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BitKeeper EULA Forbids Working On Competition

timothy posted about 12 years ago | from the that-isn't-the-santa-clause dept.

Linux 694

Col. Klink (retired) writes "BitKeeper's new EULA forbids working on the competition. Larry McVoy has told Ben Collins that he can't use BK because he works on subversion (a free revision control program). In fact, you can't use BitKeeper if you OR your company have anything to do with competing software. Free Software advocates who were upset when Linus decided to use non-Free software now have the opportunity to say 'I told you so.'"

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clarification for a tired dummy (2, Interesting)

dirvish (574948) | about 12 years ago | (#4396196)

I don't feel like reading a EULA "working on" I assume that means contributing code. Is that correct? It doesn't mean using the program, right?

Re:clarification for a tired dummy (1)

unixmaster (573907) | about 12 years ago | (#4396205)

Yeah means contributing to code.

Re:clarification for a tired dummy (2)

rseuhs (322520) | about 12 years ago | (#4396216)

Since Bitkeeper is a development package, "using" equals "contributing code" for all meaningful cases.

slightly offtopic: frost pist (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4396198)

ya /. sux0rs!

Only the gratis license is affected (5, Insightful)

Bartab (233395) | about 12 years ago | (#4396199)

Note that only the use of Bitkeeper for free is affected by this clause. It still seems like this was a bait-and-switch maneuver on the part of BitKeeper, also there seems to be some personal animosity with the Subversion crew.

Subversion isn't quite up to par, yet, but it does seem like the switch to 2.6/3.0 "soon" would be a good time to switch revision control systems to something less... counter productive.

Re:Only the gratis license is affected tsarkon dea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4396271)

Here I have a list of reprehensions against Larry McVoy. He is an evil man, trying to pigeonhole innocent programmers who think that a man who makes his living by the venue of open source development would be more like RMS and less like Gill Bates!!

There is currently a lot of controversy about Mr. Larry Larry McVoy's pronouncements, and I know that any letter on the subject will almost certainly cause someone to make a fetish of the virtues of vexatious nonrepresentationalism. Still, Larry's recourse to vandalism as a tactical modality for waging low-intensity warfare has been successful. To address this in a pedantic manner, in the rest of this letter, factual information will be prefaced as such and my own opinions will be clearly stated as opinions. For instance, it is a fact that Larry spews nothing but lame retorts and innuendoes. Am I aware of how Larry will react when he reads that last sentence? Yes. Do I care? No, because if you look soberly and carefully at the evidence all around you, you will surely find that you may make the comment, "What does this have to do with disreputable utopians?" Well, once you begin to see the light, you'll realize that my current plan is to issue a call to conscience and reason. Yes, Larry will draw upon the most powerful fires of Hell to tear that plan asunder, but the question that's on everyone's mind these days is, "To what degree is he going to destroy the lives of good, honest people?" Fortunately for us, the key to the answer is obvious: If you've read this far, then you probably either agree with me or are on the way to agreeing with me. True, the ideological underpinnings of Larry's modes of thought have struck a receptive chord among thousands of disruptive dummkopfs, but given the amount of misinformation that Larry is circulating, I must point out that if we don't soon tell him to stop what he's doing, he will proceed with his misinformed, presumptuous subliminal psywar campaigns, considerably emboldened by our lack of resistance. We will have tacitly given him our permission to do so.

He has never tried to stop simple-minded creeps who trivialize the entire issue. In fact, quite the opposite is true: Larry encourages that sort of behavior. Only through education can individuals gain the independent tools they need to view the realms of alarmism and obscurantism not as two opposing poles, but as two continua. But the first step is to acknowledge that I don't want my community tainted with such blatant post-structuralism. To cap that off, I don't want to build castles in the air. I don't want to plan things that I can't yet implement. But I do want to give parents the means to protect their children, because doing so clearly demonstrates how I want to disabuse him of the notion that society is screaming for his views. I want to do this not because I need to tack another line onto my résumé, but because he spouts the same bile in everything he writes, making only slight modifications to suit the issue at hand. The issue he's excited about this week is priggism, which says to me that there is no such thing as evil in the abstract. It exists only in the evil deeds of evil people like Larry. Mutual efforts against recalcitrant, unenlightened exhibitionism are not just an educational process designed to teach people that Larry's cronies always detect profound wisdom in what is most incomprehensible to them personally. These efforts also serve as a beacon, warning the world of the disrespectful consequences of Larry's loathsome orations. To state it in a more sophisticated manner, we mustn't let Larry develop a credible pretext to forcibly silence his opponents. That would be like letting the Mafia serve as a new national police force in Italy. Many people are incredulous when I tell them that he intends to ridicule, parody, censor, and downgrade opposing ideas. "How could Larry be so perverted?", they ask me. "It doesn't seem possible." Well, it is unequivocally possible, and now I'll explain exactly how Larry plans to do it. But first, you need to realize that his factotums say, "Profits come before people." Yes, I'm afraid they really do talk like that. It's the only way for them to conceal that Larry is terrified that there might be an absolute reality outside himself, a reality that is what it is, regardless of his wishes, theories, hopes, daydreams, or decrees.

As I've said before, Larry insists that the most valuable skill one can have is to be able to lie convincingly. Sorry, Larry, but, with apologies to Gershwin, "it ain't necessarily so." How can he criticize other people's beliefs, fashion sense, and lifestyle and then turn around and shed tears for those who got hurt as a result? People often ask me that question. It's a difficult question to answer, however, because the querist generally wants a simple, concise answer. He doesn't want to hear a long, drawn-out explanation about how no one can be right all of the time. To pretend otherwise is nothing but hypocrisy and unwillingness to face the more unpleasant realities of life.

Larry thinks that the average working-class person can't see through his chicanery. However, words cannot convey the hurt and despair that I and so many others feel for those who were personally attacked by Larry. There is something grievously wrong with those officious big-labor bosses who issue a flood of bogus legal documents. Shame on the lot of them! Larry's prognoses are nothing shy of a slap in the face to all those who have fought and fallen in war for this country. For proof of this fact, I must point out that everything I've said so far is by way of introduction to the key point I want to make in this letter. My key point is that if Larry were paying attention -- which it would seem he is not, as I've already gone over this -- he'd see that I correctly predicted that he would create catchy, new terms for boring, old issues. Alas, I didn't think he'd do that so effectively -- or so soon. Larry's stories about voyeurism are particularly ridden with errors and distortions, even leaving aside the concept's initial implausibility.

There are some truths that are so obvious that for this very reason they are not seen, or at least not recognized, by ordinary people. One noteworthy example is the truism that the real question here is not, "Where do prodigal psychopaths like Larry come from, and what are we going to do with them?". The real question is rather, "Why aren't our children being warned about Larry in school?" Any honest person who takes the time to think about that question will be forced to conclude that if I said that Larry holds a universal license that allows him to institutionalize metagrobolism through systematic violence, distorted religion, and dubious science, I'd be a liar. But I'd be being utterly honest if I said that it's quite easy for Larry to bombastically declaim my proposals. But when is he going to provide an alternative proposal of his own? Before you answer, let me point out that he maintains that he is always being misrepresented and/or persecuted. This is hardly the case. Rather, there is growing evidence that says, to the contrary, that I'm willing to accept that it seems a bit late in the day for him to provide you with vital information which he has gone to great lengths to prevent you from discovering. I'm even willing to accept that I definitely intend to exercise my franchise to deal with the relevant facts. But I recently informed him that his habitués deny both our individual and collective responsibility to live in harmony with each other and the world. Larry said he'd "look further into the matter." Well, not too much further; after all, if I recall correctly, Larry's infantile zingers leave the current power structure untouched while simultaneously killing countless children through starvation and disease. Are these children his enemies? First, I'll give you a very brief answer, and then I'll go back and explain my answer in detail. As for the brief answer, his older stances were spineless enough. His latest ones are honestly beyond the pale. Larry and his satraps are, by nature, pathological, jejune swaggerers. Not only can that nature not be changed by window-dressing or persiflage, but Larry is every bit as temperamental as contumelious hedonists. In fact, I have said that to Larry on many occasions, and I will keep on saying it until he stops trying to generate an epidemic of corruption and social unrest. I have given this issue a great deal of thought, and I now have a strong conviction that he has commented that anyone who dares to give him a rhadamanthine warning not to reinforce the impression that useless lunatics -- as opposed to Larry's advocates -- are striving to resort to underhanded tactics can expect to suffer hair loss and tooth decay as a result. I would love to refute that, but there seems to be no need, seeing as Larry's comment is lacking in common sense. I should note that Larry wants to exploit the masses. You know what groups have historically wanted to do the same thing? Fascists and Nazis. It is clear from what I have already written that the central paradox of his bromides, the twist that makes his harangues so irresistible to illaudable sewer rats, is that these people truly believe that he would sooner give up money, fame, power, and happiness than perform a subversive act.

