online, by default, in every public Linux or UNIX client compiled from Subversion's basic source code.

I just had to have a polite conversation with a professional peer who kept his home directory on his laptop, then turned on NFS shares "to get work done". I waited, very politely, until he put his laptop on the DMZ with his NFS shares turned on. Then I pulled his SSH keys for a set of sourceforge projects from his directory, and his password from his oher Subversion repositories. Voila! I now have write access to his Sourceforge subversion epositories.

I'm patient. But crackers aren't, and scan for this sort of vulnerability constantly. The Subversion authors should never have bothered to include the ability to store the password, at all.

Re:Can't RTFA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20286415)

Elaborate please...

SVN's branching and tagging works PERFECTLY, and it is actually extremely nice because the fact that it is simply copying is a nice form of closure, a branch (or a tag for that matter) is no different from any other copy of an object in the repository. This is a basic principal of good software design. (I know, most of you monkeys out there THINK you know something about that, heh, I look at your system designs and code, I know better...).

So instead of just saying it needs 'proper branching' you gotta tell us what exactly you think is missing.

IMHO SVN clients could be improved in that they could use properties to keep track of merge points, or some other means to do that, but as long as you properly comment your branches and merges you will have no problem. And as long as you merge/branch from/to working copy and not directly in the repo you won't have any problems with messing up your repos.

I've been using SVN exclusively since well before 1.0 on some LARGE and complex commercial code bases, and it has worked flawlessly.

The inclusion of working copy meta data in the working copy file system is simply common sense. Where else would you WANT those .svn files (or equivalent info). Someplace ELSE in your file system? No thank you! I can tarball a wc and put it on any machine with an svn client and it makes no matter, back up up onto tape, restore them, etc and not have any problems. The last thing I want is my meta-data off in some other place.

SVN is a highly pragmatic solution, and it works. I have no opinion as to what might be BETTER, but I know it works, it is widely supported, and it does what I want. THAT is what is important. It sure beats the **** out of CVS...

Re:Can't RTFA... (2, Informative)

chthon (580889) | more than 6 years ago | (#20286167)

Too bad Continuus costs too much to try, I think he would want to return to SVN after using that piece of shit.

Re:Can't RTFA... (2, Informative)

coryking (104614) | more than 6 years ago | (#20286173)

easy

- Not mess up my working directory with a bunch of .svn hidden directory junk.
- As somebody else said, proper branching & tagging
- Related to the .svn directory stuff, it is *way* to easy to ruin a working copy. Why related? You ever try to version a 3rd party tree (say, the ports tree)? It is virtually impossible because when you update the ports tree, it will mess with the filesystem enough to de-sync the .svn directory and ruin the entire working copy.
- While getting better, it isn't very fast dealing with large working copies (say, 200+ megs)

Re:Can't RTFA... (5, Informative)

smenor (905244) | more than 6 years ago | (#20286221)

I used to use CVS (and still do for some projects). Then I switched over to SVN. It was remarkably unremarkable.

Then, a few months ago, there was a /. article on git [git.or.cz] . It sounded interesting so I tried it... and was thoroughly impressed.

I was up and running in about 20 minutes. You can use cvs/svn like commands, *but* you get local / decentralized repositories with fast forking and merging.

Start a project. Type "git init" and you've got a repository in place (you don't have to initialize and then check it out). "git add ." and "git commit" and you've got your first revision.

It took a little bit more effort to figure out how to push/pull from a remote repository, but it's fairly straightforward. A bunch of people can work in a group, have their own local repositories, and then merge their changes (along with the revision history). It's awesome.

The only reason I haven't switched all of my projects over to it is that the IDEs I use (Xcode and Eclipse) don't have good git integration (as far as I know).

Re:Can't RTFA... (1)

FecesFlingingRhesus (806117) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285301)


No he basically said that it is rehashing old concepts like cvs, but that svn fixes some problems. what he calls "good enough" then he goes on to plug git as revolutionary. I am sorry but, the only thing new and revolutionary I have seen coming out of that space is Accurev.

Re:Can't RTFA... (5, Informative)

Oddscurity (1035974) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285343)

He did slam CVS indeed, SVN likewise. In Linux talk at Google about Git [google.com] [video] he mentions SVN and their credo at on time being something along the line of "CVS done right", commenting that "there is no way to do CVS right."

The article linked here is light on details concerning SCM, though.

Re:Can't RTFA... (4, Informative)

nwbvt (768631) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285539)

Site seems to be back up, here is what he had to say:

I suspect a lot of people really don't much like CVS, so I didn't really even expect anybody to argue that CVS was really anything but a legacy system. And while I've gotten a few people who argued that I shouldn't have been quite so impolite against SVN (and hey, that's fair -- I'm really not a very polite person!), I don't think anybody actually argued that SVN was 'good'.

SVN is, I think, a classic case of 'good enough'. It's what people are used to, and it's 'good enough' to be used fairly widely, but it's good enough in exactly the sense DOS and Windows were 'good enough'. Not great technology, just very widely available, and it works well enough for people and looks familiar enough that people use it. But very few people are 'proud' of it, or excited about it.

And here is the reaction from the subversion team [tigris.org] . For those of you who don't want to RTFA, they basically say they agree, its not appropriate for something like Linux.

BTW, isn't this all old news? His original comment on subversion was dated from 05

Re:Can't RTFA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20285851)

but is a new interview, isn't it? (don't know for sure, ./ed)

Re:Can't RTFA... (4, Interesting)

thePsychologist (1062886) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285941)

Yes this is extremely old news. I thought it would be something new, but then I see the comment from the SVN guys is dated 2006: last year for people who keep track of time.

For instance, the comment from the Subversion team states that they hope the kernel dev team find some VCS that they like. They already did and it was git (http://git.or.cz/), a program that Linus Torvalds wrote himself.

As a side comment, I like git over Subversion for a number of reasons. First it has data verification in the form of checking SHA1 (note that this isn't for repository protection from attacks but just for verification from corruption). It's distributed, and doesn't blow up the repository size when the repository gets large. SVN keeps a .svn metadata folder in each normal directory; hence if you have 1000 normal directories you get 2000 directories.

Even if that's not much of an increase in space, it's ugly and it makes the repository (just files) hard to copy (have no idea why they implemented it this way). Of course there's a backup feature in the program so there's no reason to copy by hand, but still, it's inelegant.

Re:Can't RTFA... (1)

Entrope (68843) | more than 6 years ago | (#20286303)

SVN keeps a .svn metadata folder in each normal directory; hence if you have 1000 normal directories you get 2000 directories.

Not only that, for each file, Subversion keeps a copy of the last version you checked out of (or in to) the repository, so if you have 10 MB of source code, you end up with 20 MB used on disk. GIT's pack file support lets you keep the entire history of a project in space that is usually comparable to the size of the source code.

In one of my projects that uses GIT, I have 7.5 MB of tracked source files, about 7.5 MB of compiled binaries and an 8.8 MB .git directory. That 8.8 MB fully describes every commit to every branch of the project for the last eight years. If I want to check out the first commit ever, I can do that. If I want to dig out a commit message from three years ago, no sweat. If I want to switch from one branch to another, it takes a second or two. Best of all, I can do all of those things entirely unplugged.

