Muli Ben-Yehuda's journal

April 6, 2005

The End of BitKeeper

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 9:53 AM

(sorry for the sensationalist title, but I’m enjoying myself)

Read No More Free BitKeeper and BitMover announces accelerated commercial development strategy and migration plan for Open Source users and rejoice – no more BitKeeper used for the kernel’s development (and hopefully not for Xen’s, too). I don’t care how much better bk is than the other tools – using it makes me feel dirty! My only regret is that I haven’t found the time to contribute to an open source alternative.


  1. woohoo
    I dance around you a little with much joy and happiness!

    Comment by moshez — April 6, 2005 @ 6:55 AM | Reply

  2. … subversion?

    Comment by reverius42 — April 6, 2005 @ 7:19 AM | Reply

    • Doubtful. An arch variant (baz, maybe?) has more chance of being molded to Linus’s liking.

      Comment by moshez — April 6, 2005 @ 7:32 AM | Reply

      • interesting. i’m only familiar with CVS and subversion, and i’ve never heard of arch until now. it appears (from the wikipedia article) to put a bit more work on the head developer / maintainer / whoever is the Gatekeeper of Code. for a project like the linux kernel, though, something that goes through human hands/eyes is probably better, though.

        Comment by reverius42 — April 6, 2005 @ 7:38 AM

  3. I thought this was an April Fool’s joke until I saw everything was dated the 5th. Crazy.

    Comment by brad — April 6, 2005 @ 7:38 AM | Reply

  4. hooray!

    Comment by xtat — April 6, 2005 @ 8:03 AM | Reply

  5. Oh lord
    I think it’s a shame, this will greatly affect productivity

    Comment by Anonymous — April 6, 2005 @ 8:27 AM | Reply

  6. Hmmm… Interesting

    For a long time I thought that the BitKeeper gratis license is doing it more harm than good. So I should be happy that this option has been removed. One thing I liked was the fact that Larry McVoy claimed that “this is really an open source community problem”. McVoy is a piece of work.

    I think I would have been happier if BitKeeper would have been made available under the almost-free license it was initially released. But the problem is that McVoy tries to make sure no-one abuses his product instead of making sure BitMover doesn’t lose paying customers. So obviously this option is not realistic at the moment.

    Shlomi Fish (who has contributed to Subversion, which is an open-source version control alternative).

    Comment by shlomif — April 6, 2005 @ 8:32 AM | Reply

    • Re: Hmmm… Interesting
      I was also greatly amused by the quote of McVoy’s saying “we represent as open-source friendly a commercial organization as you are *ever* going to see”. To my knowledge there are any number of other commercial organizations that have released more code under OSI approved licenses than BitMover ever has.

      Comment by trurl — April 6, 2005 @ 12:30 PM | Reply

  7. Sorry to hear it !
    If I am not wrong Linus adopted BitKeeper
    not long ago. (maybe only in last year; I suppose you know
    better than me).
    Only yesterday I saw that they had talked about
    BitKeeper already in OLS 2002
    see “BitKeeper for Kernel Developers”
    of Val Henson
    I hope some good alternative will be found (subversiopn maybe?)

    Comment by rrx — April 6, 2005 @ 3:46 PM | Reply

  8. Is kernel really moving off bk? None of your links say that, in fact, they all imply the opposite.

    Comment by spot — April 6, 2005 @ 3:47 PM | Reply

  9. Hey, cool. Open source bitkeeper client.

    Comment by taral — April 6, 2005 @ 4:48 PM | Reply

    • It’s not very useful… it can only check-out the top of the tree.

      Comment by mulix — April 6, 2005 @ 8:21 PM | Reply

      • It can check out any revision you ask for.

        Comment by taral — April 7, 2005 @ 5:50 PM

      • It’s also not a “check-out” as much as a “bk get”, which copies the entire revision history.

        Comment by taral — April 7, 2005 @ 5:50 PM

  10. finally
    finally larry fulfilled on what he promised to do in the weird license terms for bk. ok, he was trying to come up with loosening the “you shall not hack on any similar program if you want to use free bk” some weeks ago but it still was on terms like “forbidden to hack on any similar tool for 1 year” etc.
    back in the day when I told ppl that I can’t work on their repo because of the licensing terms ppl wouldn’t believe me what I told them about it. so some weeks ago larry publicly (while trying to find looser terms) said that his lawyer told him that the terms can be laid out the way many hackers including me did.

    Comment by Anonymous — April 8, 2005 @ 10:55 PM | Reply

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