Home > Editorial > What BitMover Got Wrong What BitMover Got Wrong Submitted by Shlomi Fish 2005-05-19 Editorial 62 Comments “What BitMover Got Wrong” over at The Better-SCM site analyzes the wrong state of mind that guided BitMover, BitKeeper’s parent company in the long, eventful and sad history of its gratis product. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 62 Comments 2005-05-19 7:04 pm How quickly the open source force will turn on a young jedi. Slowly took over Mr. McVoy, the dark side did. Too bad. Once you become a Sith, very difficult it is to return to the light. Did SCO teach you nothing? 2005-05-19 7:10 pm Star Wars Craze-o-rama continues… 2005-05-19 7:30 pm They went wrong when they wanted to get paid for their product. The fools! 2005-05-19 7:35 pm Larry and BitMover used the Linux kernel developers to bootstrap a proprietary software company from scratch, with zero or near-zero advertising or PR expenditures. People all over the world found out who they were, and BitMover got lots of enthusiastic quotes from Linus Torvalds. The result is that BitMover is now a going concern, able to put food on the table for Larry and his employees. For this strategy to work long-term, it was necessary to pull the plug at some point on the gratis version, so I was sure that a pretext would be found at some point. It was also necessary to hold off the open source competition as long as possible, which was the reason for Larry’s ever-shifting license terms. I respect Larry’s skills as a businessman, but I don’t take the crocodile tears seriously. The Linux community was never given a gift; it was an investment that paid off very well for BitMover, and Larry knew all along that eventually his product would be either cloned or otherwise replaced. I’m surprised that it took three years. 2005-05-19 7:45 pm Moulinneuf: You say that Linus made a mistake choosing Bitkeeper. You also admit that today, several years after that decision, the replacement for Bitkeeper is not very good. So, tell me: what software should Linus have chosen back then? No other SCM system was even close to being a good fit for what Linus needed. Sure the Free Software purists have their feathers ruffled whenever Open-Source ideals indicate that a proprietary product is the right choice of software due to the lack of an adequate Open Source solution. Is that less than ideal? Sure. Is it a mistake? No. Fortunately the adoption of Bitkeeper prompted (or accelerated) several projects in the Open-Source arena that are working on much better SCM solutions. These are maturing rapidly, and will one day be good enough for use in maintaining the Linux Kernel. It’s just too bad that the Bitkeeper solution didn’t quite last long enough to make the transition a smooth one. 2005-05-19 8:13 pm BitMover got, A stress test like no other, Quality bug reports showing exactly where problem hid, Massive amount of PR, Linux got A quality SCM that no other project came close to matching, A few years of massive development. hey in the end though Bit mover was a closed project with a massively restrictive EULA. People think the GPL is bad. Bitmover’s EULA said people couldnt’ even develop something similar for 2 years after they stopped using it. Just for the record Tridgell, only wanted a more flexible client not Server. He wasn’t out to make a new server just a better client. and it was as easy as creating an FTP client. 2005-05-19 8:36 pm he hit the nail on the head…. Whatever might have become of BitMover, the company, the negative fallout of this whole debacle will surely cost McVoy dearly. Sure negative publicity *is* still publicity…but only in the short term. But we shouldn’t forget that it was the friendship between McVoy and Torvalds that was the crystalization moment behind the birth of BitMover and Torvalds’ use of Bitkeeper… Both McVoy and Torvals were being very, very pragmatic about the whole thing-and usually people hail pragmatism as a sign of ‘common sense’ -but both of them were blinded by their so called pragmatism…Pragamatism as an ideology is not particularly pragmatic 2005-05-19 9:23 pm First of all, BitMover did not really need the Linux kernel for its success. It had a very fine product (BitKeeper) and was profitable for a long time before Linus decided to adopt it. Maybe it got them a lot of publicity and got many companies to adopt it. However, a lot of this publicity was bad. I realize some people claim that any publicity is good publicity (as long as you spell the name right) but still… My point in the article is that BitKeeper and BitMover could have been much bigger than they are today, while still making BitMover very profitable. 2005-05-19 9:32 pm im no expert but anyone know here about SVN, its subversion enhanced by perlscripts 2005-05-19 10:17 pm I dunno. Anyone has experience with it? So far I have experience with Subversion and Monotone. I dreamed a lot while trying to use Monotone, but they don’t have a perfect project either. I guess BitKeeper isn’t perfect either? But I tell you what: distributed SCM seems a great idea. Subversion could have it and then it would be a lot closer to perfection. 🙂 So, anyone using a “distributed Subversion”? 2005-05-19 11:59 pm No arguing with open source zealots, there is always a legion of incredibely talented programmers readily available who want nothing more than to “liberate” proprietary software, in their free time, at no cost! 2005-05-20 12:52 am I was going to look deeper into that site but then I noticed that the linked story contained this bit of wisdom: “The Cathedral and the Bazaar series by Eric S. Raymond. Other writings by Raymond, who is widely considered as the foremost philosopher of the open source world, are also very good.” ESR is barely considered let alone regarded as the foremost of anything. He made a (highly debatable) point with Bazaar, he snaffed the Hacker Jargon file for his own and he taught newbies how to not ask questions of developers. Other than that, ESR appears to be just another normal guy and less than stellar developer. feh. 2005-05-20 1:16 am And that is that Bitkeeper should have probably stayed proprietary. Once you get into the mud with zealots you’re bound to get dirty, and that’s exactly what happened. Unless I missed it, the article didn’t even mention how BitMover was supposed to make money while placating rabid zealots. BitKeeper will probably do very well as a proprietary product. Rational people don’t care if it’s closed source or not. They want the best tool for the job. 2005-05-20 1:38 am BitKeeper will probably do very well as a proprietary product. Rational people don’t care if it’s closed source or not. They want the best tool for the job. Oh, but 2006 will be the year of the BitFreer! Doing everything BK does, only better! It may not have a very god UI, but that will be being worked upon, and some more advanced features maybe won’t be there yet. But just wait for 2007! 2007’ll be the year of the BitFreer. 2005-05-20 2:43 am Troll Português, Ô pá! The problem is that SCM is such a black magic that few people know much about many of such tools to contribute on the subject in a sane way. For example, just because a tool is proprietary does not make it good. Just because a tool is integrated in your IDE, does not mean that it’s good. For instance, many tools support CVS, which lacks many basic features. 