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BitKeeper (was Re: password protect a directory?)

on Tue, Oct 31, 2000 at 06:28:59PM +1100, Brian May (bam@debian.org) wrote:
> >>>>> "kmself" == kmself  <kmself@ix.netcom.com> writes:
>     kmself> If you're looking at single-user work, my understanding is
>     kmself> that the licensing stuff doesn't really kick in.  Though
>     kmself> single-user BitKeeper is a bit like having a one-seat
>     kmself> arena.  It pretty much defeats the purpose.  Still, the
>     kmself> idea is to make the restrictions important to
>     kmself> organizations, not single users.
> Ok, I can see that now.
> However, It seems that BitKeeper is aimed at very big organisations,
> open-source programmers, and individual users, but nothing in-between.
> For instance, if I wanted to create a repository for changes specific
> to Debian (or perhaps just a private test package - eg. say I was
> Brandon Robinson and packaging a complicated program like X 4.0), and
> wanted a few others to have access to, I could do so, but then there
> would be potentially confusing information logged on the
> server. People might think I am maintaining the official version of X,
> when I am not. They might get confused when they see logs about Debian
> specific problems, which may not have anything to do with the upstream
> authors.

This sounds like a namespace issue.  I haven't looked into the central
repository components and how it works, but I very much do expect that
Larry would like to see a project like this running under BitKeeper.  Is
your concern a namespace collision or other confusion, or the privacy of
your commit logs in general?

My understanding of the logging is that it's less an "all your data is
on the Web" thing and more of a "by looking at a trace of who's
committing what, your competition can figure out what you're working on
(and emulate it themselves) and who's doing it (and hire them away)".
Companies would be interested in this kind of privacy.  Most free
software projects wouldn't, and might prefer the publicity.

Answering the question someone posed earlier about running BK on a
single node, and avoiding network commits -- this might be behavior that
really isn't worth tracking or busting, as it isn't likely that this
sort of organization is going to have the bucks to shell out for a $1600
seat license.  Part of the BK license philosophy is rationalizing the
"pirate for small use, pay for large" de facto status which has existed
in proprietary software for ages.  There's some evidence (I'm
misremembering a Ballmer quote attributed in Bruce Schneier's _Secrets
and Lies_) that Microsoft really *would* like you to use their OS,
office, and back-office products, for free, if you can't afford to pay
for them, 'coz they'll get you later when you're hooked and can't get
off the treadmill.

> Or, I maintain my configuration for each computer (and perhaps other
> people) with cvs. Now, I couldn't care less if all my config changes
> are logged to the open logger server, but if everybody did this...
> I think the point I am trying to make, is that this information which
> gets logged is only going to cause confusion, created in an unscalable
> manner (ie. what happens if two projects happen to have the same
> name?), and doesn't benefit anyone. 

No.  It benefits BK.

Namespace issues exist in any event.  There are any number of ways to
resolve this within a single system like BK.  The global solution is
more difficult to come by.

> IMHO the logged information is useless without the source.


> The assumption that projects are either open source, or large scaled
> commercial operations is not always correct, and I think this is the
> major limitation with the license.

I don't understand your point.  See above WRT licensing.  The logging is
an incentive to get those who value privacy to pay up.  It's not a proxy
for open sources.

This is getting OT for debian-user.  If you care to follow up, you may
wish to do so off-list.

> Spending $800 to $3,000 for a commercial license seems a bit of an
> overkill for these "other" projects.
> Which is a real pity, because it does look like a good management
> system.
> -- 
> Brian May <bam@debian.org>
> -- 
> Unsubscribe?  mail -s unsubscribe debian-user-request@lists.debian.org < /dev/null

Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>     http://www.netcom.com/~kmself
 Evangelist, Opensales, Inc.                    http://www.opensales.org
  What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?      There is no K5 cabal
   http://gestalt-system.sourceforge.net/        http://www.kuro5hin.org

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