Linus Torvalds on Git at Google Tech Talk Conference (Full Transcript)

Linus Torvalds on Git at Google Tech Talk Conference Transcript. This event took place on May 3, 2007.

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Andrew: Thank you for coming, everybody. Some of you have probably already heard of Linus Torvalds. Those of you who haven’t, you’re the people with Macintoshes on your laps.

He’s a guy who delights in being cruel to people. His latest cruel act is to create a revision control system which is expressly designed to make you feel less intelligent than you thought you were.

Thank you for coming down today, Linus. I’ve been getting emails for the past few days from people saying, where’s Linus? Why hasn’t he measured my tree? Doesn’t he love me anymore? And he walked into my office this afternoon. What are you doing here? But thank you for taking the time off.

So Linus is here today to explain to us why on Earth he would write a software tool which only he is smart enough to know how to use. Thanks, Linus.

Linus Torvalds – Linux’s inventor

So I have a few words of warning, which is I don’t actually do speaking very much, partly because I don’t like speaking, partly because over the last few years everybody actually wants me to talk about nebulous visions for the next century about Linux. And I’m a tech geek, so I actually prefer talking about technology. So that’s why I am not talking about the kernel, because it’s just too big to cram into a one-hour talk. Although apparently, Andrew did that two days ago.

And I’m instead talking about Git, which is the source control management system that we use for the kernel. And I’m really, really, really bad at doing slides, which means that if we actually end up following these slides, you will be bored out of your mind and the talk will probably not be very good anyway.

So I am the kind of speaker who really enjoys getting questions. And if that means that we kind of veer off in a tangent, you’ll be happier, I’ll be happier, the talk will probably be more interesting anyway. I don’t know how you do things here at the Google Talks, but I’m just saying don’t feel shy as far as I’m concerned. If your manager will shoot you, that’s your problem.

So next slide. So I want to give a few credits before I start. Credit CVS in a very, very negative way because in many ways when I designed Git, it’s the what would Jesus do? Except it’s what would CVS never, ever do kind of approach to source control management. I’ve never actually used CVS for the kernel. For the first 10 years of kernel maintenance, we literally used tarballs and patches, which is a much superior source control management system than CVS is.

But I did end up using CVS for seven years at a commercial company and I hated it with a passion. When I say I hate CVS with a passion, I have to also say that if there are any SVN users in Subversion, users in the audience, you might want to leave because my hatred of CVS has meant that I see Subversion as being the most pointless project ever started, because the slogan for Subversion for a while was, CVS done right or something like that.

And if you start with that kind of slogan, there’s nowhere you can go. It’s like — there is no way to do CVS right. So that’s the negative kind of credit.

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