Why I am no longer working on Mercurial

Bryan O'Sullivan bos at serpentine.com
Fri Sep 30 16:40:55 CDT 2005

As I mentioned the other day, I will not be contributing to Mercurial
development for a while.  Several people have asked me why.

At my workplace, we use a commercial SCM tool called BitKeeper to
manage a number of source trees.  Last week, Larry McVoy (the CEO of
BitMover, which produces BitKeeper) contacted my company's management.

Larry expressed concern that I might be moving BitKeeper technology
into Mercurial.  In a phone conversation that followed, I told Larry
that of course I hadn't done so.

However, Larry conveyed his very legitimate worry that a fast,
stable open source project such as Mercurial poses a threat to his
business, and that he considered it "unacceptable" that an employee of
a customer should work on a free project that he sees as competing.

To avoid any possible perception of conflict, I have volunteered to
Larry that as long as I continue to use the commercial version of
BitKeeper, I will not contribute to the development of Mercurial.

As such, Mercurial can stand entirely on its own merits in comparison
to BitKeeper.  This, I am sure, is a situation that we would all


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