Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 31st Aug 2006 01:29 UTC, submitted by sequethin
NetBSD Charles Hannum, co-founder of NetBSD posted to 3 major BSD lists saying that "The NetBSD Project has stagnated to the point of irrelevance. It has gotten to the point that being associated with the project is often more of a liability than an asset. I will attempt to explain how this happened, what the current state of affairs is, and what needs to be done to attempt to fix the situation."
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Wow.
by Adam S on Thu 31st Aug 2006 01:48 UTC
Adam S
Member since:
2005-04-01

I must admit, as much as I like the idea of NetBSD, I don't think it would be terrible to have some of the NetBSD developers working on FreeBSD and other BSD variants. The BSDs do have some overlap, and that means that the overall net gains of code are likely reduced.

Reply Score: 1

WOW
by deanlinkous on Thu 31st Aug 2006 01:53 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

Now that is quite a read. Calls it like he sees it too. I have known a couple people involved with netbsd and when I mentioned trying it they both suggested going with freebsd instead.

Beyond that I don;t know enough of the situation to really agree or disagree but sounds like something needs to be done to get netBSD back on track.

Reply Score: 4

Disappointed
by KenJackson on Thu 31st Aug 2006 01:59 UTC
KenJackson
Member since:
2005-07-18

For these reasons and others, the project has fallen almost to the point of irrelevance.

I am very disappointed to read this. I have been using NetBSD off and on for several years and I really like the runs-on-anything appeal--even though I only use x86--and the system in general.

Reply Score: 2

Sad
by ma_d on Thu 31st Aug 2006 01:59 UTC
ma_d
Member since:
2005-06-29

Project stagnation is like "falling out of love" except there's no ugly fight at the end to give you those helpful feelings of anger: You just miss the project...

Edited 2006-08-31 01:59

Reply Score: 5

Consolidation?
by sigzero on Thu 31st Aug 2006 01:59 UTC
sigzero
Member since:
2006-01-03

Maybe the various ones can merge? That way you have...oh wait, Theo would never do that. Variants has caused part of the problem with BSD. With Linux you have different packages but in the center you have the kernel. That is what the BSD folks should do, separate the kernel with userland. Focus developers...

Reply Score: 3

RE: Consolidation?
by openwookie on Thu 31st Aug 2006 03:12 UTC in reply to "Consolidation?"
openwookie Member since:
2006-04-25

Variants has caused part of the problem with BSD. With Linux you have different packages but in the center you have the kernel. That is what the BSD folks should do, separate the kernel with userland. Focus developers...

The BSDs already share drivers. Due to similar APIs (especially between NetBSD & OpenBSD) and licence compatibility, porting a driver from one to another is rather trivial. A joint kernel effort would not have any benefit. Why does this misconseption continue to exist amongst the Linux fanboys???

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Consolidation?
by bryanv on Thu 31st Aug 2006 15:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Consolidation?"
bryanv Member since:
2005-08-26

Because Linus didn't say it was a good idea.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Consolidation?
by twenex on Thu 31st Aug 2006 18:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Consolidation?"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Because each of the BSDs takes "a complete OS" and rewrites it to work on its own kernel. Also, on a superficial level (which is exactly where many of these disputes take place), the man pages often say things like "FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD Manual", not "BSD Manual".

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Consolidation?
by openwookie on Thu 31st Aug 2006 20:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Consolidation?"
openwookie Member since:
2006-04-25

Because each of the BSDs takes "a complete OS" and rewrites it to work on its own kernel. Also, on a superficial level (which is exactly where many of these disputes take place), the man pages often say things like "FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD Manual", not "BSD Manual".

No. BSD != Linux. When will Linux fanboys realize that the Linux way is not the best way for everyone??

There is not a common BSD userland like GNU, although much of the userland is derived from a common code base (BSD 4.4). Each branch of the BSDs have introduced their own tools, and they tend to be easily portable between BSDs. For example, OpenBSD created pf, OpenSSH, hotplugd, (and soon OpenCVS).

Also the kernels *are* different for good reason. OpenBSD does not have efficent multi-CPU support because they would have to comprimise on security. So they are taking the slow approach to adding that particular feature, their implimentation will be SECURE first, performance can wait. Linux (and FreeBSD) often has the opposite approach, support as much as possible and fix broken/unsecure implimentations later. And that's ok, it's just a different philosophy.

The main thing that Linux people need to understand is that there is *a lot* of cross pollination between the BSDs. If one has a great idea then it will likely be adopted by the others (pf is a good example). There is a ton of benefit to having three different OSs that can borrow the best code from each other.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Consolidation?
by twenex on Thu 31st Aug 2006 20:53 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Consolidation?"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Because each of the BSDs takes "a complete OS" and rewrites it to work on its own kernel. Also, on a superficial level (which is exactly where many of these disputes take place), the man pages often say things like "FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD Manual", not "BSD Manual".

No.


Yes! :-)

BSD != Linux.

That much is certain.

When will Linux fanboys realize that the Linux way is not the best way for everyone??

Linux fanboy or not, did my post indicate that I thought it was? No.

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: Consolidation?
by openwookie on Thu 31st Aug 2006 21:04 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Consolidation?"
openwookie Member since:
2006-04-25

Linux fanboy or not, did my post indicate that I thought it was? No.

