BitKeeper licence critic

Joerg Schilling schilling at
Mon Mar 18 08:41:34 UTC 2002

>From jeroen at Sun Mar 17 14:13:56 2002

>> You are right: it _is_ important how fast bugs are fixed ;-)

>Yes, that's why I fix the bugs myself if I can do so. I've the freedom
>to do so with Debian. You don't have that with Solaris. You depend on
>the willingness of some company. Poor you, that you've to wait a month
>for a simple bugfix.

Let me give a simple example to you that your assumption makes no sense in the 
real world:

There is a nasty bug in SunPRO make. If I would be able to fix it myself
(I really am because it is easy to get Sun's sources) this would not help.
It would force me to tell all users of my makefiles that they need to 
use my fix what many of them probably don't like (the same would happen
with GNU make). 

You see that while  can introduce workarounds in my makefile system, it makes
no sense to fix the program myself.

>> Why should I spend my time on a badly written make program when I have my
>> own make program that does what I like?

>They don't complain about GNU make.

Because they only use a small fractioction of what makes sense to do with

>> You did not understand how software development works....

>You don't understand that you can't force volunteers to do
>something. If you want to see something, you've to do it yourself.

You don't understand that it does not make sense to to it yourself because
the maintainers will not use your patches!

I started to do this once with Linux and the /dev/sg* driver and I failed
miserably because Alan Cox decided not to use my enhanced driver.

>> So you found the proof that the persons envolved with GNU make don't even
>> understand how to use make decently.

>I never have problems with GNU make. Nor do the authors of GNU make or
>somebody else who wants to see it fixed. It works perfect, why should
>we change it? Because it doesn't work perfect for YOU? Then YOU should
>change it if you care about it. If you don't care about it, then
>happily use your own make.

It works perfect if you use a limited set of features. I am using
documented feeatures because I need them, I tell people that they either
may usev GNU make, but because of the GNU make bugs they should not complain
before they were able to reproduce a problem using my smake.

What is wrong with this way and why do you constantly tell people to do
things that won't work in real world? 

>> In fact the method shown in this mail is deprecated and the only method
>> that works correctly is the method I use in the Schily makefile system.
>> Ifg somebody believes that dependencies must not be put into platform
>> dependant sub directories he simply did not understand how to create a po=
>> multi platform make system.

>Look at glibc. It's portable, it uses GNU make and it works correctly.

The person was talking about the way to create dependency files and I can tell
you that the only method that works reliable in a multi platform environment
is the method used in the schily makefile system and the method promoted
by the FSF people is deprecated because it will result in overwritten
files in a multi-platform environment. Maybe if the GCC people learn to 
understand how to do it correctly inside GCC and there is no more old GCC
outside I may switch to a better method for dependencies.

>> While GNU make does make the Makefile before using it (e.g. by retrieving
>> it from SCCS) it does not make make files to be included even if there is=
> a=20
>> rule.

>And nobody with enough interest in GNU make needs this, so GNU make
>doesn't do it.


>Sorry, I don't have much knowledge about companies and software who
>only like to restric me. Solaris might be free beer then, who cares.

Well the authors of GDB restrict me because it is the only debugger available 
on Linux and because I cannot do the things I expect a debugger to do.

>POSIX sucks more. It even contradicts itself. There are dozen of
>broken things in it.

This is often heard by people like you, but they are getting quiet when
it comes to making concrete examples.

>AFAIK GNU tar makes POSIX compliant tars if you use the --posix
>option. I've done enough stuff with GNU tar, but GNU/Linux and
>GNU/Hurd are the only operating systems I use for real work.

Many GNU users have this wrong assumption, this is why I am more and more
angry with the people who wrote documentation tha makes users believe
untrue things about the GNU programs...


 EMail:joerg at (home) Jörg Schilling D-13353 Berlin
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