Andrew Tridgell

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Andrew "Tridge" Tridgell (born 28 February 1967) is an Australian computer programmer best known as the author of and contributor to the Samba file server, and co-inventor of the rsync algorithm.

He is known for his analysis of complex proprietary protocols and algorithms, to allow compatible free and open source software implementations.



Tridgell was a major developer of the Samba software, analysing the Server Message Block protocol used for workgroup and network file sharing by Microsoft Windows products. He developed the talloc hierarchical memory allocator, originally as part of Samba.

For his PhD thesis, he co-developed rsync, including the rsync algorithm, a highly efficient file transfer and synchronization tool. He also was the original author of rzip, which uses a similar algorithm to rsync.

He is the author of KnightCap, a reinforcement-learning based chess engine.

Tridgell was also a leader in hacking the TiVo to make it work in Australia, which uses the PAL video format.[citation needed]

In April 2005, Tridgell tried to produce free software (now known as SourcePuller) that interoperated with the BitKeeper source code repository. This was cited[1] as the reason that BitMover revoked a license allowing Linux developers free usage of their BitKeeper product. Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, and Tridgell were thus involved in a public debate about the events, in which Tridgell stated that, having not bought or owned BitKeeper and agreed to its license, he couldn't violate it, and was merely analysing the protocol ethically, as he had done with Samba. Tridgell's involvement in the project resulted in Linus accusing him of playing dirty tricks with BitKeeper[2]. Tridgell claimed his analysis started with simply telneting to a BitKeeper server and typing HELP[3].

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