Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 28th Apr 2006 20:20 UTC, submitted by nitsudima
OpenBSD Open source expert David Chisnall gives us the ins and outs of where OpenBSD has been, where it is now with the new version 3.9, and what lies ahead in the future. "OpenBSD began life as a fork of NetBSD, the oldest of the currently active BSD projects. A personality clash between Theo de Raadt and the rest of the NetBSD team lead to Theo's access to the project's CVS tree being revoked."
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The summary says it all..
by ormandj on Fri 28th Apr 2006 20:52 UTC
ormandj
Member since:
2005-10-09

"A personality clash between Theo de Raadt and the rest of the NetBSD team lead to Theoís access to the projectís CVS tree being revoked."

I found that part of the summary quite funny. How many people can have a "personality clash" with an entire TEAM of developers? Theo, you're #1!

There won't be a future if Theo doesn't get his personality completely revamped/overwritten. People will eventually get fed up and simply fork, no matter how wonderful a programmer you are.

Reply Score: 0

RE: The summary says it all..
by w00dst0ck on Fri 28th Apr 2006 21:09 UTC in reply to "The summary says it all.."
w00dst0ck Member since:
2006-02-01

I disagree.

I find that people may get annoyed or even pissed off at Theo but they always respect him. It's not like he's the only guru for OpenBSD anyway, there are many other developers who contribute to the project and they share the same passion that Theo does for it. OpenBSD is just as much a part of them as it is to him.

I know that I respect this OS and will always look up to the dev's who work on it, Theo and the lot of em, even if I don't always agree with some of the opinions they share.

Reply Score: 5

RE: The summary says it all..
by atomicplayboy on Fri 28th Apr 2006 21:53 UTC in reply to "The summary says it all.."
atomicplayboy Member since:
2006-04-28

I think that Theo's personality goes a long way with the success of the project. There are many who disagree with him, and even protest to his opinions, but there are also those who very much respect him. I, for one, am glad to see a project leader with such high standards and morals. He doesn't cave in to pressure, and even causes some pressure to others. It's because of him and all of the other developers related to OpenBSD that have allowed it to become what it is today. A great, stable OS that takes security and openness to whole new levels.

Anxiously awaiting the release,
Atomicplayboy

Reply Score: 5

Excellent
by Carnevill on Fri 28th Apr 2006 21:06 UTC
Carnevill
Member since:
2006-01-18

That was an excellent article. Theo may be a jerk sometimes, but he still has helped make a great OS.

Reply Score: 3

No Compromise
by CaptainFlint on Fri 28th Apr 2006 22:13 UTC
CaptainFlint
Member since:
2006-01-24

OpenBSD has had a policy of no compromise when it comes to standards and compliance. Security auditing every piece of software to be included with the operating system. They have put forth a remarkable effort in reverse engineering drivers and writing clean code without unknown binary blobs that "work".

Most people tend to overlook the positives that have come forth since the inception of the project and tend to focus on Theo. Theo is a an idealist. Just like the project he doesn't compromise either. Like any idealist and activist he is very vocal in his support of what he thinks is right. I do not agree with him all the time but I know that he will not compromise on things I agree with him, like total transparency, primary importance to security et al.

He might be vocal about what he thinks are lax security practices on other operating systems but before we dismiss what he says as rantings or flamebait, look at the trackrecord. Who would call OpenBSD insecure or unstable? Sure you may not agree with what he says but surely you do not disagree with WHY he says what he does. Don't forget the why, find your own what if you have to, but the why is important.

Reply Score: 5

RE: No Compromise
by ormandj on Fri 28th Apr 2006 23:32 UTC in reply to "No Compromise"
ormandj Member since:
2005-10-09

"Most people" as you used it to describe the people who "overlook the positives" are the basis of my whole point.

