Monotone, Git, Linus and Marty McFly

I’m almost done wrapping up my O’Reilly book “Building Tools with GitHub” (available in early release, btw). This book was originally going to include a section on the history of Git and other DCSes. But, the story of the book shifted and I removed this passage. It seems fitting to post this today (Oct 21st, 2015), the day to which Marty travels into the future on “Back to the Future II.”

If a movie studio ever decides to remake “Back to the Future” with the main character named Git instead of Marty, there will be a scene where Git sees his hand disappearing in front of his eyes while strumming a guitar, as Linus Torvalds dances and falls in love with Monotone, dooming us all to a future world without Git. Fortunately, right as Linus is about to fall deeply in love with Monotone, she says: “So, you know, my father Bjarne Stroustrup said…” Looking incredulous, Linus interrupts her and says: “Wait! You’re C++?!?!” And, he rushes out, leaving Monotone alone on the dance floor, securing our future with Git and GitHub. Back to reality, Monotone was initially favored by Linus as the replacement to BitKeeper and CVS within the Linux kernel community, but Linus could never overcome his revulsion to the performance of C++, the language in which Monotone was written. Ideologically, Linus agrees with the ommission of cherry picking in Monotone, though ironically this is a feature available in the git of today. Unfortunately, Monotone has lost momentum; for example, the mailing list for the Monotone Eclipse plugin has seen no activity since 2008. Monotone is licensed under the GPL.

In hindsight, this passage would need a final sentence where Git bursts back into the scene and hits a power chord as Linus walks aways.

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