Re:Can't RTFA... (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285657)

"Did he slam it, or did he say that it's fine, just not appropriate for a project as distributed as the kernel?"

I can't tell you what he said now. But he repeteadly said that CVS and Subversion didn't fit the Linux development model, not because it is big, or distributed, just because it is different. And it seems people keep asking him that same question :)

Re:Can't RTFA... (1)

x_MeRLiN_x (935994) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285855)

If you have some time to kill, you could always watch his Google Tech Talk about Git [google.co.uk] - his alternative to CVS. He can't help himself from insulting CVS/SVN numerous times. If I remember correctly, he thinks SVN is "pointless".

rerun the transaction... (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285795)

LOL. They actually ask us to perform DDOS?

When God speaks... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20285805)

So teh Lunis sez, so it shall be.

It is not for us to question the ways of God. If teh Lunis doesn't like something, it shall be destroyed and never spoken of again. It did not exist.

Praise be to our savior, the Lunis!!

Re: your sig (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#20286141)

Why did you specify bitlength 4? Wouldn't it work for any unsigned units since the leading zeros would turn into leading ones in the invert operation?

Linus would not be pleased... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20285261)

Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers error '80004005'

[Microsoft][ODBC SQL Server Driver][SQL Server]Transaction (Process ID 182) was deadlocked on lock resources with another process and has been chosen as the deadlock victim. Rerun the transaction. /efytimes/lefthome.asp, line 193

Re:Linus would not be pleased... (4, Funny)

gvdkamp (139273) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285291)

Look at the script... lefthome.asp! Thats what i would do if I had my site running on Microshit stuff.

Re:Linus would not be pleased... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20286021)

It's not a bug, it's a feature people.

Microsoft software automatically detects when people are bashing them and gracefully shuts down.

Re:Linus would not be pleased... (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285307)

Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers error '80004005'

[Microsoft][ODBC SQL Server Driver][SQL Server]Transaction (Process ID 182) was deadlocked on lock resources with another process and has been chosen as the deadlock victim. Rerun the transaction. /efytimes/lefthome.asp, line 193


Deadlocked on a read operation of all things!? Bad, very bad.

Re:Linus would not be pleased... (1)

dknj (441802) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285349)

iirc, sql server by default locks on read. this is a prime example of poor programmers/admins (not os or sql product, as others may have you believe)

Re:Linus would not be pleased... (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285401)

not os or sql product, as others may have you believe
Well... Oracle doesn't lock on read unless you tell it to...

It blows it's rollback segments instead.

 

Re:Linus would not be pleased... (4, Informative)

dknj (441802) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285897)

and if you're a programmer or an admin that knows sql server, then you know to disable this before you go into production. again, this is not a problem with the product. saying such would be like saying solaris is trash because it enables everything plus the kitchen sink, unless you tell it not to...

oracle is all great and fun if you have the money to cough up for it. sql server has great performance at a fraction of oracle's cost. of course, a competent architect will know when to use sql server and when to use oracle.

Re:Linus would not be pleased... (2, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#20286367)

Wish I had some mod points but I believe you make a really good point.

But to be sure, allow me to draw a parallel to help illustrate what I understood:

It's not that Walmart is a crappy store... it's not and they generally have some pretty good stuff there. It's the people who shop at Walmart that gives Walmart its reputation.

Is this pretty much what you're saying about Microsoft stuff? It's not that the products are bad--they're not. It's the people who use Microsoft products that give Microsoft its bad reputation.

I think there is a lump of truth to this assertion. Microsoft is a lot more ubiquitous and available than many competing products. Certifications demonstrating expertise typically only require enough money and a list of answers to acquire.

I think this is an assertion that requires some meditation: It's not the products, it's the users...

Re:Linus would not be pleased... (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285369)

I'm always admiring Microsoft-land, where accessing probably cached html pages requires acquiring a lock on db resources in a transaction. Oops shouldn't have dare spoken, it's probably a patented process.

GPL Comment (2, Funny)

woodchip (611770) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285279)

I hereby release this comment under a GPL. You are free to use this comment or modify this comment in away you feel fit. But if you distribute this comment or any modifications of it, you need to also publish all the embarrassing things you have said said drunk.

Re:GPL Comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20285293)

The GPL doesn't allow any additional restrictions.

Re:GPL Comment (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20286193)

He said a GPL. The GNU GPL doesn't allow any additional restrictions, and lazy people commonly use the phrase "the GPL" to refer to the GNU GPL (like they say "wiki" when they mean Wikipedia), but that isn't what he said, so it's reasonable to assume he had a different GPL in mind, namely the one whose simple licensing terms he went on to spell out.

I liked his take on different distro choices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20285387)

He says this:

"But in the end, choice may be inefficient, but it's also what keeps everybody involved at least 'somewhat' honest. We all probably wish our politicians were more honest than they are, and we all probably wish that the different distros sometimes made other choices than they do, but without that choice, we'd be worse off."
==============

I personally do get frustrated by all the different distros and their package requirements. But strangely, it's those choices that make it fun and interesting. Yeah, yeah I do get lazy sometimes and would rather install an rpm cleanly without compiling from source sometimes but I wouldn't get better without the challenges. As for politicians, choices, and fair honest government; I live in America so forget it. THE EMPIRE RISES!!

Re:GPL Comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20285413)

I hereby release this comment under a GPL [gnu.org] .h

You are free to use this comment or modify this comment in away you feel fit. But if you distribute this comment or any modifications of it, you need to also retain the release statement (first paragraph of the comment).

(I never was drunk, wine is part of my place's culture so getting drunk is not a transgression. Pity for our youngsters which are becoming idiotic drinkers of shitty stuff like everywhere else.

There, settled.)

Article (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20285299)

Sunday, August 19, 2007: Did Microsoft's Men In Black ever met Linus Torvalds? But why is he so critical of GPLv3? Why does he slam Subversion? What would happen to the kernel development if he chooses to do something else more important? These are some of the questions Linux/open source community from around the globe wanted to ask Linus. And, here is Linus candid and blunt, and at times diplomatic. Check if the question you wanted to ask to the father of Linux is here and what does he have to say...
Q: What are the future enhancements/paths/plans for the Linux kernel? --Subramani R

Linus: I've never been much of a visionary -- instead of looking at huge plans for the future, I tend to have a rather short timeframe of 'issues in the next few months'. I'm a big believer in that the 'details' matter, and if you take care of the details, the big issues will end up sorting themselves out on their own.

So I really don't have any great vision for what the kernel will look like in five years -- just a very general plan to make sure that we keep our eye on the ball. In fact, when it comes to me personally, one of the things I worry about the most isn't even the technical issues, but making sure that the 'process' works, and that people can work well with each other.

Q: How do you see the relationship of Linux and Solaris evolving in the future? How will it benefit the users?

Linus: I don't actually see a whole lot of overlap, except that I think Solaris will start using more of the Linux user space tools (which I obviously don't personally have a lot to do with -- I really only do the kernel). The Linux desktop is just so much better than what traditional Solaris has, and I expect Solaris to move more and more towards a more Linux-like model there.