Whatever the case, your original assumption "each of the BSDs takes "a complete OS" and rewrites it to work on its own kernel" is still incorrect.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Consolidation?
by phoenix on Thu 31st Aug 2006 03:34 UTC in reply to "Consolidation?"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

With Linux you have different packages but in the center you have the kernel. That is what the BSD folks should do, separate the kernel with userland. Focus developers..

Oh god, no. That's the worst thing that could ever happen. The beauty of BSD is that you know you are getting a working system, from the kernel through the userland apps. When there's a change in the kernel, the userland apps are updated to work with that change ... before the next release. You know where you are getting the apps from, you know what is in the base OS, you know it will all work together as one cohesive whole.

With Linux distros, you get a little bit of this and a little bit of that, stuff from dozens of different places, not always nicely integrated or even cohesive. You do an update to less, and end up with a new networking stack. There's no concept of "base OS", that core that never changes except between OS releases, that the rest of the apps can be layered on top of. A Linux distro is nothing more than "how many packages can we get to compile and run together". And you can get all kinds of weird things happening when you start to mix and match packages (like swapping hotplug, udev, and discover 1/2 around).

The BSD and Linux development methods are very different; and the Linux distros would do well to learn more from the BSD side of things.

Reply Score: 5

Have to agree
by kernelpanicked on Thu 31st Aug 2006 02:01 UTC
kernelpanicked
Member since:
2006-02-01

As someone who spent a helluva lot of time running all the BSDs, including NetBSD, I have to totally agree. I have to salute Charles for having the balls to post that on the list, and if needed, I will be happy to donate for the purchase of one flame retardant suit =)

Reply Score: 4

RE: Have to agree
by sbergman27 on Thu 31st Aug 2006 02:05 UTC in reply to "Have to agree"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I, too, am sorry to hear about this. I must confess that I did not forsee this situation. Though I recognize, now, that the handwriting has been on the wall for some time.

-Kreskin

Reply Score: 2

Threaded mail archive
by nick on Thu 31st Aug 2006 02:09 UTC
nick
Member since:
2006-04-17

This tracks replies to each of the 3 lists. A little
better than the NetBSD archive.

http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?t=115698049600004&r=1&w=2

Reply Score: 4

RE: Threaded mail archive
by kernelpanicked on Thu 31st Aug 2006 02:17 UTC in reply to "Threaded mail archive"
kernelpanicked Member since:
2006-02-01

Wonders why everyone that responded felt the need to post their response to all 3 lists. Made it very irritating to read through.

Reply Score: 0

This makes Cloudy
by Cloudy on Thu 31st Aug 2006 02:30 UTC
Cloudy
Member since:
2006-02-15

a sad Panda.

I hope it's just burn out on his part, but having worked closely with both Free and Net BSD over the past few years, it sure rings true.

Reply Score: 1

Linux
by nick on Thu 31st Aug 2006 02:32 UTC
nick
Member since:
2006-04-17

Interesting read. I don't think he's quite right about
leadership in Linux though: Torvalds doesn't set goals
and directions, others do. He arbitrates. He is pretty
fair, doesn't take personal offence or do special
favours, and largely lets the developers take it where
they want.

That said, he has input design and direction into some
areas (eg. VM) but that is more as a developer than as
a leader.

Now one of the reasons he is such a good arbitrator is
that he is technically brilliant, and is familiar with
most areas of the kernel at any one time.

But he isn't really the top man calling all the shots.
He is top in that he maintains the git tip, but
responsibility and leadership is very distributed (and
was, long before a distributed SCM was adopted).

The difference I see with linux kernel development
and BSD development (the latter I'm not that familiar
with), is that Linux doesn't have any secret mailing
lists, cabals, repositories. People aren't elected or
given the right to make decisions by anything other
than their technical abilities. You don't need to have
some special bit, or be inducted into the club, or
have a "mentor" before you can get a patch in. You
just have to write good code.

Possibly the very development oriented mailing lists,
where people post their intermediate results, peer
reviews happen, etc. is much more common on lkml and
this may have actually been the lack of a SCM that got
them working in this good mindset.

And GPL. I have a feeling that people and companies are
more inclined to want to contribute to a GPL project
than a BSD one (although there are obviously counter
examples in each direction).

Reply Score: 5

RE: Linux
by phoenix on Thu 31st Aug 2006 03:39 UTC in reply to "Linux"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

The difference I see with linux kernel development
and BSD development (the latter I'm not that familiar
with), is that Linux doesn't have any secret mailing
lists, cabals, repositories. People aren't elected or
given the right to make decisions by anything other
than their technical abilities. You don't need to have
some special bit, or be inducted into the club, or
have a "mentor" before you can get a patch in. You
just have to write good code.


No, the difference is that Linux CVS access only lets you play with the kernel sources, while BSD CVS access lets you play with the sources to an entire OS.

You don't need a mentor, or to be elected to core, or have access to "secret" mailing lists in order to get patches commited to a BSD CVS repo. You just need to send patches that make sense, with nice style, and actual design behind it. In other words, you just need to submit good code.

Not just any Tom, Dick, or Harry can get a patch commited to a BSD or Linux CVS repo (although sometimes it seems like they can on the Linux side of things).

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Linux
by sbergman27 on Thu 31st Aug 2006 03:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Linux"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""No, the difference is that Linux CVS access only lets you play with the kernel sources, while BSD CVS access lets you play with the sources to an entire OS."""

How do I obtain this Linux CVS access you speak of?

Git outa here! ;-)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Linux
by nick on Thu 31st Aug 2006 03:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Linux"
nick Member since:
2006-04-17

What do you mean, "no"?