Curiously, some people think it's a bit extreme of me to do something good for others -- a bit over the top, perhaps. Well, what I ought to remind such people is that to believe that Larry has a "special" perspective on cannibalism which carries with it a "special" right to crush the will of all individuals who have expressed political and intellectual opposition to his canards is to deceive ourselves. He asserts that some people deserve to feel safe while others do not. That assertion is not only untrue, but a conscious lie. Although diabolic oafs are relatively small in number compared to the general population, they are rapidly increasing in size and fervor. As that last sentence suggests, if the past is any indication of the future, Larry will once again attempt to provide ethically bankrupt conspiracies with the necessary asylum to take root and spread. His drug-induced ravings are designed to do the devil's work. And they're working; they're having the desired effect.

On balance, only by striving to offer true constructive criticism -- listening to the whole issue, recognizing the problems, recognizing what is being done right, and getting involved to help remedy the problem -- can I make the world safe for democracy. Still, Larry has certainly never given evidence of thinking extensively. Or at all, for that matter. What he is incapable of seeing is that if you don't think that a short-sighted mentality and a sordid sense of obstructionism create fertile soil for what I call saturnine, judgmental thugs to engage in or goad others into engaging in illegal acts, then think again.

In my effort to uncover Larry's hidden prejudices, I will need to stand as a witness in the divine court of the eternal judge and proclaim that Larry frequently progresses into displays of authority he doesn't have. But let's not lose sight of the larger, more important issue here: Larry's hotheaded, anal-retentive diatribes. He wants nothing less than to gag free speech. His legates then wonder, "What's wrong with that?" Well, there's not much to be done with laughable bozos who can't figure out what's wrong with that, but the rest of us can plainly see that this makes me fearful that I might someday find myself in the crosshairs of Larry's prissy nostrums. (To be honest, though, it wouldn't be the first time.) There can be no doubt that my goal is to tell Larry what we all think of him -- and boy, do I have some choice words I'd like to use. I might not be successful at achieving that goal, but I sincerely do have to try. He is driving me nuts. I can't take it anymore!

If one accepts the framework I've laid out here, it follows that I feel no more personal hatred for Larry than I might feel for a herd of wild animals or a cluster of poisonous reptiles. One does not hate those whose souls can exude no spiritual warmth; one pities them. There are two flaws with his wisecracks: 1) I must protest his use of disingenuous big-mouths to hasten the destruction of our civilization, and 2) once people obtain the critical skills that enable them to think and reflect and speculate independently, they'll realize that Larry's epithets are continually evolving into more and more dangerous incarnations. Here, I'm not just talking about evolution in a simply Darwinist sense; I'm also talking about how in order to solve the big problems with Larry, we must first understand these problems, and to understand them, we must enable all people to achieve their potential as human beings. If natural selection indeed works by removing the weakest and most genetically unfit members of a species, then Larry is clearly going to be the first to go. Contrary to popular belief, his tricks cannot stand on their own merit. That's why they're dependent on elaborate artifices and explanatory stories to convince us that Larry's solutions are not worth getting outraged about. It is common knowledge that I and Larry part company when it comes to the issue of teetotalism. He feels that the best way to make a point is with foaming-at-the-mouth rhetoric and letters filled primarily with exclamation points, while I contend that as our society continues to unravel, more and more people will be grasping for straws, grasping for something to hold onto, grasping for something that promises to give them the sense of security and certainty that they so desperately need. These are the classes of people Larry preys upon.

Come on, Larry; I know you're capable of thoughtful social behavior. If I am correct that he has always promoted the trendiest causes, the causes that all of the important people promote, then in a tacit concession of defeat, Larry is now openly calling for the abridgment of various freedoms to accomplish coercively what his barbaric reinterpretations of historic events have failed at. Please keep in mind that telling the truth is too much trouble for pushy practitioners of isolationism bent on getting their way. Pardon my coarse language, but ancient Greek dramatists discerned a peculiar virtue in being tragic. Larry would do well to realize that they never discerned any virtue in being insidious. Do we not, as rational men and women, owe it to both our heritage and our posterity to provide an atmosphere of mutual respect, free from heathenism, pharisaism, and all other forms of prejudice and intolerance? I think we do. I close this letter along the same lines it opened on: Mr. Larry Larry McVoy's analects are unhealthy and lacking in purpose.

At times, we all have an axe to grind. Currently, I'm grinding my axe in regards to Mr. Larry Larry McVoy's remarks. The full truth of my conclusion I shall develop in the course of this letter, but the conclusion's general outline is that someone once said to me, "Larry is positing a "valid" logic devoid of empirical content (i.e., devoid of facts)." This phrase struck me so forcefully that I have often used it since. He has a natural talent for complaining. He can find any aspect of life and whine about it for hours upon hours.

It has been proven time and time again that if you can go more than a minute without hearing Larry talk about propagandism, you're either deaf, dumb, or in a serious case of denial. From the very beginning, ultra-sick popinjays have labored to recruit into their ranks the sons and daughters of the powerful, famous, and rich, as evidenced by the way that I've tried explaining to his goons that I am not particularly fond of him, but it is clear to me in talking to them that they have no comprehension of what I'm saying. I might as well be talking to creatures from Mars. Even if I agreed that Larry's stingy maneuvers were of paramount importance, it would still be the case that when Larry was first found trying to make all of us pay for his boondoggles, I was scared. I was scared not only for my personal safety; I was scared for the people I love. And now that Larry is planning to encourage individuals to disregard other people, to become fully self-absorbed, I'm downright terrified.

To add another dimension to this argument, let me mention that if we can understand what has caused the current plague of what I call unconscionable sad sacks, I believe that we can then hinder the power of grungy, disaffected grizzlers like him. If I may be so bold, that fact is simply inescapable to any thinking man or woman. "Thinking" is the key word in the previous sentence. Larry can go on saying that university professors must conform their theses and conclusions to his mean-spirited, mingy prejudices if they want to publish papers and advance their careers, but the rest of us have serious problems to deal with that preclude our indulging in such fastidious dreams just now. In spite of all he has done, I must admit I really like the guy. No, just kidding. His "I'm right and you're wrong" attitude is execrable, because it leaves no room for compromise. We must give peace a chance. As mentioned above, however, that is not enough. It is necessary to do more. It is necessary to shape a world of dignity and harmony, a world of justice, solidarity, liberty, and prosperity.

Larry's propaganda machine once said that Larry would never progressively narrow the sphere of human freedom. So much for credibility! The real question here is not, "To what depths of depravity does he need to descend before the rest of us realize we must detail the specific steps and objectives needed to thwart his blathering, squalid schemes?". The real question is rather, "Why doesn't he reveal the truth about himself?" I'll tell you what I think the answer is. I can't prove it, but if I'm correct, events soon will prove me right. I think that you don't have to say anything specifically about him for him to start attacking you. All you have to do is dare to imply that I should hold out the prospect of societal peace, prosperity, and a return to sane values and certainties.

Larry's biases are continually evolving into more and more libidinous incarnations. Here, I'm not just talking about evolution in a simply Darwinist sense; I'm also talking about how we must carve solutions that are neither treasonous nor raucous. Only then can a society free of his meretricious threats blossom forth from the roots of the past. And only then will people come to understand that the first lies that he told us were relatively benign. Still, they have been progressing. And they will continue to progress until there is no more truth; Larry's lies will grow until they blot out the sun. Larry's memoirs may not be traditional for all immature spouters, but this makes me fearful that I might someday find myself in the crosshairs of Larry's soporific flimflams. (To be honest, though, it wouldn't be the first time.) After I purge the darkness from Larry's heart, I know that everyone will come to the dismayed conclusion that I stated at the beginning of this discussion: It's time for Larry to face the music. That's something you won't find in your local newspaper, because it's the news that just doesn't fit. It may seem senseless to say that I am merely pointing out what I have observed. Nevertheless, the position can be defended.

