Linux community in BitKeeper spat

The Linux community is hurriedly working on a new project called ‘git’ after a row between a developer and the company BitMover resulted in the latter withdrawing its free licence for software used to develop the Linux kernel.

ComputerWorld reports that BitMover had granted a free licence to the kernel development team to use its proprietary BitKeeper software to manage and track changes to the kernel.

However, the more ascetic acolytes of free and open source software took umbrage at having to agree to a licence in order to use the proprietary software. As a result, Andrew Tridgell, founder of the Samba project, took it upon himself to write a tool that would give access to the code stored in BitKeeper without having to sign a licence.

BitMover took umbrage of its own against what it perceived as an attempt to clone BitKeeper in an open source version and reneged on the free licence.

Now Linux’ leader Linus Torvalds has headed up an effort to write a system for managing and updating the thousands of files that make up the kernel; and that project is called ‘git’.

Torvalds said that the real problem of losing BitKeeper is not the job of building an alternative but rather how ‘git’ will slow the work of the kernel maintainers.

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