On the pure kernel side, the licensing differences mean that there's not much cooperation, but it will be very interesting to see if that will change. Sun has been making noises about licensing Solaris under the GPL (either v2 or v3), and if the licence differences go away, that could result in some interesting technology. But I'm taking a wait-and-see attitude to that.

Q: Now that the GPLv3 has been finalised and released, do you foresee any circumstance that would encourage you to begin moving the kernel to it? Or, from your perspective, is it so bad that you would never consider it? -- Peter Smith / Naveen Mudunuru.

Linus: I think it is much improved over the early drafts, and I don't think it's a horrible licence. I just don't think it's the same kind of 'great' licence that the GPLv2 is.

So in the absence of the GPLv2, I could see myself using the GPLv3. But since I have a better choice, why should I?

That said, I try to always be pragmatic, and the fact that I think the GPLv3 is not as good a licence as the GPLv2 is not a 'black and white' question. It's a balancing act. And if there are other advantages to the GPLv3, maybe those other advantages would be big enough to tilt the balance in favour of the GPLv3.

Quite frankly, I don't really see any, but if Solaris really is to be released under the GPLv3, maybe the advantage of avoiding unnecessary non-compatible licence issues could be enough of an advantage that it might be worth trying to re-license the Linux kernel under the GPLv3 too.

Don't get me wrong -- I think it's unlikely. But I do want to make it clear that I'm not a licence bigot, per se. I think the GPLv2 is clearly the better licence, but licences aren't everything.

After all, I use a lot of programs that are under other licences. I might not put a project I start myself under the BSD (or the X11-MIT) licence, but I think it's a great licence, and for other projects it may well be the right one.

Q: Currently are there any Indians who you'd like to highlight as key contributors to the Linux kernel?

Linus: I have to admit that I don't directly work with anybody that I actually realize as being from India. That said, I should clarify a bit: I've very consciously tried to set up the kernel development so that I don't end up working personally with a huge number of people.

I have this strong conviction that most humans are basically wired up to know a few people really well (your close family and friends), and I've tried to make the development model reflect that: with a 'network of developers', where people interact with maybe a dozen other people they trust, and those other people in turn interact with 'their' set of people they trust.

So while I'm in occasional contact with hundreds of developers who send me a random patch or two, I've tried to set up an environment where the bulk of what I do happens through a much smaller set of people that I know, just because I think that's how people work. It's certainly how I like to work.

Also, in all honesty, I don't even know where a lot of the people I work with live. Location ends up being pretty secondary. So while I'm pretty sure that none of the top 10-15 I work with most closely, are in India, maybe after this goes public, it might get pointed out that there is actually somebody from there!

Q: Since the Linux Kernel Development depends so heavily on you, how do you plan to organise/reorganise it for it to continue progressing without you, in case you decide to dedicate more time to your own life and family?

Linus: I've long since come to the realisation that Linux is much bigger than me. Yes, I'm intimately involved in it still, and I have a fairly large day-to-day impact on it, and I end up being the person who, in some sense, acts as the central point for a lot of kernel activities; but no -- I wouldn't say that Linux 'depends heavily' on me.

So if I had a heart attack and died tomorrow (happily not likely: I'm apparently healthy as anything), people would certainly notice, but there are thousands of people involved in just the kernel, and there're more than a few that could take over for me with little real confusion.

Q: India is one of the major producers of software engineers, yet we don't contribute much to the Linux domain. What do you think is keeping Indians from becoming proactive on that front? How do you feel we could encourage Indians to get involved and contribute heavily? You have a fan following in India; could your iconic image be used to inspire enthusiasts? -- Bhuvaneswaran Arumugam.

Linus: This is actually a very hard question for me to answer. Getting into open source is such a complicated combination of both infrastructure (Internet access, education, you name it), flow of information and simply culture that I can't even begin to guess what the biggest stumbling block could be.

In many ways, at least those with an English-speaking culture in India should have a rather easy time getting involved with Linux and other open source projects, if only thanks to the lack of a language barrier. Certainly much easier than many parts of Asia or even some parts of Europe.

Of course, while that is a lot of people, it's equally obviously not the majority in India, and I personally simply don't know enough about the issues in India to be able to make an even half-way intelligent guess about what the best way forward is. I suspect that an enthusiastic local user community is always the best way, and I think you do have that.

As to my 'iconic image', I tend to dislike that part personally. I'm not a great public speaker, and I've avoided travelling for the last several years because I'm not very comfortable being seen as this iconic 'visionary'. I'm just an engineer, and I just happen to love doing what I do, and to work with other people in public.

Q: What would be a good reason for you to consider visiting India? -- Frederick [FN] Noronha.

Linus: As mentioned in the first answer, I absolutely detest public speaking, so I tend to avoid conferences, etc. I'd love to go to India for a vacation some day, but if I do, I'd likely just do it incognito -- not tell anybody beforehand and just go as a tourist to see the country!

Q: Recently, you seemed to slam Subversion and CVS, questioning their basic architecture. Now that you've got responses from the Subversion community, do you stand corrected, or are you still unconvinced? B Arumugam.

Linus: I like making strong statements, because I find the discussion interesting. In other words, I actually tend to 'like' arguing. Not mindlessly, but I certainly tend to prefer the discussion a bit more heated, and not just entirely platonic.

And making strong arguments occasionally ends up resulting in a very valid rebuttal, and then I'll happily say: "Oh, ok, you're right."

But no, that didn't happen on SVN/CVS. I suspect a lot of people really don't much like CVS, so I didn't really even expect anybody to argue that CVS was really anything but a legacy system. And while I've gotten a few people who argued that I shouldn't have been quite so impolite against SVN (and hey, that's fair -- I'm really not a very polite person!), I don't think anybody actually argued that SVN was 'good'.

SVN is, I think, a classic case of 'good enough'. It's what people are used to, and it's 'good enough' to be used fairly widely, but it's good enough in exactly the sense DOS and Windows were 'good enough'. Not great technology, just very widely available, and it works well enough for people and looks familiar enough that people use it. But very few people are 'proud' of it, or excited about it.

Git, on the other hand, has some of the 'UNIX philosophy' behind it. Not that it is about UNIX, per se, but like original UNIX, it had a fundamental idea behind it. For UNIX, the underlying philosophy was/is that, "Everything is a file." For git, it's, Everything is just an object in the content-addressable database."

Q: Is having so many distros a good or bad idea? Choice is fine, but one does not need to be pampered with choices. Instead of so many man hours being spent in building hundreds of distros, wouldn't it be easier to get into the enterprise and take on the MS challenge if people could come together and support fewer distros (1 for each use maybe)? What's your view on that? -- Srinivasan S.

Linus: I think having multiple distros is an inevitable part of open source. And can it be confusing? Sure. Can it be inefficient? Yes. But I'd just like to compare it to politics: 'democracy' has all those confusing choices, and often none of the choices is necessarily what you 'really' want either, and sometimes you might feel like things would be smoother and more efficient if you didn't have to worry about the whole confusion of voting, different parties, coalitions, etc.