2005-05-20 3:14 am Moulinneuf: “[Linus] built the Linux kernel , an essantial part of the GNU/Linux OS surely he could have worked out a project free , open source and GPL that could have met is wanted goal.” What? Linus should have taken a 2-3 year break from maintaining Linux to write a SCM system? That doesn’t make any sense. All the SCM systems currently in development have been multi-year projects and they’re only just now maturing into something that have both the features and the speed necessary for use on maintaining the Linux Kernel (keep in mind that Linus’s “git” kluge is not an SCMS). “What are those project your reffering to ?” There are quite a few. Tom Lord’s arch eventually turned into bazaar, and is a pretty nice SCMS (though a bit too complex and unwieldy in some ways). Darcs is a very nice and quite powerful SCMS, but it is hampered by performance problems with large projects (these are currently being actively worked on, and good progress is being made). Monotone is one of Linus’s front-runners for replacing Bitkeeper, but it is still unfinished. Bazaar-NG (for “next generation”) is an early attempt to make a better SCMS than bazaar, yet with a smooth upgrade path. Those are just the ones I know of off the top of my head (and yes, I’m omitting Subversion due to it being a very poor fit for what Linus needs an SCM system to do — this is even something that the Subversion developers freely admit). 2005-05-20 4:47 am “Anonymous (IP: —.cruzio.com) ” You dont have a name or your ashame of who you are and what your idea and views are , your too inapt to give an answer or even choose a nicknam since your ashame of who you are ? “Mistakes (in logic)” Logic dictate thats whats proven by yourself to work , should work when applied to others. “Linus should have taken a 2-3 year break from maintaining Linux to write a SCM system? ” Working with an scm is part of is everyday job and I seriously doubt that he did not offer some points or possibility of patch on things he wanted to see changed on bitmover. Why would he have needed a break ? did he took a break when he switched away from it ? There is no intelligence at all behind your comment so far. “That doesn’t make any sense. ” I agree , your comment is baseless and without value. “All the SCM … the Linux Kernel ” I think that nothing would get built if anyone followed your failed logic. Too bad you dont apply your knowledge at making a complete and full solution, instead. 2005-05-20 4:48 am I am not entirely against Open Source and I am not particularly fond of Microsoft. That was really not my point, my point is that I sincerely hope there is not an endless supply of high quality programmers that are there to rabidly attack any software solution that is proprietary (even high quality software at a resonable cost) with little in return for their time. I would find that more than a little sad. If that were the case, programmers would simply become low paid code janitors, and although that appeals to many, that does not appeal to me. My gripe with Open Source is that it has a religious “feel” to it. If it is proprietary is is non-open and therefore evil. I am tired of the ravings of lunatics trying to replace every proprietary software solution with a better free one. What is the point when this is all finished, and the world runs entirely on free software? There will probably be complete stagnation from lack of true competition (money is a good driving force, whereas if everything was free everything becomes good enough at some point – there is not enough pay back in direct relation to an increase in quality at a certain point.) I also see HUGE problems with code maintenance and ownership. It will not always be the case that good leaders will come forward to steward the code, in fact if all software is free and everything is “done” what is the point at all, certainly not egoboo. I would rather see a balance of the closed and open source. A certain level of competition is always good, a monoploy in any area does nothing but cause the same stagnation I described above, it is “good enough” without any external pressures to increase quality. 2005-05-20 5:13 am Personally, I don’t think Linus Torvalds made a mistake. He chose the program most suited for his task. It was free and it got the kernel to where it is today. Much was learned in the process that can be used going forward. And, finally, they’re no worse off than before moving to BitKeeper. What exactly is/was the problem that keeps making people say LT was wrong or there was anything wrong in the first place? 2005-05-20 5:51 am “Bitmover was the only software at the time that suited the Kernel development no F/OSS product exists. Because of the license though we in FOSS were never allowed to even try to build something similar. Is that fair?” I wonder if people complain this much about the work-related non-competes they have to sign? 2005-05-20 6:08 am I am tired of the ravings of lunatics trying to replace every proprietary software solution with a better free one. Well, to be completely fair, the reason why so many people want open-source Linux “replacements” for proprietary apps is that those proprietary apps are not available for Linux (or any *nix, for that matter). If the major ISVs supported Linux with their products, much of the incentive for producing free alternatives would go away. In any case, if someone wants to provide a free alternative to a proprietary one, why should that bother you? It is up to proprietary vendors to produce higher-quality software if they want to compete. In either case, it is the consumer that benefits, so I fail to see why this should be a problem. Having more choice is better for the consumer, the motivations of those who provide these alternatives really shouldn’t matter… 2005-05-20 6:11 am I wonder if people complain this much about the work-related non-competes they have to sign? If they don’t, then they should. These non-competition clauses are an unacceptable restriction on individual freedom. It just goes to show that the rights of corporations as legal persons continue to outweigh those of real human beings… 2005-05-20 6:53 am Moulinneuf: “Why would he have needed a break ?” It’s really not that hard to understand. As I said, developing an SCMS takes a log of work — the current ones took years to mature, and they’re still not quite good enough to handle what the Linux Kernel needs. Keep in mind that, at the time, the development of Linux was suffering and in need of some improved, distributed tools to coordinate changes between many developers, so a change was needed to make things better. Saying (as you did) that Linus should have either just written an SCMS himself (or perhaps convinced a team to write one?) doesn’t make one magically appear — it takes time and effort. Continuing on with the old Linux development tools and simultaneously developing an SCMS is an even worse option than doing nothing because it slows down Linux development even more. Thus, I assumed you meant to have Linus dedicate himself to finishing an SCMS as quickly as possible so that he could use it for Linux. Of course, that is also a bad solution, because the development of Linux comes to a grinding halt. The only good solution is to use an available (and adequate) tool for the job to improve the development process surrounding Linux, and that meant (at the time) using Bitkeeper and waiting for the Open Source tools to catch up. I don’t see a better solution than that (and you certainly haven’t suggested one). If there wasn’t a better choice to have been made at the time, then what is the mistake? 