If "most people" "overlook the positives" about Open* due to Theo's attitude, that's a MAJOR problem. Imagine if instead you could say "Most people" "pay attention to the positives" due to Theo's attitude. I bet there would be a *ton* more support for OpenBSD than exists today, and that was my entire point. It's nice to be ideological, but it's another thing entirely to be an ass. Theo has both of these qualities, unfortunately for OpenBSD (and all the other developers who work their collective butts off), "most people" are only ever going to see Theo's ass-like behavior, and never even give OpenBSD a chance. THIS is the point.

Nobody is arguing about OpenBSD's strengths, nor technical capabilities of any of the people involved. They are quite obviously talented folk.

Let me make an extreme example (and in no-way am I saying Theo is this person, I am just exaggerating to make my point crystal clear.)

Hitler lead a country filled with extremely bright people. Many of them made huge scientific contributions during his reign over the country. He was by most accounts an intelligent AND charismatic leader. He also had a very VERY strong ideological belief. He didn't waiver in it, at all. So firm in his ideology he exterminated anything outside of his "vision". He himself lead people that designed amazing technology during this time. He, however, was the ultimate "ass."

Look how far it got him, and his "project" (exterminating all outside of his belief to be the correct humanity). He's dead, his reign is long since over, he is generally considered a murderous madman - and rightfully so. All of his technology (his people's) is now used by people all over the world.

Now, Theo is no Hitler, not even close, not even .00001%. Do not misunderstand my example, it is merely a gross over-exaggeration. The point is, you can follow your ideology absolutely and NEVER waiver to anybody else, you can be quite intelligent, and in fact quite capable - and still FAIL horribly, not only that, but screw over a lot of people in the process, and in general leave a REALLY BAD TASTE in everybody's mouth. If Theo could learn some civility, he could stay true to his beliefs, but not piss off "most people" in the process. Open* would be a LOT further ahead in the game if he could do just that. How hard, really, is it to learn to be social? Don't even start on the whole "society is wrong" kick. Even if it is, we live in it - and unless you want to fail, you better adapt.

Cheers

Edited 2006-04-28 23:33

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: No Compromise
by CaptainFlint on Fri 28th Apr 2006 23:50 UTC in reply to "RE: No Compromise"
CaptainFlint Member since:
2006-01-24

I find it surprising how people don't mind using OpenSSH with a bad taste in their mouth but when it comes time to release specification for devices or recoding an older component securely to ensure stability, taste in the mouth becomes the paramount criteria for judging a person.

I am in no way a Theo fan all I am trying to say is OpenBSD doesn't have the same objectives as most other operating systems. Their goal is not to see OpenBSD run on every desktop and server. If anything their goal is to see secure and "good" code come out of Open Source Products and to provide stable software to who ever wants to use their O/S or software. In this I think OpenBSD have been successful.

As to attitude and personality depiction in media and public psyche generally, all I will say is the victor writes history. If someone else calls kernel developers of some other O/S incompetent we are told to put things in perspective but if Theo says something similiar it is regarded as the highest breach of civility.

Once again the point of my post was not to start an argument about WHAT Theo says and how he says it. Take Theo out of the picture and the questions still remain. I was saying please look at WHY he advocates people writing secure code and WHY he wants hardware vendors to open up specs and more and WHY he advocates more auditing of code and WHY he advocates an open development structure.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: No Compromise
by ormandj on Fri 28th Apr 2006 23:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No Compromise"
ormandj Member since:
2005-10-09

"I find it surprising how people don't mind using OpenSSH with a bad taste in their mouth but when it comes time to release specification for devices or recoding an older component securely to ensure stability, taste in the mouth becomes the paramount criteria for judging a person. "

Notice how hard it was for Theo to get funding for Open*? I won't even get into the propoganda fight I had to deal with on mailing lists full of "donate to OpenBSD" spam. As I said in my original post, be prepared for forks if it keeps up. OpenSSH is BSD licensed, don't forget that. If his attitude wasn't so crap, funding would have been a non-issue. See my prior posts during the spam-funddrive concerning his DARPA sugardaddy who he pissed off and lost funding from.