Yes. That *is* a difference I see.

While non committers can have patches accepted, it
seems like it isn't that easy; and those with commit
access can get patches through virtually unreviewed.

Secondly, Linux doesn't use CVS for SCM, but git. And
I don't see the big deal (or much difference,
development-wise) by having everything in a single
tree.

It isn't like BSDs can make a wholesale change to the
kernel API and audit their base system + everything
they pull in (not unlike most Linux distros). BSDs
tend to need to be very conservative with kabi
changes like Linux. For example there was a recent
netbsd debate (IIRC) about whether to disallow 0 length
mmaps. If such a change was to be made, they wanted
a new syscall so it wouldn't impact old programs.

But hey, if I want access to glibc sources I can
download them. If I want access to gcc sources I can
download them. What's the problem and why would that
difference make a big impact to success of the project,
on a development level?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Linux
by asenchi on Thu 31st Aug 2006 04:48 UTC in reply to "Linux"
asenchi Member since:
2006-08-31

"You don't need to have some special bit, or be inducted into the club, or have a "mentor" before you can get a patch in. You just have to write good code."

Wow, I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. I am not sure you should say such things until you look at the source for *BSD's and then compare it to Linux. Linux source code is disgusting and someday will come back to bite...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Linux
by nick on Thu 31st Aug 2006 04:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Linux"
nick Member since:
2006-04-17

Wow, I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. I am not sure you should say such things until you look at the source for *BSD's and then compare it to Linux. Linux source code is disgusting and someday will come back to bite...

Actually I have looked at parts of Linux and FreeBSD
(VM in particular) kernel source code. I happen to
think there is nothing wrong with Linux.

But you don't have to take my word for it:
http://lwn.net/1999/0121/a/vmreview.html

"In general terms, linux's VM system is much cleaner
then FreeBSD's... and I mean a *whole lot* cleaner"

"Well, the main thing is that the Linux VM system is
very, very clean compared to the FreeBSD implementation."

"Linux demarks interrupts from supervisor code much
better then we do."

And while FreeBSD may have been improved since then,
it retains the same overall VM design from that time,
as does Linux (although Linux now has a reverse
mapping infrastructure).

What makes you say it is disgusting?

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Linux
by lopisaur on Thu 31st Aug 2006 16:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Linux"
lopisaur Member since:
2006-02-27

That was written by Matt Dillon, who went on to fork FreeBSD and created DragonflyBSD, since he didn't like the project's direction back then. While Matt certainly has/had a point, I PERSONALLY (don't want to start a flamewar or insult Matt in any way) think the cavallier thing for him to do would have been to stick with the punches and keep on working on FreeBSD as he was (and I believe he was doing some pretty good work).

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Linux
by Don T. Bothers on Thu 31st Aug 2006 17:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Linux"
Don T. Bothers Member since:
2006-03-15

"While Matt certainly has/had a point, I PERSONALLY (don't want to start a flamewar or insult Matt in any way) think the cavallier thing for him to do would have been to stick with the punches and keep on working on FreeBSD as he was (and I believe he was doing some pretty good work)."

I disagree. I think it was really good for BSD in general that Matt broke off and did his own thing. He had the motivation to do it and the will to follow through, so why not? Who knows, in a few years, it might be the reason why people still will be using BSDs.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Linux
by sbergman27 on Thu 31st Aug 2006 17:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Linux"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

lopisaur,

I don't really have a stake in this, but I do want to point out that you might desire to clarify your use of the word "cavalier":

"adj: given to haughty disregard of others"

I don't think it is what you meant. But I'm not sure exactly what you did mean. "Civil", perhaps? Constructive?

Regards,
Steve

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Linux
by bubbayank on Thu 31st Aug 2006 16:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Linux"
bubbayank Member since:
2005-07-15

But you don't have to take my word for it:
http://lwn.net/1999/0121/a/vmreview.html


No, I don't. I also don't have to take an article that is SEVEN YEARS OLD as some kind of "proof" either. If you knew what you were talking about, you'd realize that some time after that Matt and others totally revamped the VM and it currently bears no resemblance to the old system.

Nice troll though!

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Linux
by nick on Fri 1st Sep 2006 00:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Linux"
nick Member since:
2006-04-17

No, I don't. I also don't have to take an article that is SEVEN YEARS OLD as some kind of "proof" either. If you knew what you were talking about, you'd realize that some time after that Matt and others totally revamped the VM and it currently bears no resemblance to the old system.

FreeBSD continues to use the Mach VM architecture that
it always has. What do you mean, "bears no resemblance"? You may be thinking of UVM in NetBSD,
however that still bears a signifcant resemblance
to Mach VM.

Nice troll though!

The reason it appears that Matt thought Linux was so
much cleaner is:

"They are able to completely avoid the vm_object
stacking (and related complexity) that we do, and
they are able to completely avoid most of the pmap
complexity in FreeBSD as well."

Because Linux stores per-page mapping information in
pagetables. It still does, and FreeBSD still uses
vm_objects.

Anyway, the point of my post wasn't to somehow "prove"
Linux is better, but to point out how ridiculous it is
to say "Linux code is disgusting" without anything to
back it up with and probably never having looked at
either code base in their life. That was the real troll.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Linux
by bubbayank on Fri 1st Sep 2006 02:09 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Linux"
bubbayank Member since:
2005-07-15

FreeBSD continues to use the Mach VM architecture

I think you are confusing OS-X and FreeBSD.