2005-05-20 9:39 am Both Communism and Capitalism have been defated by socialism Keep dreaming mate. 2005-05-20 11:52 am You make several mistakes there. First you assume, that all the free software developers do not get payed for their work. That is not true. Even if all software on the planet were GPL’ed (the most uncommercial license) there would still be the one or the other feature missing for the one or the other company, and the only way of gettng that feature would be to pay someone to write the feature, either in-house or an extern programmer. There would also be lots of payed jobs for customization and support. Most software written today isn’t sellable prprietary software, but in-house written software which CANNOT be sold. ALL these programmers would still be employed if all software were free software. The only sector of economy which is really hurt by free software are companies which write a program once and make obscene amounts of money selling it a billion times. As usual in a free market there are several ways to build a product. The product offering most value for least cost is going to be the winner, and rightly so. The only thing missing right now for example in the office market would be a FREE market, but as most customers of that market are locked in, the market will become free only if the price/value slope becomes too steep to be bearable. The proprietary software model has a possibility to survive for complex niche products, where not enough qualified free software developers can be found to write that software. For software which is needed by many, and which is not too complicated to write, there will be a free software against which the proprietary companies have to compete. Because they cannot compete on price, they will have to offer more value to be able to sell the software. As free software matures (and once it is matured free software usually is of high quality), providing a better software becomes tougher and tougher for the proprietary companies. Expect many to die or transform their business model towards service oriented. But look around, LOT’s of free software programmers are payed by some sponsors, you need to get involved and look for YOUR way to make money out of free software. 2005-05-20 12:13 pm “Its funny how you associate communism with Open Source and proprietary with capitalism. Now in reality Both Communism and Capitalism have been defated by socialism , I guess Walmart dont exist in your reality bubble. ” You do realize that capitalism killed communism (they just want our products and not 1 state brand.) You do realize that wallmart is capitalism in the extreme: 1) hire illegal aliens because they are extremely cheap and do not operate in labor unions. 2) sell products made in China or India, and none if any from the USA. 3) Trample any local environmental law to build your superwallmart and provide $5.15 / hour “jobs” to the “community.” 4) call yourself an “international” bound by NO loyalties to any country or people, only money and self matters. wake up, it’s the 1600s. Merchantilism is here. 2005-05-20 3:41 pm First of all, I never mentioned communism vs. socialism. I don’t really see what that has to do with anything. Plus my view isn’t the short term, it is the long term. As in 20 – 30 years from now. I don’t think consumers would benefit from all software in the industry being free, at some point innovation will stop. The major core products will be “done” more or less, bug fixes will become more and more rare and the ONLY people that still have jobs doing computer coding will be people doing custom work (probably most of the custom work will already be done though) or those rare moments of code maintenance. This may be inveitable, but it kind of seems sad. There is a good side-effect with free software as it does benefit greatly those nations that could not otherwise participate in computing, but I still think the largest cost has always been in the hardware. However, free software may have an opposite effect in more economically advantaged nations in terms of innovation. Of course time may well prove me wrong, it makes sense that when there is a legion of zealots looking for free work to do that paid programmers won’t suffer RMS seems to think programming is a skill everyone should have, so maybe like cleaning toilets, programming will be a “dead-end”, minimum-wage vocation. 2005-05-20 3:44 pm replace “socialism” with “capitalism” (too many isms 2005-05-20 4:43 pm “If there wasn’t a better choice to have been made at the time, then what is the mistake?” I’ve spoken about this brooha aplenty. “Actually I think this whole situation started not with Torvald’s choosing BK. But with the OSS community not having a viable choice to present to him to begin with. Maybe instead of being mad at Linus and McVoy for making a pragmatic decision? We should be mad at ourselves for not having our act together, so that Torvalds shouldn’t have to make a choice between ideology, and pragmatism. Also this should be a warning to the OSS community, that you need to pay attention to needs within your community, before worrying about goals outside of it.” 2005-05-20 5:36 pm “Anonymous (IP: —.cruzio.com)” You dont have a name or your ashame of who you are and what your idea and views are , your too inapt to give an answer or even choose a nicknam since your ashame of who you are ? “It’s really not that hard to understand.” I agree , you make up the reality you whant as you go along, Linus Torvalds helped Bitmover evolved by using it and improving it , he actually did both , work on the Linux kernel and Bitmover. But according to you if it had been something else Open Source he would have add to stop all work on the linux kernel because Anonymous say so. Its failed Logic. “As I said, developing an SCMS takes a log of work” Yes and I agree , but its not because something take a long time to mature that you cant use it and help it improve , most people did not start using the software they currently use at there latest version. “the current ones took years to mature, and they’re still not quite good enough to handle what the Linux Kernel needs. ” According to you. I think you dont take it that I dont put any value in what you have to say that I cant verify. “Keep in mind that, at the time, the development of Linux was suffering and in need of some improved, distributed tools to coordinate changes between many developers, so a change was needed to make things better. ” Keep in mind that the problem is still the same today as the fix whas unaceptable and obviously did not work. “Saying (as you did) that Linus should have either just written an SCMS himself (or perhaps convinced a team to write one?) doesn’t make one magically appear — ” No , I made a connexion between Linux kernel development and scms system as