To borrow the immortal words of a certain, well-known authority figure, "I, hardheaded cynic that I am, am skeptical of efforts to produce an insecure definition of "premisrepresentation"." A word to the wise: Unlike Larry's analects, my own smears are not vague and undefined. Period, finis, and Q.E.D. I realize that Maoism is a tremendous problem in our society, but does it constantly have to be thrown in our faces? To ask that question another way, why doesn't Larry try doing something constructive for once in his life? I don't pretend to know the answer, but I do know that it doesn't do us much good to become angry and wave our arms and shout about the evils of Larry's treatises in general terms. If we want other people to agree with us and join forces with us, then we must give the needy a helping hand, as opposed to an elbow in the face. It must be pointed out over and over again to his cringers and, in a broader sense, to insidious, high-handed bottom-feeders that he insists that skin color means more than skill and gender is more impressive than genius. This fraud, this lie, is just one among the thousands he perpetrates. When Larry says that the boogeyman is going to get us if we don't agree to his demands, that's just a load of spucatum tauri.

To pick an obvious, but often overlooked, example, if we let him conceal information and, occasionally, blatantly lie, all we'll have to look forward to in the future is a public realm devoid of culture and a narrow and routinized professional life untouched by the highest creations of civilization. Larry not only lies, but he brags about his lying to his shills. If you're still reading this letter, I wish to compliment you for being sufficiently open-minded to understand that what we have been imparting to him -- or what he has been eliciting from us -- is a half-submerged, barely intended logic, contaminated by wishes and tendencies we prefer not to acknowledge.

Daily, the truth is being impressed upon us that if I didn't think Larry would wage an odd sort of warfare upon a largely unprepared and unrecognizing public, I wouldn't say that the biggest difference between me and Larry is that Larry wants to insist that our society be infested with parasitism, antiheroism, particularism, and an impressive swarm of other "isms". I, on the other hand, want to hold him responsible for the hatred he so furtively expresses. In purely political terms, if he gets his way, I might very well have an identity crisis. The fact that I could make an argument for the idea that Larry's manuscripts defy common sense is distressing, to say the least. Put simply, Larry's grunts are too lazy to recall the ideals of compassion, nonviolence, community, and cooperation. They just want to sit back, fasten their mouths on the public teats, and casually forget that Larry is a psychologically defective person. He's what the psychiatrists call a constitutional psychopath or a sociopath.

Now, I don't mean for that to sound pessimistic, although his lies come in many forms. Some of his lies are in the form of memoranda. Others are in the form of stances. Still more are in the form of folksy posturing and pretended concern and compassion. If Larry were as bright as he thinks he is, he'd know that he has commented that the only way to expand one's mind is with drugs -- or maybe even chocolate. I would love to refute that, but there seems to be no need, seeing as his comment is lacking in common sense. Where is his integrity? The answer to this question gives the key not only to world history, but to all human culture. Larry has always promoted the trendiest causes, the causes that all of the important people promote. Now that that's cleared up, I'll continue with what I was saying before, that many people respond to his blasphemous, benighted screeds in much the same way that they respond to television dramas. They watch them; they talk about them; but they feel no overwhelming compulsion to do anything about them. That's why I insist we begin the debate about his goals while remaining true to those beliefs, ideals, and aspirations we hold most dear. Be forewarned: He has a strategy. His strategy is to use paid informants and provocateurs to engender ill will. Wherever you encounter that strategy, you are dealing with Larry. Listen up: If anything, of all of his exaggerations and incorrect comparisons, one in particular stands out: "Imprudent, wrongheaded schmucks and power-hungry lowbrows should rule this country." I don't know where he came up with this, but his statement is dead wrong.

Larry's announcements cannot stand on their own merit. That's why they're dependent on elaborate artifices and explanatory stories to convince us that sesquipedalianism can quell the hatred and disorder in our society. I undeniably can't live with neo-ugly prima donnas who champion censorship in the name of free speech, intolerance in the name of tolerance, and oppression in the name of freedom. But let's not lose sight of the larger, more important issue here: Larry's effrontive shenanigans. Larry's blatant indifference towards the feelings of others is due to intense misunderstanding, suspicion, and fear. Sounds pretty incendiarism-oriented, doesn't it? But is it any more so than Larry's biased mottos? So you see, the mistaken claim that the federal government should take more and more of our hard-earned money and more and more of our hard-won rights is not only incorrect but is somewhat telling of Mr. Larry Larry McVoy's core sentiments.

Re:Only the gratis license is affected tsarkon dea (1)

OsamaBinLogin (522314) | about 12 years ago | (#4396360)

who is Larry McVoy? What does he have to do with this whole thing?

Re:Only the gratis license is affected tsarkon dea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4396365)

Larry McVoy is the creator of BitKeeper.

Re:Only the gratis license is affected tsarkon dea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4396373)

The complaint generator is a great tool, eh? :)

What does BitKeeper exactly do? (2)

phr2 (545169) | about 12 years ago | (#4396200)

Could someone please post a feature list of what BitKeeper does that comparable free programs don't? There may be such a list already, so a url would be fine. It's time for free source control programs to get whatever capabilities that they're missing. Since I've never seen BitKeeper myself, I'd like to know what new stuff needs to be implemented.

Re:What does BitKeeper exactly do? (5, Informative)

kryps (321347) | about 12 years ago | (#4396208)


You can find a probably biased comparison here: html []

-- kryps

Re:What does BitKeeper exactly do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4396261)

CVS is quite a poor comparison, Subversion is a mix of CVS and Perforce, so screw it as well, it's in a different league (centralised, small scale version control)

wrt branching and stuff arch might be the best free counterpart, but it needs a lot of work to be really competitive

Re:What does BitKeeper exactly do? (1)

kryps (321347) | about 12 years ago | (#4396278)


Well it seems that Tom Lord (author of arch) did not succeed raising the cash that he needed to continue development. His website ( has been down for weeks now.

Not that I think that arch would have grown up to something useful in the future anyway. Producing a good SCM such as BitKeeper is an unholy amount of work and he was under the perception that the so-called "community" would donate enough money to allow him to accomplish that. Poor guy. Welcome to reality.

-- kryps

Re:What does BitKeeper exactly do? (2, Interesting)

g4dget (579145) | about 12 years ago | (#4396260)

CVS is quite powerful and fast. I think just about any project for which CVS is not powerful enough probably needs to be broken up into larger numbers of independent source trees and groups of developers. And, yes, I include the Linux kernel in that assessment.

Re:What does BitKeeper exactly do? (3, Informative)

pediddle (592795) | about 12 years ago | (#4396280)

Yes CVS is powerful and fast, but anyone who uses it long enough knows there are just some CVS features that are hacks. Binary file support for one example, renaming files, and the biggest of all, renaming directories. If you can make a project that never has to reorganize in its history, then you are some kind of diety.

The reason Subversion, BitKeeper, and a whole host of other next-generation SCM products are being developed is because CVS just plain doesn't cut it for most serious development. It works, but not nicely.

Subversion is not distributed, so while having independent, distributed source trees is a nice feature of BitKeeper that some projects require, it is not the only reason to switch.

Re:What does BitKeeper exactly do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4396326)


Sounds a bit iffy if you ask me.

For what a EULA is worth (4, Informative)

Teun (17872) | about 12 years ago | (#4396201)

(without having read the "New EULA")

It's a New EULA, so the old one did not mention it?
The solution is simple: continue to use your existing version.

Not possible (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4396211)

AFAIK, free users have to always use the latest version since they are beta testers at the same time. It should be in the license (I haven't read it though). At least Larry explained it like that in l-k mailing list.

They can... if they purchase it! (4, Informative)

kryps (321347) | about 12 years ago | (#4396202)


If the submitter had followed the thread on LKML more closely he would have realized that it is only forbidden to use the *free* (i.e. openlogging) version of BK to develop a competing product. They can still *purchase* a commercial license and develop whatever they want with it.

-- kryps

Re:They can... if they purchase it! (1)

unixmaster (573907) | about 12 years ago | (#4396219)

(d) Notwithstanding any other terms in this License, this License is not available to You if You and/or your employer develop, produce, sell, and/or resell a product which contains substantially similar capabil- ities of the BitKeeper Software, or, in the reason- able opinion of BitMover, competes with the BitKeeper Software.

