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Pragmatic Version Control Using Git (book review)

Apr 29, 2009, 00:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Carla Schroder)

"Git was inspired in part by Larry McVoy's BitKeeper, which was considered by Linus to be the most advanced SCM available at the time. Mr. McVoy had the services of the best programmers in the world using and improving BitKeeper, and they got free use of BitKeeper, but it was an uneasy alliance. Using BitKeeper for kernel development was controversial because it is a closed, proprietary product. Linus and some other key developers liked it, but Alan Cox, Andrew Tridgell, and other developers didn't like the idea of using a proprietary VCS for Linux kernel development, and refused to use it. Mr. McVoy exacerbated the situation by continually changing the terms of the BitKeeper license and imposing ever-more stringent restrictions, such as not implementing any of the BitKeeper ideas or concepts in other products.

"Tridge ignited a major firestorm by writing a Free client for BitKeeper, which would have allowed kernel developers who did not want to use the proprietary BitKeeper clients to have equal access. Shortly after that Mr. McVoy revoked all of the "free use" licenses and required anyone who wanted to continue to use BitKeeper to switch to the commercial version. In addition he refused to allow any OSDL (Open Source Development Lab) employees, which included Linus Torvalds, to use BitKeeper at all."

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