both took time and did not happen over night , it got transformed by you . into how I wanted Linus to stop is work on the kernel and have him make an scms. “it takes time and effort.” Everything worthwile does … “Continuing on with the old Linux development tools and simultaneously developing an SCMS is an even worse option than doing nothing because it slows down Linux development even more.” Then why did he got rid of bitmover since nothing else is ready ( according to you , who you think as an expert ) … “Thus, I assumed you meant to have Linus dedicate himself to finishing an SCMS as quickly as possible so that he could use it for Linux.” You assume a lot of things , the problem whas that he sent the message that he made a decision and everyone else add to shut up and live with it , Instead of saying exactly ( because he hinted to it that Open Source whas not ready , for what he wanted) that he wanted the best tool for the job and could not wait. “Of course, that is also a bad solution, because the development of Linux comes to a grinding halt. ” In what reality do you live in ? Really , when he stopped using bitmover did the Linux kernel development stop to a grinding halt ? No … “The only good solution is to use an available (and adequate) tool for the job to improve the development process surrounding Linux, and that meant (at the time) using Bitkeeper and waiting for the Open Source tools to catch up.” Thats why that “good solution” according to you got canned. “I don’t see a better solution than that (and you certainly haven’t suggested one). If there wasn’t a better choice to have been made at the time, then what is the mistake?” Actually , I did , take one and improve on it until it meet your need , You dont like it as it dont meet your approval , but most of what is used in GNU/Linux came out that way. “then what is the mistake?” He choosed a restrictive proprietary system , based on politics. He lost many years of development on a free and Open Source solution by doing that , and he finnaly wake up after getting sued by SCO and decided to get rid of his solution. There is also the GNU/Linux community who did not make Mcvoy change is mind or buy is entire company from him at a price he could not refuse. 2005-05-20 5:42 pm No dreaming , the top 100 company worlwide are company that offer more to there client. Not make the most money only. 2005-05-20 7:50 pm no, you have described a value-added market: giving your customers more for their dollar than competitors. This is not communism or socialism, IT’S CAPITALISM. The US can’t compete with foreign labor BECAUSE WE HAVE LABOR UNIONS THAT COST TOO MUCH– look at the working conditions in 3rd world countries and their average work day. THEY ARE BEING EXPLOITED. You’re telling me that this is socialism? It is the ugly side of capitalism. When China and India and Mexico’s standard of living rises to the point where their yuen, rupee and peso are 1:1 with the US dollar, there will be ANOTHER 3rd world to get cheap workers from: Africa. There will be no end to cheap labor and exploitation. These companies ARE PROFIT DRIVEN NOT PEOPLE DRIVEN. They would not pay their employees SO GOD DAMN LITTLE if they were people driven. If they care at all about their workers, they would provide daycare for their workers children, full medical insurance and free education advancement. These things would build company loyalty and greatly enhance thier workers. But no. Profit is the motive and always will be. Can you please define your version of “socialism” as it relates to company practices? 2005-05-20 8:35 pm I never once mentioned race! I never once mentioned communism, socialism, or any ism. I never made any implications, any conclusions that you have drawn are your own. Please learn how to read. Your powers of inference are amazing! You are making so many assumptions here the mind dizzies. No one could possibly have a point of view different then yours, if they do they are obviously wrong – your future telling must be better than mine! lol! 2005-05-20 9:12 pm “you have described a value-added market: giving your customers more for their dollar than competitors.” Yes socialism … Capitalism is all about making money , making more money and more profit , NOTHING else. “The US can’t compete with foreign labor BECAUSE WE HAVE LABOR UNIONS THAT COST TOO MUCH-” No , Real American ( CANADA ) and France ( two example among others ) are more unionized , and they still compete. ” look at the working conditions in 3rd world countries and their average work day. ” Its the same even sometime much better then in the US due to lower Currency value. “THEY ARE BEING EXPLOITED.” Yes , most people are , even in the US. “You’re telling me that this is socialism?” Exploitation exist in every system … “It is the ugly side of capitalism.” Capitalism dont compete anymore , it exist still but its very rare. “When China and India and Mexico’s standard of living rises to the point where their yuen, rupee and peso are 1:1 with the US dollar, there will be ANOTHER 3rd world to get cheap workers from: Africa. ” No : the answer would be US ( it already is but the rest of the world is protecting the US currency for some reason ). Its not the standard of living wich dictate globalization its currency For X amount of money one can get 100 chinese engineers trained worker for 1 US high school trained worker. “There will be no end to cheap labor and exploitation.” why should there be. “These companies ARE PROFIT DRIVEN NOT PEOPLE DRIVEN. ” Profit driven only company dont survive anymore. “They would not pay their employees SO GOD DAMN LITTLE if they were people driven. ” The pay an employee receive is due to what he as add the power to negociate. Company are giving service to the customer , not to the employee. “If they care at all about their workers, they would provide daycare for their workers children, full medical insurance and free education advancement. These things would build company loyalty and greatly enhance their workers. ” The company are there to maximise what the customer can get for x amount of money and stil make a small profit a the end , not improve the quality of living for the workers. “Profit is the motive and always will be.” No , making a living is the motive. “Can you please define your version of “socialism” as it relates to company practices?” Its not my version of socialism as I cant impact or control it at all , and the two dont relates , bad company practices is only viable when all the worker and those who whant the job accept the lowest exploitation practices. But if you look at it closely that 5.50 is worth more then “zero” and since all price are lower , you actually have more for that 5.50 , frankly everything can be shipped to your house directly. Capitalism is all about more money and more profit and nothing else. Socialism is more people share the same amount of money that used to go to only one person or company and have more in return. the people are not the 3k worker its the 5 million client. let me ask you a question why someone in India doing the exact same job as someone in the US is not also unionized ? Answer : Because the Boss as gone global and the Union are still region specific. Its really fun to see a boss come to the table