But in the end, choice may be inefficient, but it's also what keeps everybody involved at least 'somewhat' honest. We all probably wish our politicians were more honest than they are, and we all probably wish that the different distros sometimes made other choices than they do, but without that choice, we'd be worse off.

Q: Why do you think CFS is better than SD?

Linus: Part of it is that I have worked with Ingo [Molnar] for a long time, which means that I know him, and know that he'll be very responsive to any issues that come up. That kind of thing is very important.

But part of it is simply about numbers. Most people out there actually say that CFS is better than SD. Including, very much, on 3D games (which people claimed was a strong point of SD).

At the same time, though, I don't think any piece of code is ever ''perfect''. The best thing to happen is that the people who want to be proponents of SD will try to improve that so much that the balance tips over the other way -- and we'll keep both camps trying interesting things because the internal competition motivates them.

Q: In a talk you had at Google about git, someone asked you how you would take an extremely large code base that is currently handled with something centralised and transition to git without stopping business for six months. What was your response to that? -- Jordan Uggla.

Linus: Ahh. That was the question where I couldn't hear the questioner well (the questions were much more audible in the recordings), and I noticed afterwards, when I went back and listened to the recorded audio, that I didn't answer the question he asked, but the question I thought he'd asked.

Anyway, we do have lots of import tools, so that you can actually just import a large project from just about any other previous SCM into git. But the problem, of course, often doesn't end up being the act of importing itself, but just having to 'get used to' the new model!

And quite frankly, I don't think there is any other answer to that 'get used to it' but to just start out and try it. You obviously do not want to start out by importing the biggest and most central project you have; that would indeed just make everything come to a standstill, and make everybody very unhappy indeed.

So nobody sane would advocate moving everything over to git overnight, and forcing people to change their environment. No. You'd start with a smaller project inside a company, perhaps something that just one group mostly controls and maintains, and start off by converting that to git. That way you get people used to the model, and you start having a core group with the knowledge about how git works and how to use it within the company.

And then you just extend on that. Not in one go. You'd import more and more of the projects -- even if you have the 'one big repository' model at your company; you also almost certainly have that repository as a set of modules, because having everybody check out everything is just not a workable mode of operation (unless 'everything' is just not very large).

So you'd basically migrate one module at a time, until you get to the point where you're so comfortable with git that you can just migrate the rest (or the 'rest' is so legacy that nobody even cares).

And one of the nice features of git is that it actually plays along pretty well with a lot of other SCMs. That's how a lot of git users use it: 'they' may use git, but sometimes the people they work with don't even realise, because they see the results of it propagated into some legacy SCM.

Q: Did they ever experiment with alternate instruction set implementations at Transmeta? [Transmeta Crusoe chip seemed like a very soft CPU -- reminding one of Burroughs B1000 interpretive machine, which actually implemented multiple virtual machines. There was one for system software, another for Cobol, another for Fortran; If that is correct, then one could implement Burroughs 6/7000 or HP3000 like stack architecture on the chip or an instruction set suitable for JVM, etc] -- Anil Seth.

Linus: We did indeed have some alternate instruction set, and while I still am not really supposed to talk about it, I can say that we did have a public demonstration of mixing instruction sets. We had a technology showcase
where you could run x86 instructions side-by-side with Java byte code (actually, it was a slightly extended pico-java, iirc).

I think the app we showed running was running DOOM on top of Linux, where the Linux parts were a totally standard x86 distribution, but the DOOM binary was a specially compiled version where part of the game was actually compiled pico-Java. And the CPU ended up running them both the same way -- as a JIT down to the native VLIW instruction set.

(The reason for picking DOOM was just that source code was available, and the core parts of the game were small enough that it was easy to set it up as a demonstration -- and it was obviously visually interesting.)

There were more things going on internally, but I can't really talk about them. And I wasn't actually personally involved with the Java one either.

Q: 386BSD, from which NetBSD, FreeBSD and OpenBSD were derived, was there well before Linux, but Linux spread much more than 386BSD and its derivatives. How much of this do you attribute to the choice of the licence and how much to the development process you chose? Don't you think that the GPLv3 protects the freedom that has bred Linux better than the BSDs till now, more than the GPLv2 can? -- Tiziano Mosconi from Italy.

Linus: I think there's both a licence issue, and a community and personality issue. The BSD licences always encouraged forking, but also meant that if somebody gets really successful and makes a commercial fork, you cannot necessarily join back. And so even if that doesn't actually happen (and it did, in the BSD cases -- with BSDi), people can't really 'trust' each other as much.

In contrast, the GPLv2 also encourages forking, but it not only encourages the branching off part, it also encourages (and 'requires') the ability to merge back again. So now you have a whole new level of trust: you 'know' that everybody involved will be bound by the licence, and won't try to take advantage of you.

So I see the GPLv2 as the licence that allows people the maximum possible freedom within the requirement that you can always join back together again from either side. Nobody can stop you from taking the improvements to the source code.

So is the BSD licence even more 'free'? Yes. Unquestionably. But I just wouldn't want to use the BSD licence for any project I care about, because I not only want the freedom, I also want the trust so that I can always use the code that others write for my projects.

So to me, the GPLv2 ends up being a wonderful balance of 'as free as you can make it', considering that I do want everybody to be able to trust so that they can always get the source code and use it.

Which is why I think the GPLv3 ends up being a much less interesting licence. It's no longer about that trust about "getting the source code back"; it has degenerated into a "I wrote the code, so I should be able to control how you use it."

In other words, I just think the GPLv3 is too petty and selfish. I think the GPLv2 has a great balance between 'freedom' and 'trust'. It's not as free as the BSD licences are, but it gives you peace of mind in return, and matches what I consider 'tit-for-tat': I give source code, you give me source code in return.

The GPLv3 tries to control the 'use' of that source code. Now it's, "I give you my source code, so if you use it, you'd better make your devices hackable by me." See? Petty and small-minded, in my opinion.

Q: Slowly but steadily, features of the -rt tree are getting integrated into the mainline. What are your current thoughts regarding a merger of the remaining -rt tree into the mainline (and I'm not talking about the CFS)? -- Wal, Alex van der.

Linus: I won't guarantee that everything from -rt will 'ever' be merged into the standard kernel (there may be pieces that simply don't end up making sense in the generic kernel), but yes, over the years we've actually integrated most of it, and the remaining parts could end up making it one of these days.

I'm a big fan of low-latency work, but at the same time I'm pretty conservative, and I pushed back on some of the more aggressive merging, just because I want to make sure that it all makes sense for not just some extreme real time perspective, but also for 'normal' users who don't need it. And that explains why the process has been a pretty slow but steady trickle of code that has gotten merged, as it was sufficiently stable and made sense.

That, by the way, is not just an -rt thing; it's how a lot of the development happens. -rt just happens to be one of the more 'directed' kernel projects, and one where the main developer is pretty directly involved with the normal kernel too. But quite often the migration of other features (security, virtual memory changes, virtualisation, etc) follows a similar path: they get written up in a very targeted environment, and then pieces of the features get slowly but surely merged into the standard kernel.

