Its Tool Time - Page 2


Old Tools Still Work … Open source is the child of the Internet. Contrary to common wisdom, open source has been around since the 1950s, but open source, as we think of it, couldnt exist without the Internet.

The Net provides the communications infrastructure for groups of remote people to work together on common projects. By the early 1990s, the first open-source developers were starting to gather. The collaboration "tools" they used include e-mail mailing lists and Usenet newsgroups. To track bugs, share code and maintain version control, they relied on file transfer protocol (ftp) servers. Many open-source groups still use those same tools and approach, and for good reason: They work.

However, not all open-source projects made use of all of those tools. You might be surprised to know that to this day, Torvalds and the core Linux crew dont use Concurrent Versions System (CVS)—or any other form of version-control software.

You can use those methods yourself. Any full-service Internet server package—such as a Linux server edition, BSD/OS or Windows 2000 Small Business Server—gives you all the software you need for the basics. When youre on a tight programming budget, that might be all you need. But it is, to be honest, a painful way to develop software.