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Ten-year timeline part 6: almost to the present

Ten-year timeline part 6: almost to the present

Posted Feb 28, 2008 21:15 UTC (Thu) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
In reply to: Ten-year timeline part 6: almost to the present by zooko
Parent article: Ten-year timeline part 6: almost to the present

You're apparently reading things into what I wrote that I didn't say.

I didn't say `Linus invented all this stuff'. I said that he got the 
representation right, not that nobody else had ever done the same. I'm not 
such a fool as to imagine that nobody else ever tried content-addressable 
storage in version control systems before. (However, I'm fairly sure 
nobody ever released a VCS in such an embryonic state before: generally 
release schedules for VCSes are quite conservative because people hate 
losing their work. It's impressive that git has managed to go so long with 
an aggressive release policy with so few incidents of significant data 
loss.)


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Ten-year timeline part 6: almost to the present

Posted Feb 28, 2008 21:51 UTC (Thu) by zooko (guest, #2589) [Link]

Sorry -- I didn't really mean *you*.  Your point about releasing a version control system was
an interesting and valid point, I thought.  I didn't really mean any specific person on this
thread -- more the general folklore that I imagine exists in which people think that Linus
took a break from his kernel hacking in order to singlehandedly move forward the state of the
art of revision control.

Ten-year timeline part 6: almost to the present

Posted Feb 29, 2008 1:48 UTC (Fri) by nix (subscriber, #2304) [Link]

Ah, OK. Damn English: why can't we have visibly distinct singular and 
plural second person pronouns anyway?

Ten-year timeline part 6: almost to the present

Posted Mar 1, 2008 21:07 UTC (Sat) by xtifr (subscriber, #143) [Link]

(Totally off-topic)

There are regional dialects which make the distinction at least in part.  For example, the
American South offers us the term "y'all", which is universally used (among those who use it)
as a second-person plural.  Although I'm not from the South, I find the term useful enough
that I occasionally drop it into informal speech or writing.  Unfortunately, I don't know of
any equivalent that is unambiguously singular.

quasi-English plural and singular forms for 'you'

Posted Mar 4, 2008 6:16 UTC (Tue) by xoddam (subscriber, #2322) [Link]

Scots offers 'youse' as another effective second-person plural (this has also become common in
Australian vernacular in recent decades).

There is no modern-sounding English pronoun that is unambiguously singular, but the archaic
(some Northern English dialects preserved this usage up to the 1950s) 'thee' and accusative
'thou' will do, if you don't mind sounding vaguely biblical.

If you do use these, please please conjugate your funny old verb forms (thou dost, she doth)
correctly!

Ten-year timeline part 6: almost to the present

Posted Feb 29, 2008 4:23 UTC (Fri) by njs (guest, #40338) [Link]

>I didn't say `Linus invented all this stuff'. I said that he got the representation right,
not that nobody else had ever done the same. I'm not such a fool as to imagine that nobody
else ever tried content-addressable storage in version control systems before. (However, I'm
fairly sure nobody ever released a VCS in such an embryonic state before: generally release
schedules for VCSes are quite conservative because people hate losing their work. It's
impressive that git has managed to go so long with an aggressive release policy with so few
incidents of significant data loss.)

Point of history: Git got the representation (by which I'm assuming you mean the core
file/tree/commit blob design) right because it copied the hard parts from Monotone.  Monotone
got the representation right because it started with a good idea (i.e., "hey, let's use
content-addressing to decouple storage and history representations"), and then evolved it over
several years (including two major representation rewrites, one of which added the crucial
"commit" object), using monthly time-based releases (i.e., "oops, it's Monday, time to ship
whatever's in trunk"), and was self-hosting from ~the very beginning -- I think before Graydon
had even received a single outside patch.  It did all this with continuous field upgrades for
all storage/representation changes, minimal segfault bugs -- I'm remembering ~2-4? (mtn is
written in C++) -- and no reported data loss by any users.

None of which is to say that git is unimpressive -- I don't subscribe to the peculiar notion
whereby any achievement seen once becomes unimpressive forever after -- and git is a
well-done, well-maintained project containing other innovations and that is making a lot of
users happy.  That's always impressive :-).  ATM, in fact, it's doing a better job of it than
monotone is -- probably as a result of Linus's emphasis on building a tool that would be
immediately useful under extreme conditions, while monotone was noodling around trying to
invent about three different novel technologies.  Turns out that one suffices.  Oops.  OTOH,
it's not like this is the first time an idea had to jump projects to move from research to
mainstream; they reward different approaches.  It's entirely possible that if monotone had
started out with the attitude that made git so successful, neither would exist at this point.
So... *shrug*.

(You just *wait* 'til we get those other two nailed down, though!  Muahaha!)


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