BitTorrent After The Pirate Bay: Do You Still Need Trackers?

The Pirate Bay made headlines earlier this week with yet another dramatic announcement, this time that the notorious BitTorrent site’s tracker has been officially shut down. But the move won’t impact downloading, site admins explained on a blog. Trackers are no longer needed to facilitate BitTorrent transfers, the blog entry explained, because decentralized extensions of the P2P protocol are mature enough to pick up the tab. “It’s the end of an era, but the era is no longer up2date,” the blog proclaimed.
As always with announcements from the folks at The Pirate Bay, there’s a lot of self-serving smoke and mirrors, mixed with a good amount of hubris. However, the announcement does bring up an interesting question: Is BitTorrent really ready for a world without trackers? We talked to some of the major players to find out.
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Using Git With OS X: 6 Tools to Get You Up and Running

Who are you calling a Git? When I say ‘Git’, I don’t mean the British derogatory term that was immortalized by the TV show Red Dwarf. I mean of course the latest generation of revision control systems, designed by Linus Torvalds for use on the Linux kernel. You can read up on the history of Git at its Wikipedia entry — but what you really need to know is that it is quickly becoming as popular as SVN and CVS and is being used for many open source projects. Thus if you have a need to obtain source from git, or contribute to a project being stored in a git repository, then you will need to install git.

There are a few ways to get the base Git package (with the Git command-line client and two basic graphical frontends) installed under OS X, including compiling the source-code yourself, or installing it via MacPorts. However the easiest is by simply downloading and running the Git os x installer, which will do everything for you.

Once Git is installed, you can quickly create a local Git ‘clone’ of a source repository such as VLC’s, by opening a terminal window, navigating to the directory you’d like the source to exist and then typing git clone git://git.videolan.org/vlc.git. Once you have your local clone, you can make your changes and stage commits back with the command-line client. To find out all the power and functionality of Git, you can read the tutorials and detailed documentation that’s available at Git’s official webpage.

As Git is quite new, there are not many UI front-ends available yet, and even less specifically for OS X — with none of them being very mature. However, I’ve compiled a list of six tools/apps for managing Git on OS X. The two native OS X apps (GitX and GitNub) should be watched carefully over the next year or so, as they could turn into some excellent software. Read More about Using Git With OS X: 6 Tools to Get You Up and Running

Joyent Buys Reasonably Smart to Create Open-source Cloud

Joyent today announced it has agreed to acquire Reasonably Smart, a fledgling cloud startup based on JavaScript and Git, for an undisclosed amount. While on the surface it might look like simple industry consolidation, Reasonably Smart’s technology will in fact help Joyent compete with emerging service-centric clouds while retaining an open model that makes developers comfortable.

You might think the deal is just cloud roll-up: Reasonably Smart was a very small startup. David Young, Joyent’s CEO, said the company–whose backers include PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel– is in “a strong financial position that supports making strategic acquisitions.” Dig a bit deeper, however, and the deal is more than just a roll-up. Joyent gets an open platform with which to attract developers while preparing the company for the looming threat of Google (s goog) and Microsoft (s msft).

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TextMate: No longer a reason to avoid Git

I wrote recently about my headaches using Subversion with iWork documents (“iWork hates Subversion”). The consensus from the comments was that I needed to ditch Subversion for a more modern version control system. Both Mercurial and Git were popular among commenters. (I decided on Git, incidentally. The transition was extremely smooth.)

TextMate bundle editor

One TAB reader, HG, lamented that a TextMate bundle doesn’t yet exist for Git. Consider that old news. Well, unofficially. It is currently under review within the TextMate user community, but the Git bundle has been written and is available to any TextMate user who syncs to the TextMate SVN repository.

Copy (or link) the bundle from Review/Bundles into Bundles and relaunch TextMate or Reload Bundles (under the Bundles menu), and voilà!, your copy of TextMate now supports many of Git’s version control features — in addition to every other open-source version management system on the planet.

Instructions for syncing from the TextMate SVN repository is available at the TextMate wiki.