That diatribe was written by Matt before he helped in the redesign of the VM. I think many in this thread are confused about Matt's part in all this. He was an active FreeBSD developer for quite some time. NFS problems prodded him into rethinking the VM and and doing a stacked design (which did not exist in FreeBSD in 1999).

Here's a paper from 2000, with some updates, authored by Matt:

http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/vm-design/artic...

His later split with FreeBSD was due to differing opinions on how to deal with SMP, which is a completely different topic.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Linux
by nick on Fri 1st Sep 2006 02:52 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Linux"
nick Member since:
2006-04-17

I think you are confusing OS-X and FreeBSD.

No, I'm not. FreeBSD is usually referred to as having
a MACH VM based architecture. I'm surprised you don't
know that.

http://9fans.net/archive/2001/10/652
"FreeBSD and NetBSD have different VM systems.
FreeBSD's (which I am the primary implementer), is
really a corrected and filled out MACH VM for UNIX."
-- John Dyson, 2001

That diatribe was written by Matt before he

I'd call it an informed, objective comparison rather
than a diatribe. From someone who took the time to
understand both systems, and articulate the reasons
for their claims.

helped in the redesign of the VM. I think many in this thread are confused about Matt's part in all this. He was an active FreeBSD developer for quite some time. NFS problems prodded him into rethinking the VM and and doing a stacked design (which did not exist in FreeBSD in 1999).

A stacked design? What's that? Do yo have a link?

Here's a paper from 2000, with some updates, authored by Matt:

http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/vm-design/artic.....


"I rewrote only small portions of the code. In the VM arena the only major rewrite I have done is to the swap subsystem. Most of my work was cleanup and maintenance, with only moderate code rewriting and no major algorithmic adjustments within the VM subsystem."
-- Matt Dillon, 2000

Reply Score: 2

RE: Linux
by Mark Williamson on Thu 31st Aug 2006 14:37 UTC in reply to "Linux"
Mark Williamson Member since:
2005-07-06

> And GPL. I have a feeling that people and companies
> are
> more inclined to want to contribute to a GPL
> project
> than a BSD one (although there are obviously
> counter
> examples in each direction).

Interesting that you say that - I don't often hear that line of reasoning but it's one I agree with.

Personally, I'm inclined to GPL my own work so that people will be required to make source of modifications available - makes it harder to create a closed fork. However, I'd have no problem BSD-licensing code if contributing to a BSD licensed project - it's a fine license.

People often say the BSD license is company-friendly because it allows source to be imported without having to release modifications. I think there are two kinds of company friendliness at work:
1) BSD license: the ability to import code without worrying about needing to release changes, getting sued for not doing so, having to contribute code which may benefit other companies
2) GPL: the guarantee nobody *else* will be able to benefit from any changes you contribute without also letting you benefit from their changes. Other companies can build on your work, but you get to do the same.

Although most companies would obviously like high quality open sourced code that they can incorporate into closed projects, I personally believe the latter protection is where the GPL appeals to many companies: it enforces co-operative development by forcing changes to be released. Nobody else can build on stuff you paid for, without doing you the same favour - so you've always got code thats at least as good as competitors using the same base.

This in turn has the nice effect of allowing smaller companies to punch above their weight: leveraging existing open codebases has allowed companies like RedHat and Novell to share changes even though their competing, which makes the system better and enables them to compete more effectively with larger companies with a closed model.

Not to say the open source model is always right, but it does seem to encourage co-operation that benefits the consumer.

Reply Score: 5

Sad.
by Tuishimi on Thu 31st Aug 2006 02:38 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

Very sad. Perhaps something good will come of this, I really like NetBSD.

Reply Score: 1

and
by deanlinkous on Thu 31st Aug 2006 02:39 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

I do think theo is probably getting a kick out of all this. I wonder what theo would say about it. I wonder if there are any regrets about theos boot and if it affected the project or if it truly grew after that and then the detrimental things occurred later. Interesting at any rate.

Reply Score: 5

RE: and
by kernelpanicked on Thu 31st Aug 2006 03:01 UTC in reply to "and"
kernelpanicked Member since:
2006-02-01

I really don't think so. Even though there were/are some harsh feelings between Theo and the core group at the time of the breakup (10+ years ago at this point), I don't think Theo has ever wished for the utter failure of the NetBSD project. I mean it was his baby after all.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: and
by deanlinkous on Thu 31st Aug 2006 03:21 UTC in reply to "RE: and"
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

I don't know. I mean we are talking about THEO afterall. ;) I am just kidding. As I stated earlier I really do not know. I have always heard about Theo and I remember seeing some of the list mail from back then. I certainly do not think he would wish it but he might be a little smug about it happening. No? Maybe?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: and
by kernelpanicked on Thu 31st Aug 2006 03:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: and"
kernelpanicked Member since:
2006-02-01

It's possible, I guess. I've been wrong before. I suppose if we were to watch the lists long enough, we'd get our answer.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: and
by deanlinkous on Thu 31st Aug 2006 04:11 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: and"
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

Oh I don't think you are wrong. Just guessing same as me so we are both right. Until Theo steps in here all smug and sad at the same time. ;)

I just find it strange that the BSD people that booted Theo stated stuff about progressing and having a healthy environment and so forth are now the ones withering away.

