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Salmonberry or Samba? What's in a name for Tridge

Andrew "Tridge" Tridgell, Samba author and recipient of the mantle for Australia's "smartest man in IT", tells how Samba was nearly named Salmonberry, and what the SMB 2 protocol can do.
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Written by Chris Duckett and  Marcus Browne on

Andrew "Tridge" Tridgell, Samba author and recipient of the mantle for Australia's "smartest man in IT", tells ZDNet.com.au how Samba was nearly named Salmonberry, and what the SMB 2 protocol can do.

With dictionary in hand, and freshly written code flashing on screen in front of him, Tridgell was faced with what would seem an obvious decision in hindsight: Wanting to name the software with a word containing the letters S, M and B -- in honour of the protocol he had just re-implemented -- the Samba creator consulted the lexicon and came up with two results; one a red berry native to the US west coast, and the other a dance apparently popular with Brazilians.

"I had a choice of Salmonberry or Samba...I could have been a Salmonberry hacker," said Tridgell, speaking at the University of Melbourne for the 2008 linux.conf.au, "but Samba I thought sounded better, so that's where the name came from".

With that acronym out of the way, Tridgell spoke about the latest version of the SMB protocol, SMB 2.

"There's a new version of this protocol that Microsoft has developed over the last few years, it's incorporated into Vista; and that's called the SMB 2 protocol," he said.

"It adds a number of interesting new features, in particular it makes the protocol considerably more efficient on fast networks and it adds the ability to do much more robust failover in highly available and clustered environments," said the Samba hacker.

According to Tridgell, interaction between Microsoft and the open-source community has been making a gradual comeback to previous levels as relations have thawed with the software giant since the 2004 European Commission decision. "The channels of communication are now basically open again," he said.

Given the impending spirit of cooperation, Tridgell and his colleagues began working with Microsoft's SMB 2 protocol, making progress as more and more protocol documents get released.

"We're really looking forward to implementing this, in fact we've worked out a fairly large chunk of the SMB 2 protocol over the last couple of years," he said.

"Now we've been handed the protocol documentation that covers all of the rest of the bits that we hadn't worked out and clarifies the pieces that we had worked out."

"That gives us a deeper understanding, so we're really looking forward to getting that into released versions of Samba," Tridgell said.

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