"I am in no way a Theo fan all I am trying to say is OpenBSD doesn't have the same objectives as most other operating systems. Their goal is not to see OpenBSD run on every desktop and server. If anything their goal is to see secure and "good" code come out of Open Source Products and to provide stable software to who ever wants to use their O/S or software. In this I think OpenBSD have been successful. "

I agree with you that OpenBSD is an excellent project, absolutely! It's the most secure system on the planet (with the capabilities it has.) I doubt any would argue.

"As to attitude and personality depiction in media and public psyche generally, all I will say is the victor writes history. If someone else calls kernel developers of some other O/S incompetent we are told to put things in perspective but if Theo says something similiar it is regarded as the highest breach of civility. "

Generally, the victor isn't the complete ass. Stalin, Hitler, Kim Il Sung, etc - will never be viewed as victors. No matter what good (...) they did, they will also be viewed in a bad light, and their projects (countries) suffer(ed) accordingly.

"Once again the point of my post was not to start an argument about WHAT Theo says and how he says it. Take Theo out of the picture and the questions still remain. I was saying please look at WHY he advocates people writing secure code and WHY he wants hardware vendors to open up specs and more and WHY he advocates more auditing of code and WHY he advocates an open development structure."

I agree with all the "WHY" points, I disagree with everything else. The point is exactly how he presents things. Nobody will care about the WHY when the words coming from his mouth say "screw you". His message gets lost in the ass-ish behavior.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: No Compromise
by ddpbsd on Sat 29th Apr 2006 11:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: No Compromise"
ddpbsd Member since:
2006-04-29

See my prior posts during the spam-funddrive concerning his DARPA sugardaddy who he pissed off and lost funding from.

IIRC the funding was almost gone, and Theo didn't do anything wrong in that case anyhow. He expressed an opinion that thousands of others do daily.

I also heard that darpa security funding going to foreigners is a no-no, but I didn't check into the validity of that.

Reply Score: 2

funding
by ozonehole on Fri 28th Apr 2006 23:21 UTC
ozonehole
Member since:
2006-01-07

As the article so clearly pointed out, funding is a continuing problem for the OpenBSD project.

I've said it before and I'll say it again (and no doubt get flamed for it), but OpenBSD won't solve its funding problems until it attracts more users (who buy CD sets). And it won't attract more users until it has an easy-to-use installer. The current installer just blows away newbies, and they never come back. That is OpenBSD's biggest problem, but nobody involved in the project has much interest in solving it.

It's strange. OpenBSD developers are some of the most talented in the world. They wrote OpenSSH, fantastic drivers, the PF firewall, and they do excellent code auditing - all awesome accomplishments. Now if they could only write an awesome installer (and only include it with the CD sets that are for sale), they'd actually have a user base that would finance the project.

Edited 2006-04-28 23:23

Reply Score: 2

RE: funding
by eMagius on Fri 28th Apr 2006 23:43 UTC in reply to "funding"
eMagius Member since:
2005-07-06

A) The OpenBSD is the simplest, easiest and cleanest I have ever seen. I would love to see it ported to every other OS/distro out there. But I understand that there are illiterates who are unwilling to read a concise step-by-step tutorial, so perhaps a fancy-schmancy GUI installer would be welcome by a few.

B) CD sales are just not a viable way to fund the OpenBSD project. Even though I buy CDs once in a while, I never install from them -- it's much simpler to do a net install. Straight donations are the best way to show your support.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: funding
by dagw on Sat 29th Apr 2006 17:33 UTC in reply to "RE: funding"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

The OpenBSD is the simplest, easiest and cleanest I have ever seen.

That's only true once you've figured it out. Look, I think OpenBSD is great as is the installer and install process, but I'd be lying if I said my first attempt to install OpenBSD was painless. It doesn't need a full GUI installer, but a few changes and simplifications wouldn't in any way hurt.