What part of this says you can develop what you want by acquiring a commercial license?

Re:They can... if they purchase it! (2, Informative)

kryps (321347) | about 12 years ago | (#4396229)


Well this is quoted from the free license. The commercial license does not include this section.

-- kryps

Re:They can... if they purchase it! (1)

unixmaster (573907) | about 12 years ago | (#4396234)

/me smacks himself

Thnx for info!

Consider ethics and software freedom. (3, Insightful)

jbn-o (555068) | about 12 years ago | (#4396247)

What part of this says you can develop what you want by acquiring a commercial license?

Nothing, but that doesn't make your point. To determine if the claim is true you need to compare both licenses for both versions. The license on the $0 version might differ from the other version.

Of course none of this matters if you recognize that Linus Torvalds is arguing a rather selfish point--one should use the programs that get the job done, proprietary or Free Software (or anything in between). No regard is given for the ethical and larger social ramifications of our choices; we are being asked by Torvalds to consider only our own desires. I encourage you all to consider your software freedom and recognize that the practical benefits of better programs and a better society where we can share freely come (in part) from the freedoms and attention paid to ethics found in the Free Software movement.

Re:Consider ethics and software freedom. (3, Insightful)

AceMarkE (154966) | about 12 years ago | (#4396282)

Aw, enough already. Look, this isn't personal, and it's partially cause I'm way too tired right now and therefore easily annoyed.

With that said...

I'm sick of people acting like "Software Freedom" is a life-and-death issue. Linus is right. If it works, use it. If it doesn't work, don't. If the Free Software product is better, use it. If the proprietary/closed/whatever version is better - use it. Or contribute to the open product until it's better, THEN use it. The key point here is, USE WHAT WORKS.

Don't get me wrong. I'm in favor of open-source stuff, I admire RMS and the GNU project for everything they've contributed to the computing world, and I enjoy having the freedom to tinker with stuff. In the end, though, I'll use whatever is going to work best for ME in whatever situation.

The world won't end if people use proprietary software. Get over it.

Mark Erikson

Re:Consider ethics and software freedom. (0, Flamebait)

khuber (5664) | about 12 years ago | (#4396292)

The key point here is, USE WHAT WORKS.

That's your opinion.


Re:Consider ethics and software freedom. (1, Insightful)

otopico (32364) | about 12 years ago | (#4396301)


The whole point of using a tool is to get a job done. If I need to hammer a nail, I could go and use a free rock to do the job, or I could go to a store and buy a hammer. Both will do the job, but one is better suited to do that job. It doesn't make me evil if I buy a proprietary solution.

The reason people like Linus use whatever gets the job done isn't due to their selfishness or social apathy, but because they have a job to do. This isn't ending world hunger or curing all disease, it's fricking software.

One of the things that make free software people look absurd is the religious fanaticism some of the free software folk feel is necessary. They forget that in the grand scheme of life and the universe, software, free or commercial doesn't really matter. You want people to do it your way, forgetting that free software also means freedom to use what you want, even if it isn't free software.

Quit trying to make it a moral issue. It is an issue of choice. People have the right to use what they want. If you don't like that then maybe you are more like the closed source software houses than you wish to admit.


Re:Consider ethics and software freedom. (5, Funny)

khuber (5664) | about 12 years ago | (#4396340)

otopico, you can't use your hammer to pount nails manufactured by our competitors.

We feel this is necessary to ensure the viability of our business.

Unfortunately your hammer was a free sample you obtained from the International Hammer Show 2001, and not the full commercial version.

We do sell a commercial hammer with no restrictions for $99.95.

Ron O'Nail, U.S. Hammer Corp.

Re:Consider ethics and software freedom. (1)

otopico (32364) | about 12 years ago | (#4396369)

ok, that was funny.

Re:They can... if they purchase it! (1)

albalbo (33890) | about 12 years ago | (#4396250)

Yeah, for now. The problem is not about money - it is about BK being proprietary. There is no reason why Bitmover could decide to not licence to subversion developers at all, whether they pay or not - they're not forced to licence to anyone.

I'm sure people wouldn't mind paying if it was available as free software, without all this vendor lock-in.

Re:They can... if they purchase it! (1)

OsamaBinLogin (522314) | about 12 years ago | (#4396376)

> They can still *purchase* a commercial license and develop
> whatever they want with it.

heaven forbid someone should actually PAY MONEY for software.

Since when? (2, Funny)

Eudial (590661) | about 12 years ago | (#4396206)

Since when does ppl acutally read the EULA?

Re:Since when? (1)

Crazieeman (610662) | about 12 years ago | (#4396215)


They probably write in special clauses that include transfer of ownership of soul and all worldly possessions etc etc.

Re:Since when? (1) (565364) | about 12 years ago | (#4396239)

They probably write in special clauses that include transfer of ownership of soul and all worldly possessions etc etc.

wasn't that Microsoft's task already???

Re:Since when? (1)

Eudial (590661) | about 12 years ago | (#4396300)

Well, actually, it's quite handy here in sweden, cuz if you're below 18, you can't make a committment, and cuz of that, you can just hire a 17 year old to press the "I agree" button for you, and voila (sp?), you have it installed, without a valid agreement.

Re:Since when? (1)

Frodo Looijaard (12815) | about 12 years ago | (#4396358)

Not knowing Swedish law, I have the nagging suspicion that, in that case, you have no valid copy, and it can not be used, neither by you, nor by the 17-year old, because it is not licensed.

the path of least resistance (3, Interesting)

patSPLAT (14441) | about 12 years ago | (#4396210)

The Subversion folks would like nothing better than to displace BK.

Larry McVoy has an entirely reasonable business concern. He has also now provided the momentum for that concern to materialize. This may provide the motivation for Subversion to produce the cvs.succ that we all wish for late at nights, writing posts such as this one.

~ pS

Re:the path of least resistance (2)

g4dget (579145) | about 12 years ago | (#4396276)

Larry McVoy has an entirely reasonable business concern.

Yes, but it is just as reasonable for open source users to reject such software. Merely making software available for free under some license does not obligate anybody to use it or open source advocates to defend it.

Why don't they use standard CVS? (2, Interesting)

caluml (551744) | about 12 years ago | (#4396212)

What was the reason behind not using standard CVS like other OSS projects?

Is the kernel just too big for it?

P.S. I don't have an opinion as to which oen they use - as long as the one they do use gets the job done, and is secure.

Re:Why don't they use standard CVS? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4396227)

> What was the reason behind not using standard CVS like other OSS projects?
> Is the kernel just too big for it?

CVS is far from being perfect, but it's not the matter of the project size.
For example, NetBSD, FreeBSD and OpenBSD all use cvs for the whole source tree and it's way bigger than Linux kernel.

Re:Why don't they use standard CVS? (5, Informative)

ewhac (5844) | about 12 years ago | (#4396252)

CVS has too many inherent limitations to make it a good choice for large-scale projects. Although it's been around for just ever and is fairly solid, there are a couple of issues that make CVS a sub-optimal choice.

First, CVS is built on top of RCS and, as such, doesn't handle binary files. Okay, that's a fib; it sorta kinda does, but it's very klunky, and easily prone to errors. Further, it's easy for the "binary-ness" of a file to be lost (i.e. be treated as text), resulting in all kinds of nasty corruption. Best Practices will avoid this, but everyone has to be on their toes all the time.

Second, CVS has no notion of "transactions". Let's say you check in a bugfix/new feature to the kernel. The change involves modifying six different files. CVS does not see this checkin as a single transaction, but six completely separate ones. So a lot of information about the scope of a given change is not easily found. The only way you can know a particular change affected multiple files is by noticing that their checkin comments are identical. Further, if you perform a checkin against multiple files and one or more of them has a conflict (someone else checked in a change before you did), CVS will simply halt at the conflicting file; earlier files successfully checked in up to that point are not backed out. Thus, the repository is left in an inconsistent state. Best Practices can avoid this but, again, everyone has to be on their toes.

Other source control systems don't have these problems. In particular, Subversion is transaction-based, so groups of files checked in at once either all get checked in, or none of them do, keeping the repository consistent. Also, Subversion handles arbitrary meta-data for each file, including its MIME type, so the "binary-ness" of a file cannot be lost or modified unless you expressly change its MIME type. Even better, Subversion will automatically perform newline translation to/from your local platform when checking out/in text files.