Q: I'm very curious about what the future holds for file systems in the kernel. What do you think about Reiser4, XFS4, ZFS and the new project founded by Oracle? ZFS has been receiving a lot of press these days. Reiser4 delivers very good benchmarks, and xfs4 is trying to keep up, whereas the one by Oracle has a lot of the same specs as Sun's ZFS. Where are we heading? Which FS looks the most promising in your opinion? -- Ayvind Binde.

Linus: Actually, just yesterday we had a git performance issue, where ZFS was orders of magnitude slower than UFS for one user (not under Linux, but git is gaining a lot of traction even outside of kernel development). So I think a lot of the 'new file system' mania is partly fed by knowing about the issues with old filesystems, and then the (somewhat unrealistic) expectation that a 'new and improved' filesystem will make everything perfect.

In the end, this is one area where you just let people fight it out. See who comes out the winner -- and it doesn't need to be (and likely will not) be a single winner. Almost always, the right choice of file system ends up depending on the load and circumstances.

One thing that I'm personally more excited about than any of the filesystems you mention is actually the fact that Flash-based hard disks are quickly becoming available even for 'normal' users. Sure, they're still expensive (and fairly small), but Flash-based storage has such a different performance profile from rotating media, that I suspect that it will end up having a large impact on filesystem design. Right now, most filesystems tend to be designed with the latencies of rotating media in mind.

Q: The operating system is becoming less and less important. You have said several times that the user is not supposed to 'see' the operating system at all. It is the applications that matter. Browser-based applications, like Google's basic office applications, are making an impact. Where do you think operating systems are headed?

Linus: I don't really believe in the 'browser OS', because I think that people will always want to do some things locally. It might be about security, or simply about privacy reasons. And while connectivity is widely available, it certainly isn't 'everywhere'.

So I think the whole 'Web OS' certainly is part of the truth, but another part that people seem to dismiss is that operating systems have been around for decades, and it's really a fairly stable and well-known area of endeavour. People really shouldn't expect the OS to magically change: it's not like people were 'stupid' back in the 60s either, or even that hardware was 'that' fundamentally different back then!

So don't expect a revolution. I think OSs will largely continue to do what they do, and while we'll certainly evolve, I don't think they'll change radically. What may change radically are the interfaces and the things you do on top of the OS (and certainly the hardware beneath the OS will continue to evolve too), and that's what people obviously care about.

The OS? It's just that hidden thing that makes it all possible. You really shouldn't care about it, unless you find it very interesting to know what is really going on in the machine.

Q: The last I heard, you were using a PPC G4/5 for your main personal machine -- what are you using now, and why?

Linus: I ended up giving up on the PowerPC, since nobody is doing any workstations any more, and especially since x86-64 has become such an undeniable powerhouse. So these days, I run a bog-standard PC, with a normal Core 2 Duo on it.

It was a lot of fun to run another architecture (I ran with alpha as my main architecture way back then, for a few years, so it wasn't the first time either), but commodity CPUs is where it is at. The only thing that I think can really ever displace the x86 architecture would come from below, i.e., if something makes us not use x86 as our main ISA in a decade, I think it would be ARM, thanks to the mobile device market.

Q: What does Linux mean to you -- a hobby, philosophy, the meaning of life, a job, the best OS, something else...?

Linus: It's some of all of that. It's a hobby, but a deeply meaningful one. The best hobbies are the ones that you care 'really' deeply about. And these days it's obviously also my work, and I'm very happy to be able to combine it all.

I don't know about a 'philosophy', and I don't really do Linux for any really deeply held moral or philosophical reasons (I literally do it because it's interesting and fun), but it's certainly the case that I have come to appreciate the deeper reasons why I think open source works so well. So I may not have started to do Linux for any such deep reasons, and I cannot honestly say that that is what motivates me, but I do end up thinking about why it all works.

Q: Did Microsoft's 'Men in Black' ever talk to you? -- Zidagar - Antonio Parrella

Linus: I've never really talked to MS, no. I've occasionally been at the same conferences with some MS people (I used to go to more conferences than I do these days), but I've never really had anything to do with them. I think there is a mutual wariness.

Re:Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20285363)

you all should not forget that Linus brought us Linux(TM) and therefore can do no wrong and is exempt from criticism.

Re:Article (0, Troll)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285425)

Yeah, Linux is right. Git is great and CVS and Subversion are crap. That's why everyone has migrated away from CVS and Subversion to Git, the fantastic new tool he wrote. Oh wait. They haven't? Wonder why.

Re:Article (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285543)

Well Not everyone is writing and OS Kernel. Different projects need different Code Management Systems. Git works for him, so he likes it. Other people use other stuff. By Your logic you are saying Microsoft Sourcesafe 6 is the best Tool out there because more people use it. CVS is widely used because it is part it have been historically part of most linux distributions.

Re:Article (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285589)

I'm well aware why CVS is widely used. There was also a large migration from CVS to Subversion because of the few thing Subversion does better. Sure lots of folks are still using CVS, some because of a few issues with Subversion that would be harder for them, others because they are just used to using CVS and don't want to learn anything new, and other just aren't motivated to move their codebase. Never the less, there was a quite noticeable sized migration to Subversion for a few nicer features. Have you noticed any such to Git of other than Linux kernel developers? Shouldn't there have been one if it's markedly better than either CVS or Subversion?

Certainly some development projects have different requirements than others, but he doesn't couch his criticism in that frame. He says subversion is only 'good enough', while Git is great because it's real UNIX and has an idea behind it. That's not saying it's better for this type of project. It's just saying this is better.

It *may* work better for his type of project, but he likes it because he wrote it.

Re:Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20285727)

And he wrote it because nothing else would allow the large scale development the kernel requires was available after the BK debacle. Care to name a single high change volume project with 1000+ remote developers using CVS or SVN?

Re:Article (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20285829)

FreeBSD, the whole OS, not just a kernel, is done on CVS.

Re:Article (1)

smenor (905244) | more than 6 years ago | (#20286413)

Shouldn't there have been one if it's markedly better than either CVS or Subversion?

I'd assume it's just that most people don't know about Git.

It just needs a new PR guy and a little bit of time.

The only reason I've ever heard about it is that I saw some random article here about it a few months back. I tried it on a whim, and found that it's strikingly better than SVN or CVS.

Creating repositories is trivial (and can be done in place). Merges in large groups are fast, easy, and work well. For almost everything in day-to-day use, the commands are about the same as SVN or CVS (though it does annoyingly require something like "git commit -a" instead of just "git commit").

Re:Article (5, Interesting)

DaleGlass (1068434) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285857)

Subversion works, but like Linus says, it's nothing wonderful. You can hardly point at some feature of it and say it was the product of a genius. It does CVS right, and that's about it.

But SVN is limiting. For example I have a fork of the Second Life source, and SVN was PAIN for that. I ended up switching to SVK because it was the first thing I found that could sync with a SVN repository (which is what LL hosts), but Git would probably be also a fine choice as well.

SVN's problem is that when you want to branch somebody's source but still follow it by merging improvements it becomes really painful. You have to use svn-load-dirs, which is a hack. You have to give it megabytes of source to process, which can suck really badly when you've got your SNV repository hosted externally so that other people can access it.