Interesting to see some drama on the BSD camp side, instead of all the overly common linux drama. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: and
by sbergman27 on Thu 31st Aug 2006 19:26 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: and"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""Oh I don't think you are wrong. Just guessing same as me so we are both right. Until Theo steps in here all smug and sad at the same time. ;) """


I'm betting on smug. ;-)

Edited 2006-08-31 19:27

Reply Score: 1

crazy timeing
by Calvin on Thu 31st Aug 2006 02:45 UTC
Calvin
Member since:
2005-07-14

I just decided to give the BSDs a shot on my old laptop. NetBSD didn't want to cooperate, so I tried OpenBSD. After 20 minutes, I'm floored. Its fast and simple. Ports seem to work well, as does the package manager (pkg_add)... All the obscure hardware in my old sub-note Vaio workds. Even my usb wireless adapter was easy to set up. I realize that OpenBSD is not equal to NetBSD, but I'm really starting to get on the BSD bandwagon.

Back on topic; I think OpenBSD is a ford of NetBSD, how incompatible are the two theologies? Could they come back together and still move toward the developers goals?

Reply Score: 4

RE: crazy timeing
by DevL on Thu 31st Aug 2006 07:03 UTC in reply to "crazy timeing"
DevL Member since:
2005-07-06

That wouldn't be in OpenBSDs interest. Many of NetBSDs problems that are mentioned by Chalres Hannum has already been solved by the OpenBSD project. They have strong leadership and get things done, why would they want to regress?

That said, I'm sure feed-up NetBSD hackers could find a "safe haven" in other BSD projects such as OpenBSD, FreeBSD or DragonFly BSD.

Of course, getting the NetBSD project back on track would be the ideal solution, but poor managment seldom tends to be jousted out without bringing down everyone and everything with it.

For the Amigians out there - it looks like NetBSD is doing a "Commodore"...

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: crazy timeing
by twenex on Thu 31st Aug 2006 13:09 UTC in reply to "RE: crazy timeing"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

For the Amigians out there - it looks like NetBSD is doing a "Commodore"...

Just what I was thinking. Or maybe an XFree86.

Reply Score: 2

RE: crazy timeing
by twenex on Thu 31st Aug 2006 10:48 UTC in reply to "crazy timeing"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Theologies? LOL. Was that deliberate?

Reply Score: 3

strange
by deanlinkous on Thu 31st Aug 2006 02:57 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

Strange that you should mention THEOlogies since that is probably exactly what would cause a problem trying to put those back together. ;) OpenBSD came about because of some things occuring with netBSD and Theo was a guy that was asked to leave core and he started openBSD AFAIK and only IIRC. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: strange
by Wintermute on Thu 31st Aug 2006 03:14 UTC in reply to "strange"
Wintermute Member since:
2005-07-30

I doubt a merge would be realistic. Theo forked OpenBSD more then 10 years ago. Furthermore, OpenBSD and NetBSD seem to have different aims/philosophies, which would mean that would have grow apart over the years.

Reply Score: 4

NEtBSD Users
by sbergman27 on Thu 31st Aug 2006 04:41 UTC
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

I've been thinking about obnoxious OS fans. Pretty much every OS, Distro, whatever, has them. You know who I mean. Those irritating fans who think that their OS is so wonderful that everyone should be using it, and if they aren't, well, they're just stupid.

I should hasten to add that they do not represent the majority of users. But they are there and they are annoying.

My own favored OS, Linux, has more than its fair share. Haiku has a few. ReactOS, too. OpenBSD? Theo is more than enough. FreeBSD users can sometimes be a bit arrogant, too.

But I don't think I can recall a time that I have been offended by a NetBSD fan. It's not for lack of users. I know NetBSD has a user base.

It occurs to me that NetBSD users seem to be very good netizens.

Kudos. It's unfortunate that being focused on problem solving and being respectful of others doesn't get you noticed very often, though.

Reply Score: 5

RE: NEtBSD Users
by Janizary on Thu 31st Aug 2006 04:46 UTC in reply to "NEtBSD Users"
Janizary Member since:
2006-03-12

Then you've never seen a NetBSD fan in the same room, irc channel or on the same bbs as an OpenBSD one. You'll see claws there, despite the fact that both Theo and the developers of NetBSD have moved on, and been quite fine with eachother for years, the fanbases themselves are markedly anti-theotherside. When a NetBSD user talks security, an OpenBSD fan points out they're better, when an OpenBSD fan talks portability, the NetBSD fan points out they're on more, when one says stability, the other claims to be better, when really they're pretty close to the same.

There is bad blood when you see the two in the same room, kinda like the Ubuntu/Debian nastiness you sometimes get to see.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: NEtBSD Users
by sbergman27 on Thu 31st Aug 2006 04:49 UTC in reply to "RE: NEtBSD Users"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Yeah, I figured when I posted that someone would be standing close by to burst my bubble. :-0

Edit: I would be quite curious as to the reasons that whoever modded this post down did it. Is it offensive to someone? I'm not upset. Just curious as to why anyone would bother to do it. Seems like there might be something to be learned here.

Edited 2006-08-31 05:02

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: NEtBSD Users
by deanlinkous on Thu 31st Aug 2006 05:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: NEtBSD Users"
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

That is a good idea. How about a comment from the modder about why they felt the post deserved to be modded down. Maybe these could be reviewed occasionally and removed if not reasonable? Just a idea...

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: NEtBSD Users
by sbergman27 on Thu 31st Aug 2006 05:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: NEtBSD Users"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I think that one thing that might help would be an OSNews meta-forum.

