Why BitKeeper?

Last update: February 16, 2022 15:54 UTC (b0750def8)

For many years, the NTP source code was kept in a frequently-backed-up directory on a machine. The only “snapshots” we had of previous releases were whatever tarballs we kept of previous releases. In early ‘99, Harlan and Dave came to an agreement about how a code repository would have to behave and Harlan was finally able to import the codebase into CVS (knowing full well what the limitations of CVS were).

In less than a year, the pains of using CVS were becoming unbearable, and the search began for a replacement. Over a period of 2 years’ time, all open source Source Code Management (SCM) Systems were explored and tested and several commercial solutions were examined (to various degrees) as well. Fairly quickly, it became obvious that BitKeeper was, hands-down and very clearly, the best SCM available for NTP. Its features included:

Originally, the complete bk software/executable was available to anybody who wanted to use it to work on opensource projects. A series of events happened that resulted in increased restrictions on the ability of many open source projects to continue to use BitKeeper. Harlan remains Very Pleased that NTP managed to stay clear of that situation, and believes the NTP Project has benefited greatly from its use of BitKeeper.