Re:Article (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285875)

Yeah, Linux is right. Git is great and CVS and Subversion are crap. That's why everyone has migrated away from CVS and Subversion to Git, the fantastic new tool he wrote. Oh wait. They haven't? Wonder why.


They actually have, but haven't figured out how to use git to commit the change yet.

Re:Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20285953)

Judging by some of the comments from some large projects (Mozilla, the Perl core team) Because it's not cross platform enough yet.

why (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285957)

CVS was before SVN which was before git.
Currently, people migrate from CVS to SVN.
Migration is painful, people don't like to migrate, because 'if it isn't broken, don't fix it'.
Linus himself said, SVN is 'good enough', and i agree.
I won't switch to git, right now. One switch a year was enough, and I did a CVS->SVN switch recently.
But I don't say, i won't use git in the future.
Some parts of SVN i dislike, including crashes when writing up the commit comment.
I just don't want to learn a fundamentally different stuff, and bother with migration.

if it isn't broken (2, Interesting)

epine (68316) | more than 6 years ago | (#20286179)


If CVS isn't broken, I have a three-legged ladder I'd like to sell you. I'll even set it up in the parking lot and, with but a modest presence of mind, balance myself motionlessly on the very top step to prove how very not-broken it really is. On one foot. And I'll juggle, too.

CVS is what happens when you've roped yourself up into some high, awkward, inaccessible place, then you discover you brought along the wrong toolbox. Subversion is a fancy pair of vise-grips with rubber handles: doesn't hurt your hand so much when you have to grasp with extreme force the bolt head with no remaining flat edges, because you're too damn lazy to rope yourself back down to get the tool you should have used in the first place.

Re:if it isn't broken (2, Informative)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 6 years ago | (#20286239)

You preach to the choir.

Re:Article (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 6 years ago | (#20286077)

Well, he actually said why. If, of course, you RTFA. Because CVS and SVN are comfortable and familiar. He actually said that he wouldn't migrate a huge project to Git himself (not at first) because it's more important to make sure people have tools available to them that they are comfortable with. By your rational, people shouldn't migrate from Windows to Linux because most people haven't.

Don't forget to pay your carbon indulgences, fags! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20285907)

When a coin in Al Gore's coffer rings, another soul from Global Warming purgatory springs! Gotta pay for your environmental sinny sin sins, bitches!

OMG Transaction Svr Killed Microsoft! You Bastard! (3, Funny)

nighty5 (615965) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285311)

[Microsoft][ODBC SQL Server Driver][SQL Server]Transaction (Process ID 666) was summoned by an evil deadlocked process in order to lock up and throw away the key to any IT resources process to request any reasonable requirement for open source software chosen by the deadlock victim. Rerun the transaction with Microsoft products next time and this threat will disappear into thin air - Steve Balmer, Head Deadlocker.

Not at all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20286391)

MS was dead before this. It just has a lot of folks who pay money to them, and are afraid to say that they are wasting money.

Article Summary Misleading (4, Insightful)

ahsile (187881) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285317)

This article is only slightly about Subversion. A couple paragraphs from the whole thing! They talk about "the plan" for the Kernel, outsourcing to India (they talk a lot about India actually), and other crap. I got bored half way through and just searched for the subversion part, which even then wasn't that interesting.

Re:Article Summary Misleading (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285365)

The interviewer apparently has a issue with outsourcing to india and inserts it into any interview he does.

( not saying outsourcing to india is a good thing, just an observation )

Re:Article Summary Misleading (4, Informative)

nwbvt (768631) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285573)

Think that could be because its an Indian news site and the guy himself is Indian?

Believe it or not, just because something is published on the world wide web doesn't mean it has to cut out everything of local interest.

Re:Article Summary Misleading (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285641)

Of course it does, its all about me.

Linus Slams Big Macs, prefers Double (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285333)

Good God. People are pathetic, listening to Linus as if he has great insights as to the mysteries of the universe. He's just a kernel developer that was in the right place at the right time to do the right thing.

Perspective, please!

Re:Linus Slams Big Macs, prefers Double (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20286301)

but, some people say he writes all his code in his own blood on the thigh of a virgin, while she gives him a blowjob, all the while listening to William Shatner's version of 'Mr Tambourine man' played backwards!!

how can we not admire him!?!

actually, that song would probably sound *better* when played backwards :)

Re:Linus Slams Big Macs, prefers Double (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20286375)

to do the right thing? don't you mean to rip off the right thing? linus is the guy who made yet another version of unix and now people are acting like it's revolutionary. he didn't really bring anything new to the table.

Indians in open source (0, Offtopic)

JosefAssad (1138611) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285355)

Q: India is one of the major producers of software engineers, yet we don't contribute much to the Linux domain. What do you think is keeping Indians from becoming proactive on that front?

From the opensource.org license-discuss mailing list (just today!):

From: meteor <emailaddychanged@iiitb.ac.in>
To: license-discuss@opensource.org
Subject: Browsers
Date: Sun, 19 Aug 2007 02:41:00 -0700 (PDT)

Hi all, as compared to you all am only a starter as far as opensource softwares go and so i need some help from u guys. I am developing an application for PDA and require a light-weight browser for it. I have got an option of using Firefox but can nebody suggest me a lighter browser. Any kind of help will be appreciated.

Thanks in advance
Regards
meteor

Well, it isn't for lack of trying...

Re:Indians in open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20285757)

Your point being what?

Re:Indians in open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20285871)

Some overqualified Indian guy stole his job, took his boyfriend, and bought him out of his house. Currently knee-hugging in his parent's basement, the only thing JosefAssad can do to try to brighten up his miserable existence is to insult Indians on online messaging boards.
; -(

Re:Indians in open source (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20285991)

From: Random Indian <foobar@india.net>
To: wrong-mailing-list@opensource.org
Subject: Browsers SUPR URGANT!!!!!1
Date: Sun, 19 Aug 2007 02:41:00 -0700 (PDT)
 
HI ALL, I MUST WRITE VOISE SOFTWARE TO RECOGNIZE INPUT FOR LOONIX I AM TO BE USING VB3, YOU OFFER ADVICE PLEASE.
 
VER URGEN!
Ugh. The number of times I've read this kind of crap ....

Re:Indians in open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20285997)

This sort of thing happens all the time with sub-continent developers, more usually it's something like:

> "I'm new to Oracle but I'm having trouble with CREATE TABLE, how do I .....?"

Someone replies:

>> RTFM

The poster responds:

>>> I don't have the manual, we're supposed to use the online versions on Oracles site but our broadband is down.

Basically, these guys - although well intentioned and talented (I've worked with many) - are employed by a system with a 1980's proprietory mentality.

Look at what he says: "I am developing an application for PDA and require a light-weight browser for it..."

ie. his boss has told him to find something they can steal.

That's why they don't participate in open-source.

SVN vs. CVS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20285393)

SVN and CVS are version control systems that help to sync the code from different developers into one codebase.

Both do their job (CVS since years). SVN does some trivial things better than CVS.