I have substantial concerns about abuse of the extant moderation system here. It almost seems designed to be abused. But where do you talk about it? It is horribly off-topic for a regular thread. And, let's face it, considered poor form. But where else is there?

Sincere apologies for this off-topic post.

But I vote for having a place where we can gripe about the infrastructure. And where Thom and Eugenia, who do the actual work, can feel perfectly free to tell us exactly where we can put those gripes. ;-)

Edited 2006-08-31 05:50

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: NEtBSD Users
by deanlinkous on Thu 31st Aug 2006 06:53 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: NEtBSD Users"
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

hear hear .... seconded

Reply Score: 0

Just now!
by ebasconp on Thu 31st Aug 2006 05:03 UTC
ebasconp
Member since:
2006-05-09

Just when I am trying to start a project for NetBSD! What a pity! ;)

Let's go life to NetBSD! Come on people, we're devs, we can do it!

Reply Score: 2

v I just had to register!
by kwag on Thu 31st Aug 2006 05:05 UTC
RE: I just had to register!
by fithisux on Thu 31st Aug 2006 06:45 UTC
fithisux
Member since:
2006-01-22

Yes, you are right that NetBSD is very relevant. It has also very clean code as opposed to other projects. But his mail says

1. It will not continue for long because the leadership of the project does not put as its priority modern developments, they want something working to show and not something good for widespread use
2. Approval of changes or injection of changes is done in very slow rate because there are people thinking they own the project and lock areas of code.
3. He wants a more open process, NetBSD is not MicroSoft in concept.

Reply Score: 2

h3rman
Member since:
2006-08-09

Never seen so many BSD'ers together, so I might as well ask. I'm a Linux user (who hadn't heard of BSD before trying Linux) but from what I've read it seems that BSD is a very interesting OS. I'm going to try FreeBSD out this week.
Now if BSD's fast, secure, cohesive, i.o.w. good , why isn't BSD the hype Linux is? Is it simply the license, or is there something about Linux that lends itself to be more versatile or something?

OSX, which is the second proprietary desktop system in market share, is based partly on BSD, so in a way BSD already is more successful than Linux. But do you guys think an Ubuntu-style "pop in the CD, all autoconfig., run it live, install, get working" BSD is possible? Or do the BSD dev.s simply not want this?

Reply Score: 2

Legend Member since:
2006-07-27

If I remember correctly, very roughly at the time linux has started, the BSDs had some legal problems that have been resolved in court.

After the issue was over, Linux was already the hype.

Reply Score: 2

Carnevill Member since:
2006-01-18

The question of why isn't BSD as hyped as linux can't really be answered. Some blame the lawsuit with At&T, which held up the development. By the time the lawsuit was settled linux had come on the scene. Beyond that everybody has a differant answer. But FreeBSD does have a couple Ubuntu style cd's. They're PC-BSD and DesktopBSD both are easy to install and configure.

Reply Score: 2

manofsteel21 Member since:
2006-08-31

There are projects that make easy to use and install BSD's such as PC-BSD (pcbsd.org) and DesktopBSD (desktopbsd.org). Personaly I like the easy to use options because I shouldnt have to use the commandline to get actual work done or install say open office or somthing, it should be easy to do the basic things, on the other hand, I love having the power of the commandline should I have to use it.

I was wondering about what somone said, that everything is tied together so you know where everything is comming from, but it looks like it uses a lot of the same packages Linux uses. Firefox, KDE, thunder bird, ect. I understand under the hood is different, they share a lot of common apps.

Reply Score: 3

Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

I remember sitting around with a bunch of BSD developers "back in the day" listening to McKusick ask that very question.

I gave him the same answer ten years ago that I'll give you now: The organization of the various BSD projects encouraged small close-knit communities concentrating on specific goals. Linus had the foresight to play to the crowd. Linux has always had an inclusive egalitarian development model. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a cult of personality, but the fact that Torvalds is warm hearted and good natured, and has an inclusive development process while BSD projects tend to be faceless to outsiders and exclusive in appearance is what led to Linux being "all the hype".

Reply Score: 3

h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

Thanks for those comments. It's very interesting to see that these open source projects develop their own, unintended dynamic.

However,

"Linus had the foresight to play to the crowd."

I don't think that was intended or in any way a "foresight". As Torvalds has himself said, he didn't really feel like working out all the "boring" stuff, at least, what he himself found less exciting, that you have to do to create an OS out of a kernel. That's why he sent his kernel into the world. But then, how many things that bring about change in the world are really intended ?

I also heard a lot of BSD users are former Linux users that got disappointed at the "messy" or "dirty hack" nature of Linux code. I have no way of judging this, but what do you guys think, is there anything objective to say about these assertions? And isn't all that only relevant to developers?

Reply Score: 3

Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

When Linus started on Linux, he announced it on comp.os.research. Even that post had an appeal for cooperation. But the 'playing to the crowd' I was thinking of includes things like the playful nature of penguins dominating the world.

Whether BSD or Linux has a cleaner code base is indirectly interesting to users. Messy, hacked systems are difficult to maintain and tend to be buggy. They also tend to get buggier quicker than well planned systems as features are added.

Reply Score: 1

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

When Linus started on Linux, he announced it on comp.os.research.

comp.os.minix, iirc.

But the 'playing to the crowd' I was thinking of includes things like the playful nature of penguins dominating the world.

