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Linux Format: The Samba Code Fork: What it is, why it's important, and what it means to you

Oct 15, 2000, 19:34 (3 Talkback[s])

[ Thanks to Rob Fenwick for this link. ]

"Suitably enough on Friday the 13th, a serious fork in SAMBA development was announced. SAMBA, the technology that allows Windows 9x/NT computers to communicate with Linux boxen through "Microsoft's" file and printer sharing SMB based system has been the king of its arena for a long while. We take a look at what is forking off, why it happened, and what it means for you."

"Many Linux Format readers won't be familiar with the term "code fork", so we'll take a look at that first. Forking is when a team working on a specific project splits into two, or more, teams no longer working in direct co-operation with each other. In essence, its like one group of people separating themselves from the main development effort and "running off" with the code. Thanks to the nature of Open Source, this is never fully possible, and code developed by both sides will still be available to the other through the GPL. Usually, a fork happens when one group of coders decide that a specific project needs to be moving in a new direction, but don't think the rest are listening - but that's not so with samba."

"If we were asked where all this began, we would have to say with Microsoft. In Windows 2000, they changed the way that authentication licenses worked, so that Windows 2000 clients couldn?t join or authenticate to a domain run by samba. The people who brought PDC (Primary Domain Controller) functionality to Samba have split away from the main samba effort citing the need for "expanding the PDC functionality (we want (full) w2k support)" and "adding printing support" to samba as some of the reasons for the fork. Well, there's nothing wrong with that, you may think, until you look at the roadmap for the original SAMBA project."

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