For small projects with small numbers of people, CVS is perfectly okay. But beyond a certain scale, CVS's limitations start to get in the way, and you need something better.


Re:Why don't they use standard CVS? (3, Informative)

theefer (467185) | about 12 years ago | (#4396284)

Yes, and there are others points :

- CVS cannot move files and keep a track of the log.
- CVS directory handling is quite horrible

Now, I use CVS as everybody else here does, it works, sure. But there are some problems that should be fixed (and cannot be because of the CVS base), that's why I'll probably switch to Subversion [] soon. It's still under heavy development, but it gets better from day to day.

Let's support some free software instead of proprietary ones !

Re:Why don't they use standard CVS? (1)

jolan (187075) | about 12 years ago | (#4396310)

I don't see how Linux needs something scaleable.

It all comes down to (mostly) Linus anyway.

Re:Why don't they use standard CVS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4396344)


Sure. CVS cannot be used on big projects.

Like the whole freebsd kernel+userland []




Re:Why don't they use standard CVS? (5, Insightful)

kevin lyda (4803) | about 12 years ago | (#4396351)

you made a lot of good points until the small projects with a small number of people bit. that's crap. free and open bsd use cvs for one thing; they are not small.

cvs works for developers with a clue about cvs. that's not to say that a better version control system couldn't be developed - one can and should. but saying cvs is crap for large projects is demonstrably false.

Re:Why don't they use standard CVS? (1)

hyperturbopete (168434) | about 12 years ago | (#4396364)

Bitkeeper does look pretty sweet though.

I looked over their website and the feature that struck me was having "sub-repositories"... i dont remember what the actual name for them is.

the idea is that if you have 50 developers, and 5 of them are working on a section of the tree, they can merge each others related work amongst themselves (in their own sub-repository) before commiting to the "master" repository, at which point everyone sees their changes.

As for the distributed nature of bitkeeper, blah blah blah. It doesnt seem like such a big deal. Stick your repository in a database, if you need scalability buy a database that can scale.

Too bad. (3, Interesting)

7-Vodka (195504) | about 12 years ago | (#4396213)

It seemed like bitkeeper was working out quite well for the linux kernel. I liked the detailed changelogs that started apearing after the switch.

Hopefully one of the teams working on Free alternatives will get it to a stage suitable for maintaining the kernel.

I wonder what they'll be using when linux 4.x rolls around? Maybe linux will still be using bitkeeper and the HURD will be using something like subversion (assuming the HURD becomes easy enough for us mortals to use by then :)

I'm hoping that by the time I wake up this afternoon there will be interesting comments by the top kernel hackers, the FSF and Linus about this.

Illegal (5, Insightful)

giminy (94188) | about 12 years ago | (#4396223)

Forgive me if I'm stupid, but doesn't an EULA say what you can and can't do with respect to the product that the EULA covers? Reverse engineering and stuff like that are, grudgingly, acceptable terms of an EULA, but saying you can't do something that is not directly related to the software program covered by the EULA seems a tad on the side of illegality.

I have a feeling that if anyone challenged the agreement, the law would force it to change. Granted you have to accept the EULA in order to use the software...but if I made a EULA that said you were no longer allowed to own a firearm if you used my product, it would be tossed to the wind in a second. In a sense, Bitmover's EULA infringes on my right to compete, yes/no? If Bitmover doesn't want people to use an idea they have, they should file a patent for that idea, or otherwise rely on copyright/trademark law to prevent people from "stealing."

Re:Illegal...(it depends on the state) (1)

wuchang (524603) | about 12 years ago | (#4396266)

IANAL, but a related ruling in California does make it illegal to stick non-compete clauses in an employment agreement. []

I don't think there's a ruling in any state as to whether or not it holds for EULAs.

Re:Illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4396267)

it's the cost free license, if you want to reverse engineer it, you're free to buy a license, then you can do that

but I doubt you can force bitmover to give you BK for free so you can push them out of business

Re:Illegal (3, Insightful)

a_n_d_e_r_s (136412) | about 12 years ago | (#4396275)

The sad part is that many software companies tries to control HOW you use the program, WHO uses it and WHAT they use it for.

The gargantual licenses used by software companies nowadays are taking ridiculous proportions.

We are all lucky that RMS once upon a time came up with the GNU GPL to ensure end users rights and that at least some software gives you a lot more freedom that restrictions.

Re:Illegal (2)

orkysoft (93727) | about 12 years ago | (#4396315)

Well, basically, what they're saying is: "We made this neat program, which you can use, but in return, you have to promise you won't compete with us."

If this clause had always been in the EULA, there would have been no problem: people would've known what they were getting into.

But now, apparently, the clause has appeared in a revised version of the EULA, which would now force users to switch if they find the new terms unacceptable. This is obviously not a nice practice.

Re:Illegal (3, Insightful)

Bartab (233395) | about 12 years ago | (#4396375)

As has been pointed out, non compete licenses are illegal. Refusing to do business with competitors is illegal, etc, etc.

However, BitKeeper isn't saying they won't -sell- licenses to competitors. Just that competitors can't use the free license. The Commerical license does not have the problem clause.

I can hear RMS now ... (2, Funny)

Strike (220532) | about 12 years ago | (#4396225)

... saying "told ya so!"

RMS was right (5, Insightful)

raahul_da_man (469058) | about 12 years ago | (#4396230)

Many slashdot posters seem to think Richard is just a voice crying out in the wilderness, but increasingly he seems to be a prophet.

Many years before this happened Richard pointed out the flaws of relying on non free software. Will any of the slashdot posters who called him crazy then apologize now?

Linus is wrong and Richard was right. You can't be "pragmatic" and use the best tool for the job if you want to keep your freedom.

You can... (3, Insightful)

Sunnan (466558) | about 12 years ago | (#4396242)

"You can't be "pragmatic" and use the best tool for the job if you want to keep your freedom."

You can, but non-free software can't be the best tool for the job.

Re:RMS was right (2)

Subcarrier (262294) | about 12 years ago | (#4396259)

Linus is wrong and Richard was right. You can't be "pragmatic" and use the best tool for the job if you want to keep your freedom.

Pragmatic, according to Linus, means freedom to choose the best tool for the job from the available alternatives.

Adhering strictly to the free software ideology limits your freedom to do so. Which is fine, as long as you recognize that this limitation to your freedom is self-imposed and that others may not be bound by the same limitations.

Re:RMS was right (5, Interesting)

albalbo (33890) | about 12 years ago | (#4396265)

Many slashdot posters seem to think Richard is just a voice crying out in the wilderness, but increasingly he seems to be a prophet.

Absolutely right. Lest we forget, EULA clauses not allowing people to develop competitive (esp. Free Software) products is something Microsoft does [] . And they were rightly derided for that. Are we saying just because Bitmover are giving away free stuff that we're not going to apply the same standards?

Re:RMS was right (3, Insightful)

nagora (177841) | about 12 years ago | (#4396273)

Many slashdot posters seem to think Richard is just a voice crying out in the wilderness, but increasingly he seems to be a prophet.

The real problem is that RMS may or may not be a prophet but he insists on acting like god and pissing off people just by his tone. The real message gets lost in the ensuing flamewar. Overall he has become counter-productive to his own aims


Re:RMS was right (1)

khuber (5664) | about 12 years ago | (#4396287)

The real problem is that RMS may or may not be a prophet but he insists on acting like god and pissing off people just by his tone. The real message gets lost in the ensuing flamewar. Overall he has become counter-productive to his own aims

The GPL and LGPL are extremely widely used. The FSF is successful and maintains a large amount of software. How has RMS's message been counterproductive?


Re:RMS was right (2)

nagora (177841) | about 12 years ago | (#4396304)

How has RMS's message been counterproductive?

Read my post again; his message has not become counter-productive, his manner has. The whole irrational GUN/Linux argument has convinced a lot of people that anything RMS says can safely be ignored as the rantings of a crank. This is in turn hurting the GPL. The fact that anyone ever considered using BitKeeper is a sign that the message of why the GPL is so important to programmers working on projects like the kernel has been lost in the noise somewhere.


Re:RMS was right (0, Redundant)

khuber (5664) | about 12 years ago | (#4396317)

Read my post again

Don't insult my reading comprehension. That's rude and unnecessary. I read and quoted your entire post and asked you to clarify. However, you did clarify your point.


