April 8, 2005 1:34 PM PDT

Torvalds looking for new Linux home

Linux leader Linus Torvalds has begun looking for a new electronic home for his project's source code after a conflict involving the current management system, BitKeeper.

The move could slow Linux development as Torvalds reverts to a less automated system based on e-mail, he said Wednesday in postings to the Linux kernel mailing list. But it's better to start shifting away sooner rather than later, he said.

"I've decided to not use BK (BitKeeper) mainly because I need to figure out the alternatives," Torvalds said in a posting. "Rather than continuing 'things as normal,' I decided to bite the bullet and just see what life without BK looks like."

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What's new:
Linux leader Linus Torvalds has begun looking for a replacement for the BitKeeper system to house and manage the complicated, global programming effort. The move addresses gripes from some in the open-source and free software community about the proprietary nature of BitKeeper.

Bottom line:
A shift back to an older e-mail based control method likely will disrupt and slow some Linux development, but Torvalds says it's better to start shifting away from BitKeeper sooner rather than later.

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Robert Frances Group analyst Stacey Quandt doesn't expect a big problem. "I don't think it's going to slow development, since a huge number of changes are being done effectively through e-mail today," she said.

But at a minimum, there will be significant disruptions for the many Linux developers who have grown accustomed to using BitKeeper to shuttle modifications called "changesets" up and down the programmer hierarchy.

There are more than 10,000 active versions of the Linux kernel in an interconnected system of BitKeeper repositories, said Larry McVoy, founder of the company called BitMover that sells the proprietary BitKeeper software. That's likely to change now. "I suspect that in three years some alternative will become the primary source code management system for the Linux kernel. What that is remains to be seen," McVoy said in an interview.

As the Linux programming effort has grown--McVoy now estimates there are more than 1,500 developers who have contributed to Linux components--it has gradually become more formal. Torvalds in 2004 started requiring contributors to sign off on their submissions, and a more organized bug tracking system began in 2002. Torvalds also has standardized his e-mail patch format.

Torvalds began using BitKeeper in 2002 and lavishes praise on its ability to synchronize the work of numerous programmers without requiring a central repository. "It's made me more than twice as productive," Torvalds said in a March 2004 BitKeeper news release.

Torvalds isn't fond of centralized code repositories such as those using the Concurrent Version System software, though he said that possibility shouldn't be completely ruled out. The leading alternative for a Linux management system is a project called Monotone, Torvalds said.

Why the change?
Ultimately, the shift away from BitKeeper arose because of differences between the advocates of open-source and proprietary software. BitKeeper is proprietary, so Torvalds' adoption of it rankled many open-source advocates.

McVoy supports and uses open-source software, but he's determined to protect his technology from copycats--including open-source programmers. BitMover offered a no-cost, proprietary, somewhat stripped-down version of BitKeeper that let Linux programmers use

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Torvalds is in error, here.
The ethical thing to do is to stay with BitKeeper until the Linux community has an open-source initiative to competely replace the impetus of BitKeeper in line with their own needs and experience with updating, revising and distributing open-source code.

Torvalds is demonstrating that the open source movement strays towards a 're-write and ignore copyright movement'. Of course, there were many who accused Torvalds of doing just that in the originial Linux implementation.

Of course the Linux crowd can always acuse PutDown of not-knowing what he is talking about, cause he ain't Linux. But I think the facts of this matter speak for themselves. Why did Torvalds allow a non-open source program such high profile in the Linux heirarchy?
Posted by (88 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Torvalds is in error, here.
The ethical thing to do is to stay with BitKeeper until the Linux community has an open-source initiative to competely replace the impetus of BitKeeper in line with their own needs and experience with updating, revising and distributing open-source code.

Torvalds is demonstrating that the open source movement strays towards a 're-write and ignore copyright movement'. Of course, there were many who accused Torvalds of doing just that in the originial Linux implementation.

