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The Usability of BitKeeper for Open Source Hacking [was Re: [hackers-il] Are we stressing the free software ideology too much? (fwd) ]

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  • Shlomi Fish
    Hi! This is a forward of an E-mail I sent to Orna (sent here with her permission) where I can explain why BitKeeper is not a suitable candidate for use by open
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2003
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      Hi!

      This is a forward of an E-mail I sent to Orna (sent here with her
      permission) where I can explain why BitKeeper is not a suitable candidate
      for use by open source projects, despite the fact that it may be superior
      to existing free software systems.

      Regards,

      Shlomi Fish


      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
      Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/

      An apple a day will keep a doctor away. Two apples a day will keep two
      doctors away.

      Falk Fish
      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      Date: Sat, 1 Nov 2003 11:51:20 +0200 (IST)
      From: Shlomi Fish <shlomif@...>
      To: Orna Agmon <ladypine@...>
      Subject: Re: [hackers-il] Are we stressing the free software ideology too
      much?

      On Sat, 1 Nov 2003, Orna Agmon wrote:

      > This implies for bit keeper as well- technologically superior, though not
      > free.
      >

      :-)

      I realize that. However, the BitKeeper's license has some other problems
      besides being proprietary
      (http://better-scm.berlios.de/comparison/bk-license.html). Also, since
      BitKeeper is actively used for development (a meta-tool), it would
      discriminate against developers for whom ideology is important. And this
      will fragment the developers' community.

      If I use a proprietary image manipulation program to create a PNG or an
      SVG file, it doesn't matter, because the final product is usable as it is,
      without having to rely on proprietary technology. But if I use BK to
      maintain the code, it is something other developers need to effectively
      cooperate with me.

      I think BitKeeper is good by setting up a goal for open source version
      control systems to achieve. I also don't have a problem with Larry McVoy
      selling BitKeeper, because he and his employees worked very hard to
      produce it. But the sad thing is that he originally intended it to replace
      CVS in use by open-source projects, and because of the existing license,
      and his attitude it's not going to happen. (and because of that he's also
      losing a market of software shops who now use CVS or something similar)

      Can I forward this message to this list? (waiting for your permission)

      Regards,

      Shlomi Fish


      > On Fri, 31 Oct 2003, Shlomi Fish wrote:
      >
      > >
      > > Are we stressing the free software ideology too much? I happen to think
      > > so. We all know about how free software should be freely distributable,
      > > freely modifiable, freely usable, and possibly copyleft as well. But
      > > should we stress it to newcomers? Should we keep stressing it to
      > > ourselves, and have silly "proprietary software - good or evil" fights?
      > >
      > > I think it's time we stressed the technical superiority of Linux and other
      > > free software instead of the ideology behind it. I realize this technical
      > > superiority was derived from the open-source nature of the code. However,
      > > its ideology is much less important for the user as a user than its
      > > technical superiority.
      > >
      > > So I suggest that we first educate the people stressing the facts that
      > > make it a superior system technically. After they switched they'll have
      > > no problem learning about its open source nature and the wonderful
      > > benefits it brings.
      > >
      > > In regards to the "What if a better proprietary solution comes along", the
      > > answer is simple: some people care that a software will be open source (or
      > > at least very close) because this in itself is a technical superiority as
      > > it makes sure they can always maintain this software. Those who don't may
      > > switch for some time, but it will only cause an incenitive to improve the
      > > existing open source software, and to again close the gap.
      > >
      > > Like I said to a correspondant of mine, I find it hard to believe some
      > > company can easily come up with a better product that the entire GNU/Linux
      > > system. While individual components were replaced either by open source
      > > ones or in rare cases proprietary ones, the system as a whole is too large
      > > an effort for one company to take upon itself. Better join it, than go
      > > against it, and build on existing foundations.
      > >
      > > Microsoft is, at the moment, the only entity who is trying to outcompete
      > > the open source world in its entirety. And they are having a very poor
      > > success, as almost anyone who have used both systems seriously can
      > > tesitify that Linux is the superior one.
      > >
      > > Regards,
      > >
      > > Shlomi Fish
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      > > Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
      > > Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
      > >
      > > An apple a day will keep a doctor away. Two apples a day will keep two
      > > doctors away.
      > >
      > > Falk Fish
      > >
      > >
      > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
      > > hackers-il-unsubscribe@egroups.com
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >



      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
      Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/

      An apple a day will keep a doctor away. Two apples a day will keep two
      doctors away.

      Falk Fish
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