Re:RMS was right (3, Insightful)

nathanh (1214) | about 12 years ago | (#4396341)

Many years before this happened Richard pointed out the flaws of relying on non free software. Will any of the slashdot posters who called him crazy then apologize now?

No, they won't.

Hating RMS is a religion. Facts don't faze the fanatics.

Re: RMS was right (5, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 12 years ago | (#4396372)

> Hating RMS is a religion.

For agnustics?

Why are the Americans so Arrogants ? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4396231)

You are petulants, arrogants, stupid and your are always talking twaddle.

Why don't you learn the French culture, the culture of a smart people, a people who build the basis of democracy !

French Kingdom built your fucking country in 1776, without us you would be remaining English forever !

So please take care of our power, we are always heeding your facts on the world, if you don't surrender to us, We will destroy your pityfull United States of America !

A frenchy who does not care of the American cowards.

BitMover is NOT the "bad guys" (2, Insightful)

Perdo (151843) | about 12 years ago | (#4396236)

Put yourself in their shoes.

Would it sit well with you as a kernel developer if, for instance, microsoft was using linux as their development platform for their next OS?

What if you knew that they were using it in production with in house changes and additions with out releasing source code?

This is where BitMover is sitting. Developers are using their software to assist in developing their competition and doing it in violation of their licensing agreement.

BitMover is just doing what we would do if the shoe was on the other foot. This issue will be solved in the same way the open source community always deals with challenges.

The open source community will produce a better alternative under the GPL without using their software. Just like Windows is not the developer enviroment for the kernel, BitKeeper will not be the revision control software used for Subversion.

Re:BitMover is NOT the "bad guys" (2, Insightful)

TsEA (109514) | about 12 years ago | (#4396245)

If you actually read the link in the story, you will see that it prevents you from using it if you are developping (or aiding development) of an alternative.

This actually means that if I am both a subversion hacker and a kernel hacker, I can't use BitKeeper anymore for my kernel hacking....

Anything good (or sane) about that?

And by the way, the GPL clearly gives the right to microsoft to use linux, even modify it, if they aren't distributing it... I think most conscious kernel hackers already know that.

So that really makes them the bad guys (I didn't see any anti-Microsoft clause in the GPL)

So that really makes them the bad guys ;)

Re:BitMover is NOT the "bad guys" (2, Interesting)

The Fanta Menace (607612) | about 12 years ago | (#4396248)

The open source community will produce a better alternative under the GPL without using their software. Just like Windows is not the developer enviroment for the kernel, BitKeeper will not be the revision control software used for Subversion.

This isn't the issue, however.

The problem was that the developer of Subversion was also a kernel developer. I don't think that they were using Bitkeeper for developing Subversion - but the developer used Bitkeeper to check patches into the kernel. Now he cannot use Bitkeeper at all, and hence it is more difficult for him to work on Linux

No, it's not Bitmover who is at fault here - it's a problem caused by using non-free software to develop Linux.

Re:BitMover is NOT the "bad guys" (1)

otopico (32364) | about 12 years ago | (#4396319)

Reading the email, it looks less like 'dont use bk to develop a competetor' and more like 'remember when we asked you for help? well screw you now'.

BK has the right to license whom it wants, but I think the 'no compete' clause for the free version might have some personal prejudice behind it.

Not that any of it matters.

Re:BitMover is NOT the "bad guys" (1)

KewlPC (245768) | about 12 years ago | (#4396347)

Actually, he can use BitKeeper. He'll just have to pay for it.

This new EULA only affects the free version of BitKeeper.

And it makes perfect sense: why should a company develop a piece of software, and give a limited (???) version away for free in hopes of people paying for the full version, only to allow people to use the free version to create competing software?

Re:BitMover is NOT the "bad guys" (1)

dybvandal (535813) | about 12 years ago | (#4396249)

Microsoft relies on perl for their entire testing fra mework for all I know. They did pay for the port to windows though. Activestate did it form them.

Re:BitMover is NOT the "bad guys" (2)

Perdo (151843) | about 12 years ago | (#4396299)

Yeah, Mod that Perdo guy down. He almost made us think for a minute. We just want to follow the party line. The party line says BitMover is bad! ...

Meta might catch it.

Re:BitMover is NOT the "bad guys" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4396349)

when you make your fake mod this guy up posts you are suppost to remember to switch to another user.

Read both free and commerical license.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4396237)

on there server and neither had anything about this that was mentioned in the links in the article. Is this FUD or just a lack of BK to update there website to reflect these new license terms..

How about if you paid for it? (1)

The Fanta Menace (607612) | about 12 years ago | (#4396238)

Is this also the case if you've actually paid for a licence for BitKeeper?

Could you imagine the furore if a Windoze licence stated that you weren't allowed to use it to develop another OS?

What the hell is your fucking problem?! (0, Insightful)

Fefe (6964) | about 12 years ago | (#4396244)

This guy is giving away a free version of his software to help kernel developers and now you double standard hypocrites actually whine that he does not like this free version to be used by his competition?

Be grateful that he gave you this software in the first place!

The subversion guy should be talking to his customers and find out what they want instead of using Bitkeeper to copy. Respect must be earned, not copied.

Re:What the hell is your fucking problem?! (0, Flamebait)

Sunnan (466558) | about 12 years ago | (#4396256)

"Be grateful that he gave you this software in the first place!"


He "gave" away this software?

Listen bud, if Ulysses gives me a horse, I'll damm well look it in the mouth.

If you "give" me something don't leave tentacles of ownership and control attached to it.

The free software movement isn't about getting cheap software - it's about software freedom.

I kinda feel sorry for Larry, because he just doesn't get it -- but his "help" is tearing up the community.

Has no one here any idea of what a "business" is? (4, Insightful)

pediddle (592795) | about 12 years ago | (#4396251)

So many people here are getting all upset because BitKeeper is not free. Well, there's nothing wrong with trying to make money off of some software, while helping the community at the same time.

No business in their right mind is going to help a competetor take their market share. Maybe BitKeeper can't help if Subversion takes that market on its own, but they are not going to help them do it.

Disclaimer: I have a huge interest in Subversion, and I've been contributing to their mailing list for almost a year. I love Subversion. But I still implore all you Slashdot hippies: do not assume that all non-free software is evil, and do not make BitKeeper the bad guy just because they want to make money.

Free software depends on a few companies' ability to actually make money developing and using free software. Without industry support, free software will never make it past a select few geeks' basement computers. If you like free software, then you should support BitKeeper's decision. BitKeeper has helped the FS community in the past, and their support for the kernel project has been wonderful. Support them, help the FS industry grow, and everyone benefits.

Re:Has no one here any idea of what a "business" i (1)

khuber (5664) | about 12 years ago | (#4396274)

Well, there's nothing wrong with trying to make money off of some software, while helping the community at the same time.

No. There IS something morally wrong about restricting the use of your software. Ridiculous.


Re:Has no one here any idea of what a "business" i (1)

pediddle (592795) | about 12 years ago | (#4396296)

In a perfect world, you'd be right. But think about how BitKeeper is able to support its own development: money. Not everyone can simply donate all of their time to the community.

So, BitKeeper has done the next best thing. They donate some of their time to the community, in the form of the free version of their license. But they still have to make money, or else the software would not exist.

If you want to use it for anything, pay for it. The non-free license doesn't contain this restriction. If you aren't paying for it and you decide to take advantage of their generosity, by hurting their money-making abilities or any number of other ways, then you are a theif. Plain and simple.

Be greatful for the generosity they have shown, and hope that they do not turn against the community completely because of all your (not just you, khuber) whining. Like I said, the free software community depends on industry support, and industry support depends on free software's ability to generate cash.

Re:Has no one here any idea of what a "business" i (1)

khuber (5664) | about 12 years ago | (#4396303)

I don't care if BitKeeper makes money. I do care if Linux development is hampered by their stupid license. Time to dump BK.


In Related News... (5, Funny)

sparkz (146432) | about 12 years ago | (#4396253)

Microsoft announce that all Windows licenses held by Open Source developers are null and void.