SVN is a little more newbie friendly than CVS because it's cmdlines need less options (e.g. only 'svn update' instead of 'cvs update -PRd').

git (started and favored by Linus) does everything better but is much more difficult to use.

If you're a newbie programmer and need version control you might start with CVS and SVN. git might be overkill. Especially for one-man-projects.

Re:SVN vs. CVS (4, Interesting)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285683)

I've never used git on any project big enough to have multiple developers, but I use git for my one-man-projects for the simple fact that it's so easy to create a repository.

Simply move the directory you're working in and type 'git init' and you're off and running. If you're developing the same code on multiple machines, it's simple to develop on them independently and still sync relevant changes. Frustrating.

With SVN, you have to set up a central repository (not difficult, but tedious) and if you're working with the code on multiple machines that aren't always on the same network you either have to have a SVN repository on each one and manage syncing them somehow, or one machine can't make commits when the other isn't on the network. Frustrating.

I still find git to be a little confusing (especially in regards to warnings seen when pushing or pulling changes from one repository to another and merging branches), but I've decided that even if git isn't the best answer, a distributed version control system is closer to the Right Thing than the old way of doing it (for my purposes, at least).

Re:SVN vs. CVS (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285979)

Oops. Please disregard the first occurance of the world 'Frustrating' in the previous post.

Try darcs (1)

wurp (51446) | more than 6 years ago | (#20286333)

I haven't done a tremendous amount with it, but it is just as easy to set up a repository, and I never get the weird errors you're talking about.

Things darcs [darcs.net] does that svn/cvs/VSS/ClearCase/etc don't do:
      * name patches (commit sets) & find them trivially by name later
      * trivially apply explicit patches to alternate branches
      * automatically find all patches that a patch depends on
      * create repositories trivially
      * see who committed specific lines of code

Git didn't appear to do a lot of that - no naming of patches, no seeing who last modified specific lines of code, no automatically determining patch dependencies.

The big problem is that for long revision histories, darcs seems to have a few bugs. Everything I've seen people talk about on the mailing list they've been able to fix or work around, but I have a very low tolerance for bugs in my revision control tool :-) Even so, the extra features are cool enough that I still use darcs for some projects.

Oh, the other thing: darcs is written in Haskell. I'm not sure if that's good or bad.

Re:SVN vs. CVS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20285819)

"If you're a newbie programmer and need version control you might start with CVS and SVN. git might be overkill. Especially for one-man-projects."

In that case, you want to look at Mercurial (hg, after the element Mercury). CVS and SVN are Terrible. Really fundamentally the wrong design, and a PITA to use. And yes, I've used CVS, SVN, SCCS, Bitkeeper and git and hg. Save yourself the trouble and learn why a distributed system is important.

Re:SVN vs. CVS (3, Insightful)

stoicfaux (466273) | more than 6 years ago | (#20286411)

Both do their job (CVS since years). SVN does some trivial things better than CVS.

SVN doesn't do the job because there's no built-in merge tracking, which leads to serious merge bugs.

Repeated merges (bi-directional merges) between branches generates false positives (the lack of merge tracking causes SVN to re-merge previously merged code.) The lack of true renames, means that you can lose changes during a merge if renamed files are modified on both branches. The svnmerge.py script only works at one directory level, which makes merging a single file deep in the project annoying. Since a checkin and a merge checkin are identical, there's no way to enforce merge tracking standards via hooks. All of these merge weaknesses require extra training and/or merge meisters, which is really clumsy in a large organization.

SVN is useful if you only use short lived branches (which will minimize the problems listed above.) I would not use it for large organizations due to training issues, nor for branches that require lots of inter-branch merging.

Hopefully, the merge tracking being implemented for SVN 1.5 will make SVN a real/complete scource code control system.

Site is slashdotted (-1, Redundant)

greenfield (226319) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285407)

From the site:

Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers error '80004005'

[Microsoft][ODBC SQL Server Driver][SQL Server]Transaction (Process ID 236) was deadlocked on lock resources with another process and has been chosen as the deadlock victim. Rerun the transaction.

/efytimes/lefthome.asp, line 284

Maybe they should consider using Linux....

Re:Site is slashdotted (1)

b100dian (771163) | more than 6 years ago | (#20286127)

Yes, slashdotted: but not a bandwidth/clients problem, but a horrible programming error, it seems.

Re:Site is slashdotted (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 6 years ago | (#20286451)

But it is some much more fun commenting on the opensource community from the outside :)

P.S. I always found SQL Server weird. Originally coded my Sybase, but much lower performance. It is almost like the goal on the MS side, was to slow it down once the source changed hands, weird.

Oh please.... (-1, Offtopic)

borgheron (172546) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285417)

Who really gives a flying hoot what Linus thinks anymore?

GJC

Re:Oh please.... (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285507)

Who really gives a flying hoot what Linus thinks anymore?

Only people interested in the kernel I suppose. Personally I think people who name non-gnu projects with a gnu in front of the name may have a slight bias against him due to the LiGnuX naming debacle and the repeat with the gnu prefix. Thus the "flying hoot" can be forgiven and understood. Just put up with him even if he has different views on GPLv2 vs GPLv3 - it's not some huge heresy.

Re:Oh please.... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285943)

I think people who name non-gnu projects with a gnu in front of the name may have a slight bias against him
If this is meant to be addressed to the grandparent poster, who is the maintainer of GNUstep, you should be aware that GNUstep is a GNU project. They require copyright assignment to the FSF from contributors, and have since the project began (it grew out of an older GNU project).

Who cares? (1)

golodh (893453) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285887)

Err ... who might be interested in hearing from Linus?

- anybody who likes to hear an opinion that's usually sensible, well thought-through, honest, and devoid of humbug?

- someone who is interested in hearing from the guy who succeeds in maintaining sufficient technical credit to have the likes of Alan Cox, Andrew Morton, and a raft of others you've never heard about listen to him?

- people who think that the ideas of a fellow whose ideas proved fruitful might be interesting?

Come to think of it ... why would anyone care about what Bill Gates thinks? Apart from him still being one of the sharpest cookies in the industry that is. Why indeed? The money he has to spend? Is that your criterion?

-1 Redundant (-1, Troll)

acvh (120205) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285419)

Do we need a front page story on every interview Torvalds does? Let's save that for times he says something we haven't heard before.

Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20285511)

We don't need any front page stories about Torvalds at all. He wrote an OS... like 20 years ago. Get over it, he's just a guy. No one cares what he thinks about anything unless it has the word "linux" in it.

From the Department of Redundancy Department... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20286175)

Do we need a front page story on every interview Torvalds does?

Yes.

There are good reasons for this, but it would be redundant to repeat them here on Slashdot.

BitKeeper vs. SVN (1)

DrDitto (962751) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285439)

My project recently switched from BitKeeper (Torvalds preferred system before the license issues) to SVN. BitKeeper is a nice system and I think it is better if you have a good development process. For my project with less than 10 developers and with a loose process, SVN is the better tool. SVN allows updates to single files and this really comes in handy whereas BitKeeper forces _everything_ as atomic changesets. For example, if a global.h in the trunk gets updated with new parameters and I only want to incorporate the changes to this file in a branch, it is no problem. But in BitKeeper, I could only make this update if a) the changes to global.h where the only changes in the ChangeSet, and b) if no other changesets were pushed prior to the trunk. BitKeeper does *not* allow cherry-picking of Changesets. I've tried doing so with scripts and patch files, but it is messy at best.

