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SubjectRe: Proposal: Linux Kernel Patch Management System
> > that bitkeeper has.  The problem with bitkeeper is that it's **so**
> > different from CVS that it takes time to learn --- I spent a day getting
> > my head wrapped around it, and I still wouldn't call myself an expert;
>
> Another problem is that bitkeeper has not been through a security audit.

What sort of audit did you have in mind? It has been through several
internal audits, so I'm not sure why you are claiming that it hasn't.

> > have no problem with the license. But if there are enough other people
> > who are license fanatics who do have a problem with it, then bitkeeper
> > loses a lot of value for me. If Linus were willing to dictate from high
> > that we were going to use bitkeeper, and that all patches had to come in
>
> If Linus requires bitkeeper only then there will be two kernel trees. Linux
> ceases to be free software when you require nonfree software to contribute it.

First of all, that "Linux ceases to be free software..." is a false statement,
what tools you use to hack Linux in no way effect to license under which you
get Linux, and I think you know that, Alan.

Second, I doubt very much that Linus would require BitKeeper only. It's
trivial for BK to export patches which are bit for bit identical to the
traditional "diff -Nur" output. BKweb does that on the fly, go look at

http://www.bitmover.com:5001/patch@1.74

for example. I wouldn't expect Linus to require you to use BitKeeper, and
I wouldn't want you to be using BitKeeper because of that, I'd want you using
it because it saves you time and effort.

> Note: I think the BK license is fair, I understand Larry's problem and I support
> his right to use whatever license he likes. I also happen to support my right
> to decline to use his software

I just have one question: can you tell me if you have actually read
the BKL or are you just making up your mind that it is free or non free
based on something else?

For those who haven't read it, it says that you get source, you can wack
the source and redistribute it, that subsections of the system such
as the memory checker, the mmap based DMB library, and the installer,
are all also licensed under the GPL. You can read it here:

http://www.bitkeeper.com/license.html

The points that I believe Alan doesn't like is that you have to pass our
regression tests and you have to respect the openlogging requirement --
if you modify the source and want to redistribute it. I hear that you'd like
something 100% free of such restrictions, and wouldn't we all, but BK was
way too expensive to develop for us to just give it away free. We have
no other source of income. It is our intent, and the license reflects that,
that if you are doing work out in the open, on open source or anything else,
that you can use it free of any monetary payment.

It's somewhat interesting to note that if you put your data on
sourceforge, you give up more rights than BK asks from you. They expect
you to make the entire project source code available on sourceforge,
not just the changelogs. All the BKL says is that you have to make the
changelogs available. If you are truly concerned with your freedom,
you shouldn't be putting anything on sourceforge. Yet people do it all
the time, because sourceforge provides a useful service.
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