What do to about BitKeeper and the Linux Kernel

Bernhard Reiter bernhard at intevation.de
Fri Mar 8 18:51:44 UTC 2002

On Fri, Mar 08, 2002 at 07:26:25PM +0100, Jeroen Dekkers wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 08, 2002 at 01:21:18PM +0100, Bernhard Reiter wrote:

> > Linus wrote an email about the subject.
> > http://lwn.net/daily/lt-bitkeeper.php3
> I don't see why I should even care about Linux and especially Linus at all. 

Linus has a long time record to develop nice Free Software.
It is good to keep in contact with people who do this.
In general it is good to keep communication and discussions going.

> Personally, I just help finishing the GNU system instead of
> caring about the GNU/Linux variant. 

The goal of the GNU project is to give you freedom to completly
run Free Software for your computing needs. 
The Linux kernel certainly helps this goal in a significant way. 
If Linux would have been available when Hurd
started, the GNU project would probably have adopted it.
This is standard GNU project behaviour.
Because the Linux kernel is a significant contribution,
a name like GNU/Linux gives credit to it 
and also explains that there might be other variants.


| When we started developing the Hurd in 1990, the question facing us
| was, ``How can we get a free kernel for the GNU system?'' There was
| no free Unix-like kernel then, and we knew of no other plan to write
| one. The only way we could expect to have a free kernel was to write
| it ourselves. So we started.

| If we did face the question that people ask---if Linux were already
| available, and we were considering whether to start writing another
| kernel---we would not do it. Instead we would choose another
| project, something to do a job that no existing free software can do.
| But we did start the Hurd, back then, and now we have made it work.
| We hope its superior architecture will make free operating systems
| more powerful.

> I don't see why people supporting
> free software want to get associated with some bunch of people
> promoting non-free software, use the term open source and try to get
> all the credits themself for writing an operating system. 

You have to keep the perspective here.
Linus himself never tried to get all credits for an "Operating" system.
Additionally different people have different ideas on how to promote
and progress things. Linus is definatly doing good things for the 
Free Software-Community. We want him to keep doing this.
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