with 20 specialized lawyer , 20 economist , 20 financial adviser and 100 research group. VS 10 guys who’s job is making something + 1 to 5 union rep that are not prepared to face there adversary. Am I for the right of the workers globally ? yes , Am I going to protect the right of stupid region specific worker who shoot themself in the footh ? no , been there done that. Get smart people what they do to the lowest of us is practice on what they whant to do to the rest of us , if we dont protect them globally they will be used against us. 2005-05-20 9:14 pm Moulinneuf: It’s very sad that every reply to me starts with personal attacks — you would do well to imagine yourself talking to a live person sitting next to you and moderate your tone accordingly — it’s a much more courteous way to have a conversation on the web. If you’re honestly wishing to have a discussion, you would do well to go back and read what I wrote again with less of a confontational attitude. For instance, this reply: “In what reality do you live in ? Really , when he stopped using bitmover did the Linux kernel development stop to a grinding halt ? No ..” Besides being rude, this indicates that you didn’t understand the sentence prior to the one you quoted. I discussed the hypothetical scenario (as one of the available choices that Linus could have made) where Linus dedicates himself to only working on a SCMS. Obviously, if he stopped working on Linux to work on an SCMS, his work on Linux would come to “grinding halt” — that is simple logic. As for the current situtation of kernel developement that is happening right now, keep in mind that Bitkeeper is _still_ being used in kernel development, just not by Linus (who no longer has a free licence — other kernel developers got a free commercial licence from Larry). This (and the rapid development of a simple patch-accumulator called “git”) is the reason why kernel development is still proceeding normally. The “git” software isn’t powerful enough to take the place of everyone’s use of Bitkeeper, just the simple archiving of the changes that have been approved for the official version of the kernel — a much simpler problem to solve. 2005-05-20 9:29 pm “I never once mentioned race!” Would be fun to see how many race you think there are. ” never once mentioned communism, socialism, or any ism.” not by name but that whas the reference to your text , it become evident after reading it a few times. “I never made any implications, any conclusions that you have drawn are your own. ” Actually thats exactly what you did. BFG said : “my point is that I sincerely hope there is not an endless supply of high quality programmers that are there to rabidly attack any software solution that is proprietary (even high quality software at a resonable cost) with little in return for their time.” “If that were the case, programmers would simply become low paid code janitors, and although that appeals to many, that does not appeal to me. ” etc … “Please learn how to read.” I read what you wrote. I am not a mind reader , if that not what you meant , feel free to correct your own text. “Your powers of inference are amazing! ” Now I got powers … yes I am super Mouli ta da da da … “You are making so many assumptions here the mind dizzies.” I dont make assumptions , I have met many like you and your pretty common in your line of taughts and you all get your facts from the same source. “No one could possibly have a point of view different then yours” Why ? no really if your point of view is false and based on hearsay thats your problem. I dont mind someone who backup is view with hard facts , but your like the guy saying Ousama whas not a CIA employee because of what he did on 9/11. I could be wrong , it happens , I am human. “if they do they are obviously wrong” I prefer the term not as informed of reality. “your future telling must be better than mine” I just live in actual present , and your making doomsday futur prediction that have no base on anything. 2005-05-20 9:58 pm “Anonymous (IP: —.cruzio.com)” You dont have a name or your ashame of who you are and what your idea and views are , your too inapt to give an answer or even choose a nicknam since your ashame of who you are ? “you would do well … on the web. ” Actually , from my vast experience no , do I know that there is a human beeing at the other end ? yes , do I have to give him any kind of respect or rights , no. Your Anonymous , your someone who as no respect for himself and his idea. If you’re honestly wishing to have a discussion, you would do well to use your real name or a nickname , I have an history with “anonymous” and by using that name your associating with all its past comments. “I discussed the hypothetical scenario” I discuss reality. “where Linus dedicates himself to only working on a SCMS. Obviously, if he stopped working on Linux to work on an SCMS, his work on Linux would come to “grinding halt”” Yes but it never happened did it ? No its not even what I offered somehow because its Open Source and/or GPL it become what would have happened because you say so … NO , not at all. “that is simple logic.” No , thats a simple enumeration of an improbable situation. Logic would dictate that what happened once and his happening now would prevail again and happen again. ” is the reason why kernel development is still proceeding normally.” There is nothing normal about linux kernel development. I dont think the fact that a minority of devlopper still use bitkeeper are responisble for the maount of worked done globally. “The “git” software isn’t powerful enough to take the place of everyone’s use of Bitkeeper” there is more then just the git software … the problem is that no one is actively pushing for a global solution , not that there seem to actually be a need for it at this time. “just the simple archiving of the changes that have been approved for the official version of the kernel — a much simpler problem to solve.” Tell you what I think is missing , a prize to drive innovation , the Linux kernel is in used by more then 50 000 company but none of them said whe offer X amount of money for someone to create a real replacement for bitkeeper/bitmover. Also Real leadership if Git is to become the next Bitkeeper then all the developper should offer there help and sugestion on what is missing and whant to see. I got 50$ to spend on helping with the prize. Just tell me when everyone is going to be on the same page and where to send the money then. Otherwise I stand by what I said Linus made the mistake of choosing is so call friend solution which whas closed and proprietary then and even more now. Do I owe you respect as anonymous , no. 2005-05-20 10:09 pm All of “us”? Who is “we” exactly? You are the king of assumptions. It seems no matter what I say you find a way to twist the words into unintended meanings. Perhaps I am not being perspicuous enough? Anyway, it doesn’t matter. I like open source and I generally use it. I just think it is healthy to have competition in any sector, even between proprietary and open source. Sorry this is an opinion, but I am sure you will refute that this is truly my opinion (there is probably some hidden meaning.) And no, competition is not directly related capatalism. 