Of course the Linux crowd can always acuse PutDown of not-knowing what he is talking about, cause he ain't Linux. But I think the facts of this matter speak for themselves. Why did Torvalds allow a non-open source program such high profile in the Linux heirarchy?
Posted by (88 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The Story of the Hare and the Tortoise!
With the move to revert to a less automated system based on e-mailing and threatening to slow the pace of Linux development; perhaps, "economy" wise... with IBM still reluctant to release OS/2 Warp into the open-source community this can see OS/2 gaining ground on both Windows and Linux based on OS/2 being able to take advantage of the availability of the "Eclipse" Architecture presently under development for applications delivery. Lest we forget the story of the "hare" and the "tortoise"!
Posted by (187 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Pipe dream
Better check what you're smoking. OS/2 won't be made "open source" because (among other reasons) part of the source is still the property of Microsoft who wrote it in the first place. IBM has the rights to market and use that software but not necessarily the right to release it to the world as open source.

OS/2 is also so far off of the mainstream map these days that it's hard to conceive of a way for it to return to prominence.
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Link Flag
The Story of the Hare and the Tortoise!
With the move to revert to a less automated system based on e-mailing and threatening to slow the pace of Linux development; perhaps, "economy" wise... with IBM still reluctant to release OS/2 Warp into the open-source community this can see OS/2 gaining ground on both Windows and Linux based on OS/2 being able to take advantage of the availability of the "Eclipse" Architecture presently under development for applications delivery. Lest we forget the story of the "hare" and the "tortoise"!
Posted by (187 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Pipe dream
Better check what you're smoking. OS/2 won't be made "open source" because (among other reasons) part of the source is still the property of Microsoft who wrote it in the first place. IBM has the rights to market and use that software but not necessarily the right to release it to the world as open source.

OS/2 is also so far off of the mainstream map these days that it's hard to conceive of a way for it to return to prominence.
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Link Flag
Richard Stallman vindicated by greed
The article has all the points covered why free demos aren't the way to go for the Open Source community.

Free versions that are proprietary can be(and in this case are being) pulled

When someone developed an open source item that works with the proprietary program the $$$$owner admits being mad at the FREEowner

Result: the pulling of the free version

The only "reduction" in productivity should be immediate redirecting of efforts to make an acceptable OPEN SOURCE alternative.

Wish lists should be immediately created and quickly categorized and prioritized. The Open Source Community needs to rally around this immediately.

The $56 million alternative that was mentioned, divided among tens of thousands of developers(also mentioned) would amount to each buying a Microsoft product (estimate range $200 - $600 per person)

THIS IS WHAT OPEN SOURCE IS TRYING TO AVOID

And this can happen ANYTIME one starts to depend on proprietary software no matter what the cost.

The only possible exception would be a low cost item that comes with "lifetime free updates" and even this has the problem that buying a Gizmo version 5.7 might never be upgraded but instead the same company could start selling Gazmo 2.0 with all Gizmo functions and more circumventing any update commitment for the former product..... SO...

Open Source is Open Source and Proprietary is Proprietary and never the twain shall meet!
Posted by qazwiz (208 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Richard Stallman vindicated by greed
The article has all the points covered why free demos aren't the way to go for the Open Source community.

Free versions that are proprietary can be(and in this case are being) pulled

When someone developed an open source item that works with the proprietary program the $$$$owner admits being mad at the FREEowner

Result: the pulling of the free version

The only "reduction" in productivity should be immediate redirecting of efforts to make an acceptable OPEN SOURCE alternative.

Wish lists should be immediately created and quickly categorized and prioritized. The Open Source Community needs to rally around this immediately.

The $56 million alternative that was mentioned, divided among tens of thousands of developers(also mentioned) would amount to each buying a Microsoft product (estimate range $200 - $600 per person)

THIS IS WHAT OPEN SOURCE IS TRYING TO AVOID

And this can happen ANYTIME one starts to depend on proprietary software no matter what the cost.

The only possible exception would be a low cost item that comes with "lifetime free updates" and even this has the problem that buying a Gizmo version 5.7 might never be upgraded but instead the same company could start selling Gazmo 2.0 with all Gizmo functions and more circumventing any update commitment for the former product..... SO...

Open Source is Open Source and Proprietary is Proprietary and never the twain shall meet!
Posted by qazwiz (208 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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