Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Interview with Linus about Git

Filed under
Linux

Linus Torvalds didn't want to change software configuration management tools; however, business and open-source philosophy problems left the Linux founder with no choice but to abandon BitKeeper and create his own system: Git.

SCM programs are used to control the flow of updates and track program changes. In a project as large as Linux-more than 17,000 files-this can be very difficult and very slow.

Because most SCMs-such as CVS (Concurrent Versions System)-are too slow for him, Torvalds built his own.

He describes Git as "a stupid (but extremely fast) directory content manager. It doesn't do a whole lot, but what it does do is track directory contents efficiently."

t also can't be used with BitMover Inc.'s BitKeeper, the controversial and proprietary SCM that Torvalds had used to manage Linux kernel development.

"Git has a totally different model of representing the source tree," said Torvalds.

The name itself really doesn't have a meaning. Torvalds joked that it can be a "random three-letter combination that is pronounceable, and not actually used by any common Unix command. The fact that it is a mispronunciation of 'get' may or may not be relevant." Or, "'stupid. contemptible and despicable. simple.' Take your pick from the dictionary of slang." Or, "global information tracker: [if] you're in a good mood, and it actually works for you. Angels sing, and a light suddenly fills the room."

Git has already been used for its first run of Linux: the beta of Linux 2.6.12-rc3. But Torvalds admits that Git is still a work in progress.

"The roughness really comes from two things," said Torvalds. "It's a young project, and it just takes time for things to mature. That will go on for years, assuming none of the other open-source SCMs just eventually show themselves to be capable enough that we just end up deciding that Git was a good temporary bridge."

Also, Git does some things very differently from traditional source management, Torvalds said.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

SelekTOR 3 now Open Source.

If you have been following my blog or the SelekTOR news posts here at Dazzleships you will know that I intended to take SelekTOR open source under the GPL 2 license and also discontinue the Windows version well I can now report that this has come to pass. SelekTOR for Linux V3.06 and all its source code including the Netbeans build forms are now available for download on the SelekTOR page. I have separated the Binary from the Source and made them separate downloads as over the next couple of months I will be continuously updating the Javadoc information contained within the Source download but without adding in any code to warrant a full version change. The Javadocs information is about 85% complete and I will get the rest done when I can. Read more

Red Hat CTO unexpectedly quits, amid rumors of executive 'friction'

No-one among the rank and file at Red Hat seem to have seen this coming. In a move the Linux giant's staffers said was "shocking" and a "punch in the gut," long-time Red Hat chief technology officer Brian Stevens has resigned. In a short press release, the company announced: "Brian Stevens will step down as CTO." In the same release, Red Hat's president and chief executive Jim Whitehurst said, "We want to thank Brian for his years of service and numerous contributions to Red Hat’s business. We wish him well in his future endeavors." Read more

Is Microsoft engaging in digital imperialism?

Windows, the common carrier of Microsoft, is such a sordid mess that it suffers regular glitches and conducts mass surveillance on users. Microsoft knows that without Windows it cannot survive, so dirty tricks resume in a very big way. This is not a beep on the radar but somewhat of a surge. Nothing is going to change in Munich, but Microsoft is trying to maintain an international/universal perception that the migration to GNU/Linux was a disaster. Numerous anonymous blogs were created to attack Munich over this and provocateurs of Microsoft loved citing them, only to be repeatedly proven wrong. Microsoft is trying to make an example out of Munich in all sorts of nefarious ways. We need to defend Munich from this malicious assault by the convicted monopolist and corrupt enterprise that’s acting as though it fights for its very survival (while indeed laying off tens of thousands of employees). Read more

Shortlist of open source software used at NASA lab

Yes! We use a lot of open source. The short list includes Python, GitHub, Processing, VLC, jQuery, D3.js, Blender, VRUI, ImageJ, VMD, ParaView, MeshLab, VNC, ImageMagick, SWIG, Emacs, and many more. We like using open source because it gives us more flexibility because of licensing and allows us the opportunity to contribute back to the community using our expertise. Our favorite open source project that we work on is OpenMDAO. This project is run out of another Division at our Center. Our team provides some programming support. OpenMDAO is an open source Multidisciplinary Design Analysis and Optimization (MDAO) framework, written in Python. You can use it to develop an integrated analysis and design environment for your engineering challenges. Read more