How is Beastie not "playful"? I know that all three BSD's now use official logos because they are frightened of offending fundamentalists (that they feel they need to is in my opinion more frightening), but changing the logo for that purpose sounds like "playing to the crowd" too.

Reply Score: 2

Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

>Torvalds is warm hearted and good natured

Do you know him personally or do you just know the hype? ;-)

>BSD projects tend to be faceless to outsiders and >exclusive in appearance

If you count on GNU/Linux because of a good natured Linus, try this ... *BSD are honest operating systems, no hype, just what you see is what you get :o)

There is nothing exclusive in *BSD, but out there in Linux world, there are many urban legends about *BSD. Vice versa almost noone in *BSD world is interested in flamewars about GNU/Linux or Windows - that's the difference. Nowadays hype (aka how to lure people into something) is the measure for the success of an operating system or application - to be true, it's bullshit. Sorry, but opensource should do it better than closed-source systems, but the opposite is true (see Ubuntu for example). If you fight the battle with the same means, than you aren't any better than Sun, Microsoft, Apple, IBM and so on.

Back to topic, yes NetBSD needs a real overhaul, there is no need to acquire some of Linux mechanisms, why to mimic the behaviour of a system, who in the end mimics Unix only? NetBSD is a real Unix derivate, it needs more people like Charles Hannum, who think about it and work toward a better future.
I know *BSD is dying, especially on OSNews ;) , ... for years and anyhow it's alive and kicking.

Hype doesn't last forever, one day in the future there isn't enough hot vapour anymore and then? Think about it.
So GNU/Linux should think about it's path toward the future. NetBSD only needs enthusiastic, but able people!

Reply Score: 3

bryanv Member since:
2005-08-26

>>Torvalds is warm hearted and good natured

>Do you know him personally or do you just know the hype?

I heard that he once saved three infants from a burning house, rescued five puppies from a collapsing building, drug a 250lbs man from his burning car and resuscitated him in the street, prevented the assination of multiple world leaders at a peace summit, and solved the world's OS issues -- all in one day!

Reply Score: 3

Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15


Torvalds is warm hearted and good natured

Do you know him personally or do you just know the hype? ;-)


I don't have his cell phone number, but we've met.


BSD projects tend to be faceless to outsiders and exclusive in appearance

If you count on GNU/Linux because of a good natured Linus, try this ... *BSD are honest operating systems, no hype, just what you see is what you get :o)


I don't "count on" GNU/Linux. I also don't include GNU under Linux's success. If anything, the FSF is more off-putting and exclusive than the BSD core teams, which is a significant part of the reason why the hurd has been such a long-term failure.

There is nothing exclusive in *BSD, but out there in Linux world, there are many urban legends about *BSD.

I speak from 23 years of involvement in the *BSD world, not from urban legends. The exclusivity is definitely present. It is part of what led to Theo's untimely demise, it was very visible in the original split of free bsd. It is apparent in Matt Dillon's interactions with the FreeBSD core team. It is apparent from the concept of 'core'.

I do not judge this. There are strengths in such a system. Popularity is not one of them, however.

Reply Score: 3

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Nowadays hype (aka how to lure people into something) is the measure for the success of an operating system or application - to be true, it's bullshit. Sorry, but opensource should do it better than closed-source systems, but the opposite is true (see Ubuntu for example).

I'd go so far as to say that isn't a problem with Linux or open source or even closed source, as it is a problem with people - or to put it perhaps more charitably, with the way they process information. "The wheel that squeaks the loudest is the one that gets the grease."

Reply Score: 1

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"BSD projects tend to be faceless to outsiders"

Unless you count Theo. He can be called a lot of things but faceless isn't one of them ;)

Reply Score: 3

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Well, some people point to the legal issues with AT&T. And maybe that factors in. It was before my time. I was still supporting SCO Unix back then. (Or was it OpenServer by that time?)

I, personally, think that the GPL has a lot to do with the media exposure that Linux enjoys. Think about "The BSD Story":

"BSD is a great OS, based on UNIX, that you can get for free."

Falls a bit flat doesn't it? Oh, you might squeeze a story out of this on a slow news day, but it just lacks something.

Now try this:

"Linus Torvalds, a computer science student, all by himself, wrote an operating system. But then Linus had an idea: Why not take the source code, the magic recipe for computer programs, and give it away for free so that others could improve it. But with a catch! If you change the recipe, you have to give those changes back. Most companies keep the recipe for their computer programs a secret..."

I think that most of us here at OSNews can fill in the rest of the story of how Linus Tovalds invented a new way of writing computer programs. It's not like we haven't all read about a hundred of these articles. ( And yes, I know how hideously wrong the above paragraph is. :-P )

The point is that this is "newsworthy" (and reusable) in a way that "The BSD Story" simply is not.

This is *not* intended as a slight against BSD. Just an observation of the fact that Linux has more of a human interest angle.

The other way in which I think that GPL has helped Linux's popularity is that it attracts companies who seriously want to contribute. Companies that would like to simply leech off of it find that using the code entails certain responsibilities, which might put them off, but who cares? Companies that really want to contribute has the assurance that their competitors are not going to just take their work and use it against them without giving back.

One needs only look to Theo's recent carping about companies not giving back to OpenSSH to see that this *is* an issue.

