Linus vs Tridge: asbestos suits needed to protect innovation

El Reg has found a posting from Linus on the BitKeeper vs Andrew Tridgell bunfight. It makes for interesting reading. I was particularly interested to read this paragraph:
...But that's not what Tridge did. He didn't write a "better SCM than BK". He didn't even try - it wasn't his oal. He just wanted to see what the protocols and data was, without actually producing any replacement for the (inevitable) problems he caused and knew about...
I find these interesting for two reasons. Firstly, Tridge seems to have been engaging in some research. This is something which most other people would find quite laudable. Research is also what drives innovation --- you can't improve upon something unless you know at least a bit (or a lot!) about that something. Secondly, Linus' email leaves a lot open to interpretation. On my first reading of that paragraph I was left with the impression that Linus is accusing Tridge of creating data/metadata problems (what other people might call data corruption) within the linux kernel repository. Clearly a bad thing to be implying. I had to read the paragraph a few times before it occurred to me that Linus was probably only talking about Larry pulling the license. Then later in the email is this tidbit:
I'll write my own kernel source tracking tool because I can't use the best any more.
If we take Donald E. Knuth as any sort of reliable guideline on diversions like this, then there won't be any more innovations coming from Linus involving the linux kernel, because he'll be spending all his time and effort designing, debugging and generally re-inventing the source code management wheel. And finally, this bunfight has made it into the mainstream media. I like Sam Varghese's final paragraph:
All that this incident has done is to bring to the fore the fact that free software and open source software are definitely not one and the same thing and that compromises made at one point could well come back to bite those who make them.
Comments:

Post a Comment:
Comments are closed for this entry.
About

I work at Oracle in the Solaris group. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own, and neither Oracle nor any other party necessarily agrees with them.

Search

Archives
« April 2014
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
  
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
   
       
Today