Reply Score: 1

RE: funding
by Bink on Sat 29th Apr 2006 00:58 UTC in reply to "funding"
Bink Member since:
2006-02-19

Puhlease. The OpenBSD installer is one of the quickest and simplest I've used and Iím not looking forward to some "fancy-schmancy GUI installer" on OpenBSD. For the most part, a chicken could install this OS--itís mainly just pecking away at the return key.

This is one of the few OSes that takes less than 10 minutes to install and the result is a "secure by default" system.

Amen.

Reply Score: 5

RE: funding
by Tweek on Sat 29th Apr 2006 21:05 UTC in reply to "funding"
Tweek Member since:
2006-01-12

The installer is easy to use. give me a break.

I tried it and first time around it was a piece of cake.

Maybe if the installer is tough to use, that is something about that particular user, and that user will not feel comfortable anywhere in the OpenBSD world.

Just cause it doesnt have 24bit graphics and nifty buttons to click on doesnt make it difficult. i wish people would realize that.

Reply Score: 2

Installer, Theo, etc
by animus on Sat 29th Apr 2006 01:57 UTC
animus
Member since:
2005-11-29

Firstly -- I managed to figure out the OpenBSD installer when I was 15 and I didn't have the slightest idea what BSD was or what partitions were. All you need to do is print out the installation section from the online docs -- and read them. If you can read, you can install OpenBSD. If you're really afraid about wrecking things then buy an old p200 for $15 and experiment with it.

The installer isn't pretty and there are some things that could definitely be improved, but it's not as bad as people make it out to be.

As for Theo having an abrasive attitude -- so what? Linus Torvalds is just as abrasive -- the difference being that everyone (here and on slashdot) doesn't spend 100% of their time making a big deal about it. Surely there's something better to talk about than the same old "theo is a dick" ramblings that somehow manage to squeeze themselves into _every_ OpenBSD article.

Reply Score: 5

Theo is controversial
by Haicube on Sat 29th Apr 2006 12:49 UTC
Haicube
Member since:
2005-08-06

Well so be it. Many will mind, especially Lawyers. The fact of it all is that because of Theo's very strict ideas, we have MORE open specifications of stuff, better software on the market, and simply a more reliable Internet.

Like him or not, you have to respect the man, and all of the team.

Funding is a problem, sure it is, but we have another big problem. The continous tradeoff problems seen in Linux today, where control slips. I loved the articles example of X.org's server. It's just amazing how I keep hearing about "Linux being safest" or any other Unix for that matter relying on broken code. OpenBSD helps us all, and all are in debt to these awesome devs. Now next time it's donation hour, think about that!

Reply Score: 5

RE: Theo is controversial
by theGrump on Sun 30th Apr 2006 05:34 UTC in reply to "Theo is controversial"
theGrump Member since:
2005-11-11

and in any case, the theo stories are very old news. why this would color anyone's opinion about openbsd or its related projects at this point is beyond me. put plainly, there is a large uneducated mob that only knows one thing about openbsd: theo = angry. do you really want os advice from this mob???

Reply Score: 2

Re: CD
by aGNUstic on Sun 30th Apr 2006 15:23 UTC
aGNUstic
Member since:
2005-07-28

Does anyone on this list have an older version 3.7 or 3.8 they would be willing to donate? Seriously. I would like to start working with it. I might be able to get the university IT department interested, since I work there, but things are cashed strapped.

They are not going to justify the purchase of a $50 CD for experimentation when the energy bill last month for the entire campus was 233k.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Re: CD
by openwookie on Mon 1st May 2006 01:35 UTC in reply to "Re: CD"
openwookie Member since:
2006-04-25

Um, if you can't afford it you can alway download the latest version from ftp and burn your own CD. Instructions on making an ISO are easily found via google.

Reply Score: 1

Hehe
by aGNUstic on Mon 1st May 2006 01:51 UTC
aGNUstic
Member since:
2005-07-28

I work in eduction. :-) Thanks. I'll give that a try.

Reply Score: 1