Re:BitKeeper vs. SVN (Bazaar?) (1)

SpzToid (869795) | more than 6 years ago | (#20286019)

I'm not going to argue against what Linus is saying, in fact I'll add my own frustration. However much of my frustration stems from trying to learn what (A.) what options are available, and then (B.) trying to implement them.

And what I really want to do is simply work in Eclipse. This rant neatly sums up my feelings [blogspot.com] on the current state of source code version control. From it:

...I wouldn't mind some consolidation in the VCS arena so the talented VCS guys can work towards three killer VCSs (Subversion, Mercurial or Bazaar, and Git are my choices). And then they can band together and make sure my life doesn't suck in Eclipse when I am forced to use the editor. =)


I've already spent *much* time and effort and still I haven't implemented a working version control system, stemming from the source at drupal.org, (my pet project).

And FWIW, I've ready several docs on Bazaar & Drupal, and what exists leads to a dead dead dead server. It's as if there was a sudden interest among the Drupal community for Bazaar, and then everyone (or at least according to Google) went silent. Like Roanoake [wikipedia.org] .

Please stop with flamebat summaries (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285601)

Linus isn't slamming SVN and he responses very insightful why he things git is better. Please, stop this propaganda style summary writing, it is getting very old.

Nevermind that, interview was ok, not lot of new info, but much calmer and clever Linus than last months.

Re:Please stop with flamebat summaries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20285831)

As already mentioned, he has quite openly slammed SVN and CVS:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-219933204 4603874737 [google.com]
This isn't propaganda - it's actually completely accurate.

Oh come on (2, Funny)

bsander (774553) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285679)

I love penis. Frankly the batcave scares me.
43 comments already and nobody found that funny?

Important Differences (2, Interesting)

One Childish N00b (780549) | more than 6 years ago | (#20286067)

As to my 'iconic image', I tend to dislike that part personally. I'm not a great public speaker, and I've avoided travelling for the last several years because I'm not very comfortable being seen as this iconic 'visionary'. I'm just an engineer, and I just happen to love doing what I do, and to work with other people in public.

This, people, is the key difference between Linux and Microsoft, and even Apple. Steves Ballmer and Jobs both want to be seen as visionaries, as all-knowing technological sages of our time. That isn't neccessarily a bad thing, as we've seen with the way Jobs has turned Apple around since he took over, but it does explain the difference between the philosophies of the groups: Apple and Microsoft take the approach of throwing new features in whenever they find them, so as to be seen as forward-thinking and 'next-gen', and sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't - Spotlight being an example of something that does work (yeah, there had been desktop search before, but nothing quite that efficient and right-on-the-desktop in what can be called the 'Big 3' operating systems), and things like the are-they-in, are-they-out dropped features from Vista being an example of something that doesn't.

Linux, however, taking it's cues from Linus, approaches things from an engineering perspective. Visionary? That's all well and good, but will it run the risk of breaking? Yes? Then it's not going in. When you don't have a product to sell, it's a lot easier to base your development priorites on a more sound engineering base. Therein lies the difference; Jobs and Ballmer see themselves as visionaries, while Linus - who, whether he likes it or not, is the 'spiritual leader' of the Linux community - sees himself as 'just an engineer'. (Of course, the point could be made that Linus has the luxury of only being concerned with the kernel, where security and stability are the key things and form over function is rarely if ever required - do the likes likes of Mark Shuttleworth, Matthew Szulik, etc see themselves as engineers, or as visionaries?)

Re:Important Differences (1)

Nixoloco (675549) | more than 6 years ago | (#20286237)

On one hand you are talking about an engineer/programmer working directly on an OS kernel. On the other you are referring to CEOs of very large corporations that make a multitude of products far more complex and wide ranging than just a kernel. You would be better off comparing the statements from the CEO of Red Hat, Novell etc. to those of Ballmer/Jobs.. or maybe an engineer within Microsoft/Apple to those of Linus. It is the Job of a CEO to appear as a visionary. It's part of their job to sell both the company and its products.

Not everyone is a Linux kernel developer (1)

kyashan (919683) | more than 6 years ago | (#20286351)

Can't read the article linked as it's being slashdotted but I saw the talk he did at Google [google.com] and I have to say that he missed two big points:

  1. Need support for the most diffused platforms (most you can get on Windows is a supposedly non-performing Cygwin version)
  2. Need support for actual user interfaces other than "command line"

..many people need to version binaries, and many need a simple user interface.
In fact one of the handicaps of SVN is that it doesn't have a client like WinCVS. TortoiseSVN works nice, but most users just want a separate app.

So he can make his point as much as he wants, but there is a reason why 5000 employees at Google base their work on Perforce and not on GIT.

ole'

Re:Not everyone is a Linux kernel developer (1)

Entrope (68843) | more than 6 years ago | (#20286397)

Perforce is a pretty lousy configuration management system. Wide cross-platform support is the only positive aspect it really has going for it. Other aspects just suck less than certain alternatives: price, ease of use, SCM model, etc. Google probably developed easier front-ends in-house, but things like client specifications are maddeningly unintuitive in Perforce, branching is baroque, and having the *server* keep track of client workspace state is a mind-blowingly stupid performance optimization.

(GIT has several GUIs -- nicer than what Subversion and CVS have on Unix systems, but not as nice as TortoiseSVN or good commercial offerings. GIT can version binary files. The core-git CLI is continuously getting usability improvements, and there are other porcelains that try to make it even easier.)

Why Indians Don't Contribute Much to Linux (4, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 6 years ago | (#20286453)

``Q: India is one of the major producers of software engineers, yet we don't contribute much to the Linux domain. What do you think is keeping Indians from becoming proactive on that front? How do you feel we could encourage Indians to get involved and contribute heavily? You have a fan following in India; could your iconic image be used to inspire enthusiasts? -- Bhuvaneswaran Arumugam.

Linus: This is actually a very hard question for me to answer. Getting into open source is such a complicated combination of both infrastructure (Internet access, education, you name it), flow of information and simply culture that I can't even begin to guess what the biggest stumbling block could be.''

My guess is it's because the _bulk_ of Indian software engineers are being raised on Microsoft technology (the fact that it's Microsoft is irrelevant here; what matters is that it isn't Linux and doesn't resemble Linux). I don't actually know that this is the case, but I suspect it. I've spoken to a number of people from various parts of the world that aren't Europe or North America, and the picture I get is mostly the same: virtually everybody who uses a computer uses (cheap or pirated) Windows, if you take classes in CS you are taught Microsoft tools, and, at work, you use Windows. It's like nothing else exists. Why would you contribute to Linux, coming from such an environment?

Also, I know for a fact that a lot of people in India get trained on Java. That's yet another platform that isn't Linux and, even if it's more like Linux than Microsoft's platform is, it's still different in important ways. Besides, Java can run under Linux...but that's not what usually happens.
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