What do to about BitKeeper and the Linux Kernel (was: BitKeeper licence critic)

Alexandre Dulaunoy adulau-conos at perycles.unix.be.EU.org
Fri Mar 8 12:58:41 UTC 2002

On Fri, 8 Mar 2002, Bernhard Reiter wrote:

> On Thu, Mar 07, 2002 at 08:41:01PM +0100, Bernhard Reiter wrote:
> > On Thu, Mar 07, 2002 at 02:17:49AM +0000, MJ Ray wrote:
> > > Is there anything we can practically do to change the bk decision? 
> > 
> > Create awareness, spread the word.
> > LWN reports about a small pedition:
> > 	http://lwn.net/2002/0307/a/bitkeeper-petition.php3
> > There is a summary on the kernel page: http://lwn.net/2002/0307/kernel.php3
> Linus wrote an email about the subject.
> http://lwn.net/daily/lt-bitkeeper.php3
> | In short: nobody requires BK of anybody else.
> I tend to disagree strongly on the following point.

Yes. You are right, it's a long term investment to choose Free Software.

> | BK->CVS gateway, if you really feel like it.  
> This might be a good idea if it will help the transistion to CVS
> or other Free Software tools. It is not a good idea if it helps
> people to continue using BK.

Another issue with BK, it's the source availability with current licensing 
scheme. The binary version is available with a specific licensing scheme.
The source version is available with another specific license. 
There is some issue about auditability of the security of BK ;-) For me, I 
consider that, a big issue for software security. You can have 2 versions 
in // with multiple security level (or backdoor ?) ;-)

> He also writes:
> | I took a look at
> |   subversion, and it doesn't even come close to what I wanted.
> Implying that he did not look at Aegis yet.
> If Aegis is worth a look, we could check it regarding Linus' needs
> and make it easy for him to try it.

I'm using CVS daily it is working but  :

- rename of directory or files is a pain (you have to dig into CVSROOT)
- linking is imposible and frequent in big project
- sync of cvs is not so easy if you don't want a single point of failure
- partial commit sometimes happens
- I will not talk about the security on the cvs server (except maybe in a 
  linux vserver ;-)

So we have look around but there is no miracle solution : 

- aegis seems a really good software but the concept are quite different 
  from CVS (maybe not so bad idea). Moving from a big CVS in aegis is not 
  so easy (but I'm maybe wrong)
  license : GPL

- arch looks cool and really an innovation but software is quite young
  We will build a second repository with arch to move our currents 
  projects. (some issue with protocol and FTP)
  license : GPL

- subversion seems not so bad. 
  license : Apache-style
So for us, we will use CVS and arch in the same time and if arch is more 
stable (for our projects) than CVS, we will remove it. 

arch could be an official GNU project ? 

just my comments.

Alexandre Dulaunoy			adulau at conostix.com

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