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My definition of free is quite simple.  It means that my company does not 
have to pay for the software, which unfortunately doesn't appear to be the 
case for Bitkeeper.  The software project I'm involved with is not open 
source.  We're still at an early stage in the project consisting of 
requirements, design, and some minor proto-typing for POC issues.  We chose 
CVS initially because most people on the team (including myself) is 
familiar with CVS and has used it on previous projects.  I had a need to 
make my first branch on this proto-type the other day and realized some 
things I didn't like about CVS.

A nasty part about branching is that the person who branches needs to keep 
track of a lot of stuff. As I've personally demonstrated in previous 
projects, this is problematic. There are branches there that I don't know 
what they are anymore. Worse, there is no way to tell their state (were the 
changes merged to the main trunk? When? Were changes made on the branch 
after that merge?...etc). CVS has fundamental issues which prevents it from 
being able to do these things for you.  I'm trying to prevent these kinds 
of things from happening again.

I have a better appreciation of why Linus moved the Linux kernel from CVS 
to Bitkeeper.


At 08:53 PM 11/22/2003 -0500, Derek Atkins wrote:
>ron.peterson at writes:
> > Sure there are.  But in the context of the discussion, most are moot.
>Sure, the definition about sailing is moot, but that doesn't help.
> > It takes a pretty sophisticated argument to make the point that
> > bitkeeper is 'free software'.  Yes, you don't have to pay for it.
> > That's one definition of free.
>Well, then, how more sophisticated do you need to get?  You just made
>my point.
>    You don't have to pay for bitkeeper.
>    That's one definition of free.
>    Therefore, bitkeeper is free.
> >    But it's not the definition in common
> > parlance in the software world.  I'm sure you know that.
>This all depends on who you talk to.  Some people are more vehement
>than others about what they consider "free".  That's why I asked the
>question.  I think a number of people DO consider bitkeeper "free" --
>it all depends on the beholder.  WHICH IS WHY I ASKED what their
>definition of "free" is!
>        Derek Atkins, SB '93 MIT EE, SM '95 MIT Media Laboratory
>        Member, MIT Student Information Processing Board  (SIPB)
>        URL:    PP-ASEL-IA     N1NWH
>        warlord at MIT.EDU                        PGP key available

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