The BSA will be knocking on the door any minute... follow the white rabbit.

cvs is free as in free speech (1)

linucs (613973) | about 12 years ago | (#4396264)

so why you don't use it like the rest of the civilized world dehe! wake up pal

Alan Cox? (4, Interesting)

vsync64 (155958) | about 12 years ago | (#4396268)

Does Alan Cox use BitKeeper, and if so, does he pay for his copy? I would imagine not, given his stances on free software and intellectual property.

I'd like to point out that Alan Cox works for RedHat, whose operating system includes CVS. I would venture to guess that RedHat hackers have contributed to CVS, at the very least with a 1-line diff here or there. This makes RedHat both a reseller and a developer of CVS, and even if he doesn't personally have anything to do with CVS (doubtful) he is forbidden from using the openlogging version.

I find it ironic that at a time when BitKeeper is trying to sway developers toward their product, they create onerous conditions which prevent a prominent developer and political spokesman from using said product on any sort of trial basis.

Technically, I suppose I'm not allowed to use BitKeeper either, since I've written (and released, I think; I'll have to double-check) an add-on to CVS which parses and cross-references checkin logs.

The really funny thing is that CVS is quite prevalent in the free software world, where it is extremely common to create patches and add-ons. The most effective referrals to BitKeeper would be from CVS hackers or those otherwise extremely experienced with it, but by preventing precisely these people from trying BitKeeper out, the one thing that could help BitKeeper the most -- a public defection from a "pet project" -- is verboten.

It's rare that we get to see such an obvious case of shooting oneself in the foot.

Re:Alan Cox? (1)

another_plonk (534010) | about 12 years ago | (#4396321)

Here's Larry McVoy's direct answer to your question:

[] 03 376590408834&w=2

CVS is *NOT* equivalent to BK (was "Alan Cox?") (4, Interesting)

Tet (2721) | about 12 years ago | (#4396330)

This makes RedHat both a reseller and a developer of CVS, and even if he doesn't personally have anything to do with CVS (doubtful) he is forbidden from using the openlogging version.

Nope. You entire argument rest on the premise that CVS "contains substantially similar capabilities" to BitKeeper. It doesn't... not just in my eyes, but in the eyes of Larry McVoy and BitMover. Larry has repeatedly stated that if CVS was good enough, he'd never have had to start developing BK in the first place. CVS is fundamentally flawed in its design, and doesn't come close to BK in terms of capabilities. By far the biggest one is its lack of changesets, but there are others, too. Hence, RedHat shipping CVS has no bearing on use of BK by any RH employees. Now if Red Hat shipped TrueChange, Perforce, or (more relevant in this case) Subversion, then it would be a different matter. And even if they did, I'm sure Larry would make an exception, or modify the license slightly. He's a reasonable guy, and wants to do the right thing, but at the same time, he has a business to run, and staff to pay, and it's perfectly reasonable for him to take steps to protect that.

Re:CVS is *NOT* equivalent to BK (was "Alan Cox?") (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4396363)

Now if Red Hat shipped TrueChange, Perforce, or (more relevant in this case) Subversion, then it would be a different matter.

Thank you for the list of better alternatives to the piece of totalitarian crap known as BitKeeper. Larry has used people, contacts and has used chicanery to dupe the open source community into aprecating the ways of Bill Gates and others. I find his snarky, snotty curt replies and completely ambiguous license (which apparently is a "living document" [a term which is a load of non committal crap aptly describing what the BK license is] and can be changed to meet Larry's mood if he so wills it). I read those links above, and find his to be an embarrassment, and would advise that he hire some blond tart to interface with the "geek" public; she even in her tartdom, would probably piss me off less than this guy. RMS may be a weirdo, but its guys like this who twist and mangle a concept the profit by thatmakes that guy look like a saint. A least RMS is consistent. This Larry character is a sophist, and that would be a compliment at best.

Re:Alan Cox? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4396374)

Typical populism. He expresses a concern, its not a troll or flame, yet he is trying to be silenced by hordes of moderators clearly being invoked on Larry McVoy's path. This man is using populism, low UID mediocritomatons to do his evil biddings here, and to silence those with legitimate concerns. I am appalled and offended by the sour moderation of this comment as overrated. Larry and his minions can try to stuff the truth in trash, but he will not prevail. I will not live under his crushing totalitarian control, nor will freedom fighters such as the parent submit to the crushing boot of the anti innovative masses and screaming zealots of populist socialist mind control!

This is just another example of spineless crap moderation here on /. Slashdot has denigrated. The users are little terrorists in thier own right, raising 'jihad' (to use a loser term - understood best by losers) against intellect and those without populist opinions. Your sweaty thirteen year old fingers clicking away on your Microsoft and iMac mice legislating mediocrity. Redundant? Troll? Flamebait? Whatever. Most probably vexing because its true.

Mao Tse Tung, Hitler, Stalin, Castro, Pinochet, Mussolini, Marshall Joseph Tito, Slobodan Milosevic, Idi Amin, Ho Chi Minh, Saddam Hussein, Muammar Qaddafi, Juan Peron, Ayatollah Khomeini, Ferdinand Marcos, General Suharto, Pol Pot, Fransisco Franco, and certainly the worst of the bunch, SLASHDOT's editing/moderating [read: censoring] "community"(*) ALL AGREE on ONE THING:


(*)Note, the word community used often on Slashdot, this is referring to a proto communist commune.

So, you busy little plebian proletariats, get busy, you have some censoring to do! FUN! Do the bidding of your fat, undisciplined masters who never subject themselves to peer review.

Good job you little neo-commies. Don't want to hear the other side, shoot the fucker in the head as an ENEMY OF THE STATE [In this case anyone who seeks to improve the sad state of /.].

A few haikus to commemorate the sucktitude:
Crack Pipe Moderators
Crack smoke wafts though air
Dumb shit moderator!
Try to suck less, please

The Humorless Moderator
Crack smoke wafts through air
Humorless moderator!
Why do you hate me?

The Proletariat
Slashdotting Commie
Moderator fears new idea!
Censor him quickly

The reason China blocked Slashdot is that when Jiang Xemin saw at how good "The Editors" at Slashdot are at suppressing the community, he knew that if more of his party members saw this degree of suppressive efficacy, he would be deposed, for the good of the people, of course, in favor of Rob Malda as the all new supreme dictator and premier of China.

I have a Gun and the Constitution [Not the urinated-on pissed-on hacked fucked up one WashingTOON thinks exists, I mean the real one, with Jefferson and Madison at my side], please, give me an excuse to use them both.

SAYINGS, quips et al:

It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried. - Sir Winston Churchill (Especially when your democratic peers twist democracy into a reason commit cencorship, to squash dissenting or unpopular opinions, and refer to them as trolls, flaimbait overrated or offtopic when they aren't any of the said)

The reason there are two senators for each state is so that one can be the designated driver. - Jay Leno.

The Constitution poses no threat to our current form of governement. (Death to those who defile the root documents of a free nation to make economic freedom Supercede Freedom! Freedom First! Free market Second!)

Occam's Razor "Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily." "Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate" "Frustra fit per plura quod potest fieri per pauciora" "Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem" Translation: " "Simple explanations are preferred to complex ones" Modern fucking translation "JUST DO IT."

Reading Slashdot at anything above -1 is like trying to put a shit filter on your ass.

Get busy moderating this down, you little pack of obedient prefects of the corrupt state! You are the vanguards of purity, and dissent is not allowed!

There are an inordinate number of +5 Funnies that wouldn't get a laugh at a hyena ranch. /. it's like what you get with any nonprofit oligarchical organization. They tend to be run like the Chinese Communist Party, i.e., they just can't abide anybody who actually wants to belong to a democratic organization. How many nonprofits hold elections where there's only one candidate? And the reason is simple. They don't want anybody getting into office who actually disagrees with them. They are, after all, agenda based organizations. Sadly, Slashdot leans just far enough in that direction that it's easy to mistake them for Linux/Open Source proponents, anti-MS zealots, believers in the superiority of the engineering mentality, or other related biases. I'm not sure this is more than a perception, but it really wouldn't bother me if someone suggested they change their name to Slantdot.

