Linus Torvalds really has a gift for under-promising:
> I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones.
> It is NOT protable (uses 386 task switching etc), and it probably never will support anything other than AT-harddisks, as that’s all I have :-(.
> So I'm writing some scripts to try to track things a whole lot faster. Initial indications are that I should be able to do it almost as quickly as I can just apply the patch, but quite frankly, I'm at most half done, and if I hit a snag maybe that's not true at all. Anyway, the reason I can do it quickly is that my scripts will _not_ be an SCM, they'll be a very specific "log Linus' state" kind of thing. That will make the linear patch merge a lot more time-efficient, and thus possible.
The whole story of how git was cockled together to ameliorate the awkwardness of dealing with BitKeeper licensing (right?) issues, and marched from there to greatness is a pretty inspiring one, to my mind.
> The whole story of how git was cockled together to ameliorate the awkwardness of dealing with BitKeeper licensing (right?) issues, and marched from there to greatness is a pretty inspiring one, to my mind.
Let's not over-romanticise the subject. Github obviously had a lot to do with it, along with luck and admiration for Linus. Also, git is hardly alone: Mercurial was almost the same idea in the beginning. Let us not forget how early git only had branching by cloning, like the Bitkeeper that both git and hg were emulating.
Also, it wasn't just that bitkeeper had an awkward license. It's that Tridgell reverse-engineered the Bitkeeper protocol, and thus Larry McVoy took away Linux's permissions to use Bitkeeper.
I always thought it was weird how telnetting into a port and typing "help" was considered "reverse engineering".
What I found weird is how Linus blamed Tridgell for the reverse engineering:
Could someone elaborate more on this?
It was an era of romance and derring do! :)
I'm not sure about github - I take your point, but you might also argue that if git didn't have the particular design, features, and mindset that went into creating it, github couldn't possibly have become the thing it is today.
Without getting into BK morality tales, though, it is one of those great stories along the lines "well in that case I'll jolly well write it myself" which shows that just sometimes doing that can (in some small way) change everything. Not unlike the linux kernel itself, or GNU/emacs, of course.
BitKeeper originally offered free licences to Linux developers, with one of the conditions being that they don't reverse engineer it.
One of them did, and BitKeeper revoked that licence. That's what prompted Linus to write Git, and also why it is named "Git" (an mild insult aimed at the person who reverse engineered it).
I believe Linus has said that "git" was referring to himself rather than the guy who reverse engineered BitKeeper, but I don't believe him.
That being said, I'll take BitKeeper over Perforce any day of the week.
On the other hand, he was quite angry with Tridgell:
This business model is precisely what lead to a killer competing product being developed. Good job.
Matt Mackall had been working on hg for a couple of weeks prior to the public announcement This means that both projects started at almost the same time. I believe that Matt actually privately showed Linus hg before he made a public announcement, but maybe I am mistaken about this story.
Still waiting for that :)
Unix culture seems to be alive and well to this day, and still seems to get infused with new blood. So I wouldn't even have been surprised if something like git was made by a college student instead of a 40-something inventor of the most popular Unix-like OS.
So far, all I've found is a few threads collected at yarchive.net , which is promising, but how can I find more? Google fails me :(
 http://yarchive.net/comp/index.html search for "git"
A commit having multiple parents is not possible in git as of today. Change of mind?
I had never heard of octopus merges though. It's fascinating. Here is the article I read on it.
Quite different from the initial reception at LKML. And says a lot about what it made possible, even if indirectly.