2005-05-20 10:19 pm “You dont have a name or your ashame of who you are and what your idea and views are , your too inapt to give an answer or even choose a nicknam since your ashame of who you are ? ” You’ve said this a couple times already. The above is considered a fallacy. I suggest you read the link below. http://www.stack.nl/~galactus/remailers/fallacy.html 2005-05-20 10:19 pm What do you think I implied from the following text: “my point is that I sincerely hope there is not an endless supply of high quality programmers that are there to rabidly attack any software solution that is proprietary (even high quality software at a resonable cost) with little in return for their time.” “If that were the case, programmers would simply become low paid code janitors, and although that appeals to many, that does not appeal to me. “ 2005-05-20 10:43 pm “Who is “we” exactly?” depends who’s target your comment is. Open Source , GNU/Linux Free software , zealot … “You are the king of assumptions.” I dont assume anything. I verify what I say and what I am told. “It seems no matter what I say you find a way to twist the words into unintended meanings.” Really ? And I specificaly stop you from correcting my missunderstanding of what you meant ? “Perhaps I am not being perspicuous enough?” Perhaps you dont write exactly what you are thinking that you are writing … “Anyway, it doesn’t matter.” That which will follow is obviously not what you meant to say. ” I like open source and I generally use it. ” Nice of you to bash it into your doomsday futur … ” I just think it is healthy to have competition in any sector” Something I can agree with you there. “even between proprietary and open source. ” Yes , thats where you got a problem. “Sorry this is an opinion, but I am sure you will refute that this is truly my opinion (there is probably some hidden meaning.)” No , I just think you dont know what Open Source , proprietary and free software means. Proprietary software can be Open Source , Open Source means when the source are availaible and Open. Proprietary will never be Free software as in freedom. Exept , if by free , for you , mean at no cost. ” And no, competition is not directly related capatalism.” Capitalism is all about money … more money , more profit , nothing else mathers. Glad you agreed with me on something 😉 2005-05-20 10:51 pm “You’ve said this a couple times already. The above is considered a fallacy. I suggest you read the link below.” “I will not accept your argument because you do not use your real name” I guess you missed a bit of my reply : “or even choose a nickname” I am actually asking why he is afraid to put is name or choose a nickname to associate with what he as to say. 2005-05-20 11:55 pm Is closed source, versus open source. Proprietary has an intrinsic meaning, in specific that it is restricted in nature and not openly available, or exlusively owned. Open source code (meaning open and freely distributable) and proprietary code are mutally exclusive. However, Freedom != Open Source Code. In fact the licensing with which the code is released restricts that freedom of the code (based on the license.) Truly open source software (as in total freedom) would be public domain. I realize that many think that GPL is more “free” because it gaurantees opennes, but that is a point often up for debate. Closed source software can also be zero cost. So it is also “free” in that sense. If there is quality, proprietary software that is very low cost, then perhaps the software is fine for consumers. What is the goal for open source software. Freedom of code, or benefit to the consumer. It all depends on your point of view. I am really not that polarized on what is “right” and “wrong”. I just think that there is a place for proprietary software in the computer industry, something you would very much disagree with me on. 2005-05-21 5:13 pm These philisophical arguments about hypothetical futures where “everything is free” in terms of software is fairly boring at this point. 1. Let us assume for a moment that some arbitrarily large percentage of commonly-used software is open source. Demonstrate that under this condition, “innovation” is impeded. 2. Using 1, explain what occurs when there is a clear demand for solutions to some problem. Compare your dystopia with the behavior of the current market. 3. Assume that all innovation as defined by you hase ceased due to ubiquitous open source software. Demonstrate that no innovation is possible, otherwise explain how it is possible. 4. Elucidate the market incentives to eschew development at lower costs, and who this behavior benefits and who it harms. 2005-05-21 5:34 pm http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/computer/ppl-175.html The largest group of households without computers consist of the elderly. Presumably a large number of them don’t own computers because they don’t want them. 2005-05-21 5:40 pm The “freedom” provided by certain open source licenses concerning the use of source code may be less “free” than that provided by other licenses or the rights available if it is public domain, but they’re also all more “free” than proprietary software sans source code distribution. To put it another way, I cannot see that you are making an argument. 2005-05-21 10:41 pm Anonymous (IP: —.dialup.mindspring.com) You dont have a name or your ashame of who you are and what your idea and views are , your too inapt to give an answer with youw own name or even choose a nickname since your ashame of who you are ? I have a problem with the 2001 data , I have a problem with the source of the census ( US ) , and have a problem with the conclusion you make. “The largest group of households without computers consist of the elderly. ” The largest group of people dont have house , they rent , live in condo or in apartments. ” Presumably a large number of them don’t own computers because they don’t want them.” And the poor presumably dont buy food because they dont whant it … I am sorry but I have to totally disagree with what you just wrote there. 2005-05-22 2:56 am You are correct, I do not have a name. 1. The U.S. census is far more reliable source of information than random claims from a nobody on the Internet. 2. A household has nothing to do with property ownership. 