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

Jeroen Dekkers jeroen at dekkers.cx
Fri Mar 8 20:35:41 UTC 2002

On Fri, Mar 08, 2002 at 07:40:11PM +0000, MJ Ray wrote:
> Jeroen Dekkers <jeroen at dekkers.cx> wrote:
> > I don't see why I should even care about Linux and especially Linus at
> > all. 
> Well, this will be a high-profile snub for Free Software if it becomes
> established. 

IMHO Linux is already a high-profile snub for Free Software and GNU.

> I know Linus is not a real ideologue, but this isn't a nice
> message to see getting in the media.  

True, I would rather see GNU and free software taking a much bigger
role in the media instead of Linux and open source.

> Fortunately, BK has had its share of
> problems in this episode, so they're not coming out totally good either. 
> The lumps they're taking from the likes of the Ohio State Uni Open Source
> club may at least make people think about what they're doing, even if people
> don't know what a "petition" is.

The whole BK thing is just another reason to dislike Linux for
me. (Most of the other reasons are technical)

> > Personally, I just help finishing the GNU system instead of
> > caring about the GNU/Linux variant.
> That variant is the largest user base today, I think, so it is worth caring
> for and trying to educate people from it.

IMHO GNU/Hurd is a better base to educate people from, all developers
care about freedom etc. It's also directly linked with the GNU
project. But I understand that GNU/Linux is the current variant which
has the bigger userbase and really works better and you don't want to
drop it. That why I said "personally". :) 

> > 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.
> Did you enjoy the bit where emails said that BK was open source too?  Nice
> demonstration of why that term isn't good.

I don't read the Linux mailinglist, but I can understand that it would
cause a lot of problems.

> > They don't give credits to the biggest part of the operating system, GNU,
> > a part that is such important that without it Linux wasn't even possible.
> Well, to be fair, Linus did choose the GNU GPL and didn't name Linux himself
> anyway...
> Let's keep the channels open, eh?  Going all "high ground Hurd" isn't the
> solution.  You've probably given me incentive to at least try it on the next
> new machine when it arrives.

I would also like to warn you that the current version of the Hurd
isn't really useful in a production environment. There are going to
happen big changes in the near future which would really improve the

Our biggest problem is manpower, we know the solutions to most
problems the Hurd has and we know enough places to make it better,
better than any piece of software available at the moment.  But we
need people to hack it. I just want to say there is an alternative to
Linux, which is not really better physophical but also technical.

Jeroen Dekkers
Jabber supporter - http://www.jabber.org Jabber ID: jdekkers at jabber.org
Debian GNU supporter - http://www.debian.org http://www.gnu.org
IRC: jeroen at openprojects
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