Bitkeeper becomes open source
Some 11 years ago after the licence disputes between Linux developers and Bitmover, the producer of the BitKeeper version control system, gave rise to the development of Git and Mercurial, the most widely used version control systems today, BitKeeper is now also available as open source software, German IT news site heise reports. The tool has been covered by the Apache License 2.0 since 9th May 2016.
In 2002 Linux creator Linus Torvalds and colleagues accessed BitKeeper since it was the only system that enabled an automated retrospective rearrangement on a version control system. However, in 2005 Bitmover then withdrew from the community, on account of which the proprietary BitKeeper package could not be used any more for open source development and Torvalds began the development of Git, which has since become the top distributed version control system with the github hosting service.
Although development of BitKeeper has continued over the years, with the most recent release taking place in September 2015, use of the software is reputed not be be very widespread. Consequently, the heise report’s author believes its release as open source must be regarded as a final effort to keep the software going.