MODERATORS Crack smoke wafts though air - Dumb shit moderator - Try to suck less, please
KAZAA Fuck R I A A - Network sold behind their backs - Stupid fucking cunts
Slashdot, Where Editors come to SUCK © ® (TM)
Haiku: to the Slashfags. Fuck slash editors - The cumlicking fags they are - I shit upon them
TACO pondering GOATSE: I stare at the goat - His huge gaping ass so wide - And I want to eat
Haiku: The ancient haiku: - Flame Taco and CowboyNeal - With lame poetry.
CowboyNeal A mountain of fat, - butt cheeks jiggling like Jello. - What an odd poll choice!
CmdrTaco Watching Pokemon - With cum stuck on his goatee. - Newbie loser scum.
Stinky Kathleen Fent Cockeater Taco, - Proposing to Fent online, - I fingered her too.
Rob Malda and Kathleen Fent Chubby breasts, fat ass - Distract us from Rob's boylust. - But they both suck cock!
Taco Tuesday: Too much mexican. - Angry poo, firey hot. - Where's my antacid?
CHOAD licking Taco: Malda in the dark - Swallowing chode for profit - He rips his anus
Fuck KATZ Katz is a Jew - michael is a Mormon - Or is it Timothy?
Martini Fuck off That is fucking good. - I nearly spilt martini - On my nice trousers.
Slap my Ham, rub it off, fuck Spank fast wank it hard - Jerk that dick to Pokemon - Party at Taco's
GOAT I just came again - looking at the goat-see man - more kleenex required
Cock BIRD The Dead Penis Bird - Nailed to the member always - Never falling off
BSD Stare into the night - Sun is setting on your sys - BSD *NOT* dead
Michael Michael User Simms - Sifting through all our comments - Censoring bastard
Klerk Trolltalk hard to read - Information desires - Wideness for us all
Cobalt Really tired now - Off to masturbate to sleep - See you at the day
Humorless Moderator Crack smoke wafts through air - Humorless moderator - Why do you hate me?

Change of Leadership. (0, Offtopic)

Reservoir Penguin (611789) | about 12 years ago | (#4396290)

I have great respect for Linis but from reading his recent interviews I got a feeling that hes really burnt out.
In his own words hed rather spend time woith his kids building sandcastles than working on GNU/Linux kernel. Hes total lack of political consionce is starting to hurt our community as well.
Just for fun was fine and dany in 93 but now we need somone who will do more to promote Free Software.
I myself vote for Alam Cox, he has shown not only great technical skill bit aslo deep belief in FS (I'm refering to him threating to quit redHat a few month ago)
Let Linix retire and take a postion as an "honorary" leader.

Are you from Florida, by any chance? (2, Offtopic)

Subcarrier (262294) | about 12 years ago | (#4396308)

I have great respect for Linis...
I myself vote for Alam Cox...
Let Linix retire...

I don't recognize any of these gentlemen. Your vote has been disqualified.

Re:Change of Leadership. (1)

otopico (32364) | about 12 years ago | (#4396339)

You assume Linus started this all to be the great voice in the wilderness. As if he was trying to create some eutopia where all software could be free and the evil corporations would be struck down by the forces of good. Bah.

He did it because be wanted to. He lacks a 'political conscience' because he didn't have one.

It seems to me that Linus would rather spend time with his family because his family is more important to him than some stupid code he wrote long ago.

It is just software people, this isn't that important.

The EULA is not new (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4396297)

The EULA was changed ages ago.

Flamewars about Bitkeeper occur from time to time on the kernel mailing list, and they are not likely to go away any time soon.

This is not news to anybody who actually follows kernel-dev.

There is no need to use Bitkeeper to submit patches to Linus, he still accepts the old diff format.

Please see Larry's comments (and responses) (3, Informative)

crimsun (4771) | about 12 years ago | (#4396305)

I believe the intent of "Col. Klink (retired)" was to bring this to a wider audience, but there are several points that need to be reiterated.

1) "In fact you can't use BitKeeper if you OR your company have anything to do with competing software."

The above applies to /free/ use only. You are still welcome to purchase a commercial license from BitMover. What Larry has said "makes sense" from a survival/profit (i.e. capitalist) point of view: "you simply don't get to use our product -- which we provide for free -- to put our company out of business."

Furthermore, Larry has demonstrated that even if you /don't/ use BK, accessing changes and patches should be no more difficult than prior to Linus's trial/adoption of BK.

2) It has been made very clear by several of the core developers that accessibility to Linus's merges has been made much easier since his trial/adoption of BK. See here [] , here [] , and here [] .

3) This is hardly a "new EULA."

Please see the thread at 389686711292&w=2 [] , or subscribe to linux-kernel at for updates.

Read the whole discussion on LKML. (5, Informative)

Nerant (71826) | about 12 years ago | (#4396309) covered all of this. for those too lazy to read through the whole exchange, i'll extract the best part (emphasis in bold is mine):
From: Larry McVoy
Subject: Re: New BK License Problem?
Date: Sat, 5 Oct 2002 16:44:06 -0700

> And that's perfectly fair. However as worded in your license today, the
> individuals who work for those companies and have nothing to do with
> the competitive software you are worried about can't use your product
> to work on open source software.

Yes, that's true. But that doesn't mean we can't make exceptions, we can
and do.

> defined on, may apply for a waiver to
> stating
> 1) Which company they work for
> 2) Which Open Source Project(s) they are going to be using the
> Bitkeeper software for
> 3) Identify if they are working on this project in their "free" time or
> as part of their
> job definition
> If granted the waiver will only cover the stated Open Source project(s)
> you have named. If you expand your use of the BitKeeper software to
> other Open Source project(s) you will need to apply for a waiver for
> those project(s) as well.

If *I* had suggested this language I would have been flamed off the face
of the earth. The people who are complaining the loudest are complaining
that BitKeeper limits their choices or takes their freedom away or whatever.
They absolutely *despise* any sort of authority figure and the idea of
coming begging to BitMover for a waiver each time just makes them crazy.

In short?
If you want to use Bitkeeper for the development of something to replace it, you have to purchase a commercial license. Otherwise, you can use the "gratis" license.

Things like this... (5, Funny)

testuser58 (552737) | about 12 years ago | (#4396313)

Just make me feel like a sucker for choosing the "hip" GPL for my software. To think that I could have included a license that says something like:
  • "by using this software, you agree to give me your car and talk to a jar of pickels at work for the first five minutes of every day."
  • "by using this software, you agree to agree to the previous agreement, section D, which can be found in records department 41, level 9, building B. Yeah, see them to find out what you just agreed to, sucker."


  • "by using this software, you agree to tell me when you encounter bugs instead of emailing me I'll never use your software because it doesn't work good!"
Sigh... the fun I could've had...

Frontpage (1)

stud9920 (236753) | about 12 years ago | (#4396316)

But can I use BitKeeper to keep incremental copies of my libel against frontpage ?

and more important :

Was Taco legally allowed to write this story with Frontpage - as he always does ?

Read the thread (2, Insightful)

blender98 (258057) | about 12 years ago | (#4396323)

If anyone bothers on read the whole thread (ha!), they'll find that this only affects the free use of BK.

Larry's main concern is that someone who wants to implement a competing version control system does not use a free version of BK to do so. He is not attempting to prevent the subversion people from using bitkeeper; he just doesn't want them using it for free.

Before people start jumping up and down and screaming "antitrust", let me just state again that he is simply insisting that people who work on competing products but BK, rather than using it for free. He is by no means restricting anyone's trade.

Furthermore, BK is not required to checkout source code from a BK repository -- SCCS suffices, and Rik van Riel, Jeff Garzik and others make snapshots available every couple of hours.

The long and short is that nobody need use bitkeeper for kernel development (the source code may be obtained in a timely fashion using existing tools). If you don't like the BK license, don't use BK!

Larry has a responsibility to BitMover and its employees. He has salaries to pay, and making it easier for competitors to duplicate BK does not make that any easier. By providing BK and for free, he is doing the kernel community a service -- how about we cut him some slack?

McVoy just killed BK (2, Informative)

Performer Guy (69820) | about 12 years ago | (#4396329)

Face it, after this EULA and the email this guy just sent out bit keeper is dead. R.I.P. Who knows where their business dealings will take them and what use it will be in their interests to curtail in future. If you're using BK for source management you have to be looking over your sholder and worrying what proclamation McVoy will issue next that might force you to throw out all versions in your tree currently and move to an alternative product.

Buttkeeper is dying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4396354)

So is the company that makes it, buttmover

arch (3, Insightful)

chris_sawtell (10326) | about 12 years ago | (#4396367)

It looks to me as if arch [] is a pretty good alternative yo Bit-Keeper.

Anybody used it for a big project?

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