3. A computer is a luxury item with a nontrivial learning curve. If a factor other than age is responsible (poverty) then the first thing you should investigate is the prevalence of poverty by age group. You get right on providing some credible data. 2005-05-22 5:28 am “You sir, are a well known troll… ” No mam squid , learn what a Troll is : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll 2005-05-22 5:51 am 1) Innovation may be stifled because Open Source Software may not compete when there is no need. In other words, I think that Open Source software is in many ways more pragmatic and reusable than proprietary code. Given this, I think it is very possible that at some point all of the major problems will be solved and that large core software components may begin to slow dramatically in development (Linux Kernel may at some point be seen as having little or no problems and as being able to solve all the problems that it faces “well enough” and become the de facto core for all operating systems.) Currently there is a great deal of fragmentation in open source, but it is possible that certain portions (like GCC and Linux) may end up becoming the standard for OSS developers. (Of course if OSS remains highly fragmented, this entire line of reasoning is pointless) Free software developers may not see a need to redevelop an entire program or functional system, because the payoff would not be worth the amount of time they had to put into it. In fact it may harm a great portion of software that is inter-related and now relatively static. Also as mainternship of code becomes less necessary, custodians of the code may become harder to find. Even hardware changes would be heavily influenced by such a large and universal framework of software. Of course there may be many “supported” hardware platforms, but there may be a tendency to gravitate towards the predominate archeticture when there is little differentiation between platforms, and even if new hardware architectures were developed they would have to meet the requirements of the universal software. I honestly can’t say that innovation wouldn’t stop with proprietary software as well, but I think that corporations would be more stubborn about trying to find new niches because money is often a greater incentive for “trying” then the “idea” of quality software. In particular when there is already something “good enough” out there. They would also have less of a tendency to aggregate their resources and unify software platforms. This would also effect hardware innovations in that changes in hardware can be made and directed towards software partners that wish to work with them (without threatening software compatability on a global scale). However, a company that has a monopoly in the software industry would have the same behavior as would any entity that: has complete access to all srouce code, covers the breadth of the entire industry, and has little or no incentive to change a huge installed base of heavily inter-related software. They would also have a great ability of controlling the hardware industry and decisions they make regarding hardware designs. 2) Well that is the problem I see, with open source software there may be no “clear demand” for changes in software. There will probably be several core software packages that are almost ubiquitously reused and maybe a fraction of the available code (maybe less than 1%) is used everywhere else and is highly fragmented and specialized. In other words, sooner or later nearly all of the custom jobs will already have a solution. There will be no demand for new software and there will be a huge problem with changing the core packages because they are heavily inter-related. This is not a doomsday world, just a world where a majority of the problems are solved, how often are there major changes or innovations in drywall installation, or the way carpet is laid? I don’t know, maybe there are a number of innovations in those areas, but if there weren’t perhaps it would not be such a bad thing. In the software industry it just means that the only computer work that would be happening might be hardware maintenance and maybe (very seldom) a bug fix. The current market has a demand for new and different types of software, but because free software is so openly available and redistributable, at some point software solutions may exist for nearly all cases (if everything is open, free source.) 3) I would say that the amount of “innovation” may be drastically limited rather than “ceased”. In response to the second part – I think I have described this adequately above. 4) I think this would actually have benefits in terms of stability and consistency and it would help systems to inter-operate with ease. However I see a problem in that it would cause the software to become less flexible to beneficial changes and innovation because of large cost involved with breaking the static and inter-operable system is potentially huge. So I think it could both be a benefit and a determinant to consumers. 2005-05-22 6:49 am 1. No, you’re not better than the U.S. census. You’re a random nobody with no data supporting your claim. 2. A household is any housing unit with one or more people living in it. 3. I’m sorry, but that’s not statistical data. 4. 2005 data is mostly irrelevant unless you can give me a reason as to why in four years time you expect ownership figures to decrease by over ten percent. 5. My point is that you have no idea what you’re talking about. QED 6. You can makeup any name you want for me, it’s of little importance. 7. Having read your link I fail to see what purported relevance broadband availability has to computer ownership. You can be a troll or a semi-literate ignoramous. I don’t think either is particularly more noteworthy than the other, but I’ll leave it to your discretion. 2005-05-22 7:28 am 1. a) I would suggest that the entire line of reasoning is pointless unless you can establish that provided any software development methodology, that in a condition when software is “complete” that there exists any valuable “innovation,” or rather that it’s possible for software to be “complete” in the presence of possible improvement. Then you’d need to explain how open source software reaches a condition where there exists novelty that has value that cannot be realized because of the existence of ubiquitous “complete” open source software. For bonus points then demonstrate that it is the only manner in which this scenario occurs. b) Let us for the sake of hyperbole lump all “free software developers” into one archetype. Then let us assume that there exists some value to be gained from a novel approach to the solution of some problem. Then explain how ubiquitous open source software prevents parties seeking to capitalize on this value from doing so. c) There is nothing that precludes financial incentives for the development of novel approaches for solving some problem. If there is no value in a novel solution, then it is hardly missed. d) Your discussion of hardware makes little sense to me, but since it’s immaterial I also don’t really care much that it makes no sense to me. 2. a) How does the manner in which software is developed have an impact on the existence of demand for better approaches to solving problems? Do you cease to want less latency between weather simulations because source code is freely available for the software you’re using for running your models? Do you want to be able to process more orders for sprockets because you do not have the source code for your sales platform available to you? Whether or not a piece of software is sufficient for your needs in most cases doesn’t depend on whether or not you personally have access to the source code. b) Nothing you’ve said establishes that there exists a point where pre-existing software solves all problems optimally or even sufficiently. No amount of code reuse solves new problems a priori. Even if it did, it hardly seems that this would be a bad thing. Being able to trivially solve all of humanity’s computational problems is bad how, exactly? c) Code modules that are easily reused for disparate problems arerarely tightly coupled. Tightly coupled modules would either lead to refactoring or reimplementation. 4. You haven’t demonstrated that anything is less flexible to modification. Indeed, if you’re suggesting that software becomes less flexible as its source code is available then your argument is most strange. You aren’t really giving much of a rigorous reason for your position, but rather attempting to explain arbitrary claims with more arbitrary claims. Even if we adopt your dystopia on faith, that is that ubiquitous open source software leads to stagnation, there’s really no reason that this stagnation would simply remain indefinitely. Software developers develop open source software until they essentially implode. Then either there exists novelty that has value to the market and it’s realized by some opportunistic developer(s) (unless you can explain why it wouldn’t be seized upon) or there doesn’t exist any valuable novelty and the existence of novelty is unimportant. And all of this presumes we’re humoring the existence of the possibility of all computable problems being solved. A fairly large stretch of the imagination. 2005-05-22 8:52 pm Anonymous (IP: —.dialup.mindspring.com) You dont have a name or your ashame of who you are and what your idea and views are , your too inapt to give an answer with youw own name or even choose a nickname since your ashame of who you are ? “6. My name is Moulinneuf II. I am a Quebecois net kook with poor English skills that spends his time being inane just like my father. ” Nice to meet you Moulinneuf II , I am a Real American from CANADA not some whannabe “of America” , I live in the province of QUEBEC which also make me a Quebecois , I dont have poor English skills like you as I use English everyday and people tend to disagree with me more then having a problem understanding me , I am not inane but I do reply to insane and inane people like you because I believe the lies and insanity you spread tend to become known as popular truth when repeated often , I am sorry to hear that your father is inane it must be rubbing off on you and be difficult for you to bear. This whas my last reply to you in this thread. 2005-05-23 12:55 am Show me the data, dad. 2005-05-23 1:14 pm Your comments about socialist Wallmart make me fear for what is being taught in our schools. http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=4224 http://www.socialistalternative.org/justice35/21.html I believe your comments may have stemmed from this poorly written / poorly defended blog about Walmart, whose conclusion is COMPLETELY BACKWARDS: http://www.powerwriting.com/gm/archives/00000067.htm EXPLOITING WORKERS IS WHAT CAPITALISM IS HATED FOR. According to you, every companies purpose is to “give customers the best” and this is somehow socialist practice. This is actually Pareto Optimal Capitalism, where buyers and sellers get together and make a transaction where both parties agree on the price and are informed. Companies have and always will be profit driven. The Red Cross is profit driven, doctors are profit driven, your government is profit driven, the reason most people go to college is to get a better job that PAYS better, not to serve their fellow man. The self-interest incentive that Adam Smith described has never gone away, on the contrary, it’s on the rise. People are inherently selfish and profit driven. No one opens a business hoping that they never make $, not even open source developers. 2005-05-24 2:17 am “Your comments about socialist Wallmart make me fear for what is being taught in our schools.” Its not taught in your school, the curriculum havent change since the 78’s – 80’s. “I believe your comments may have stemmed from this poorly written / poorly defended blog about Walmart, whose conclusion is COMPLETELY BACKWARDS” No , it come from a 14 years old study I did on Ford , and why and how it became socialist in order to not disapear. The same fundamentals push to the extreme are what applys to Wallmart. “EXPLOITING WORKERS IS WHAT CAPITALISM IS HATED FOR.” Capitalism get blamed for a lot of things. But low wages and exploitation exist in all system where humans are involved. “According to you, ” There is nothing according to me. Its what I refer as the current majority , there is no absolute in life. ” every companies purpose is to “give customers the best” and this is somehow socialist practice.” Not exactly , in order to survive and make a profit company have to give customer there best , and yes its socialist capitalist only think of how to make the most money only , nothing else mather but money and how to make more. “This is actually Pareto Optimal Capitalism,” “where buyers and sellers get together and make a transaction where both parties agree on the price and are informed. ” Wallmart dont inform the buyer on there price or even include the buyers in there price fixing … “Companies have and always will be profit driven.” One point yo fail to recognize is that profit exist in all form of society. Wallmart and Microsoft as example are not capital driven , they are fullfilling a need of many which no others can and use there Leadership position to expand into other area. “The Red Cross is profit driven,” Yes , to save as many as possible. Capital is not the first driving factor. ” doctors are profit driven,” Yes , to cure as many as possible , Capital is not the first driving factor. ” your government is profit driven,” Yes , to help make a better world for every citizen , we are Real America , we set some of the highest standards. ” the reason most people go to college is to get a better job that PAYS better, not to serve their fellow man. ” Its to get a better job , the pay is often not what they expected. I fail to see where “to save there fellow man” , is actually something only socialist or where it begins to be the first descriptive of socialist. “The self-interest incentive that Adam Smith described has never gone away, on the contrary, it’s on the rise. ” Self Interest , is part of every form of society. “People are inherently selfish and profit driven. ” Not the majority. You seem to be also mixing profit and capital wich are not the same thing. “No one opens a business hoping that they never make $” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voluntary_association “not even open source developers.” Debian … Welcome to my reality , welcome to my world 😉 2005-05-24 2:05 pm Re: good thing since nothing has changed in economics in the last 14 years. What do you do for a living in your world? 2005-05-24 2:31 pm “good thing since nothing has changed in economics in the last 14 years.” http://nobelprize.org/economics/laureates/index.html No comments … “What do you do for a living in your world?” I breath air and eat food and drink water … 2005-05-24 5:02 pm So then you’re a subsistence farmer? 2005-05-24 8:08 pm There is nothing dishonest or illegal or unrewarding or even demeaning about being any kind of farmer , its a very honest contributing job. But I doubt very much you know anything about what the farmer life might be. To precisely answer you , no its not what I do for work , but I have a lot of respect for those who that is there daily line of work. 2005-05-24 10:42 pm So you refuse to answer the question as to what your job is? 2005-05-24 11:06 pm “So you refuse to answer the question as to what your job is?” Yes Feel free to discuss yours if you whant.