To be sure, GPL also has its down sides. Which are becoming ever more apparent. Ceaseless wasted effort arguing about licenses instead of getting real work done. Unintended incompatibilities with other software also under perfectly good OSI/FSF approved licenses. People trying to do their part to help out, only to find that they get shot down because they have run afoul of some subsection of a license that I used to think was simple, but now can't help but see as a legal minefield. (The GPLv2 vs GPLv3 draft arguments I have followed recently have been a real eye opener to me... after 10 years of having *thought* that I understood GPL.)

So there it is. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

On the balance, though, and back to the original point, I do believe that, for better or worse, the GPL has contributed to Linux's popularity relative to the BSDs.

Edited 2006-08-31 16:39

Reply Score: 4

Relevance of projects
by csousa on Thu 31st Aug 2006 07:41 UTC
csousa
Member since:
2006-02-04

Donīt forget about that:

NetBSD have unique projects that can't just leave that way, like PKGSRC package management (a portable framework and one of the best ideias in it), and support for several arquitectures that even linux don't have support.

PLEASE DON'T LET NETBSD DIE!

Reply Score: 1

Geeze...
by kaiwai on Thu 31st Aug 2006 10:28 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

Why do people say that NetBSD and OpenBSD must merge? has anyone forgotten about FreeBSD?! FreeBSD is quite ok with the porting to different platforms, they too need more contributors, so wouldn't it be best to merge with FreeBSD and come up with a compromise - merging togethe and forming a BSD operating system that has tbe best of both OS's.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Geeze...
by Oliver on Thu 31st Aug 2006 11:34 UTC in reply to "Geeze..."
Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

Why merging three systems, that are in fact very good in their own way of doing it? Using code from the pool of all three systems is very common in *BSD world, so there is in fact a lot of interchange going on.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Geeze...
by Soulbender on Thu 31st Aug 2006 12:21 UTC in reply to "Geeze..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"Why do people say that NetBSD and OpenBSD must merge?"

Because some people don't know any better.

"so wouldn't it be best to merge with FreeBSD"

No.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Geeze...
by Ronald Vos on Thu 31st Aug 2006 20:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Geeze..."
Ronald Vos Member since:
2005-07-06

"so wouldn't it be best to merge with FreeBSD"

No.


Could you at least elaborate a bit more?

It's been noted that NetBSD produces a lot of projects that benefit and are ported to the other BSDs, like PKGSRC.

But it's the kernel that's behind, and needs a lot of work to get to the same level as the other projects. And as noted by the linked memo, the organisation is sick, and won't encourage it.

Meanwhile the other worthwhile userland and driver projects by NetBSD can be transferred wholly to other projects (they're ported anyway), instead of remaining with what is described as an inefficient directionless organisation.

You'd only lose part of the portability (and FreeBSD seems to be catching up anyway), and if some of the NetBSD people would flee to FreeBSD, we might end up with less half-supported, half-buggy ports.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Geeze...
by Soulbender on Fri 1st Sep 2006 02:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Geeze..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"Could you at least elaborate a bit more? "

I understodd it as the OP wanted both OpenBSD and NetBSD to merge with FreeBSD and for that there is no interest, as least not from OpenBSD.
As for only NetBSD to merge with FreeBSD, I dunno, I'm not part of that community.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Geeze...
by eMagius on Thu 31st Aug 2006 13:41 UTC in reply to "Geeze..."
eMagius Member since:
2005-07-06

Because OpenBSD and NetBSD are still very similar (and benefit greatly from code sharing) while FreeBSD is a much different beast.

That said, it wouldn't be the code or the operating system merging in either case, just moving developers from one project to another.

Frankly, since I didn't follow BSD before 2000 (ex-Linux user), I've never really seen the draw of NetBSD (apart from support for a few more esoteric platforms). OpenBSD supports well over a dozen architectures and moves forward at a steady clip; at this point, speaking objectively, the end-users would be better off with NetBSD developers contributing to OpenBSD than developing a seperate project.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Geeze...
by kaiwai on Thu 31st Aug 2006 23:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Geeze..."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

But with that being said, the NetBSD focus doesn't really fit into what OpenBSD is doing; OpenBSD is 'security at all costs' - atleast with the case of FreeBSD, sure, there is a focus on security, but use as a server, workstation, scalability, multiplatformness and lots of others are also focus's, something which NetBSD has alot more in commmon with than OpenBSD.

Some of the stuff that couldbe merged would be threading; from what I understand, the KSE model is complex and there is performance hits on non-x86 systems; there is a proposal to replace that (from the last quartly update), but if NetBSD already provides a logical replacement which is designed for multi-platformness by design, then why not utilise it?

Reply Score: 1

THEOlogies
by Calvin on Thu 31st Aug 2006 11:20 UTC
Calvin
Member since:
2005-07-14

I didn't mean it when I typed it. I did think it was funny when I was proofreading it, so I left it.

Reply Score: 2

Don T. Bothers
Member since:
2006-03-15

I don't see why they should try to keep the project alive. Anyways, DragonflyBSD is now the third major BSD project and differs from Free and Open enough to more than justify its existence. The developers should leave the NetBSD project and join FreeBSD, DragonflyBSD, and OpenBSD. The extra help will tremendously benefit these projects. And with a skeletal crew they could maintain the current release of NetBSD and tell people to start slowly migrating to FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and DragonFlyBSD (when it gets up to speed.)

Edited 2006-08-31 13:56

Reply Score: 4

mjpackard Member since:
2006-03-29

So if a pet GNU/Linux distro was dying, would all the GNU/Linux lovers say the same thing?

Reply Score: 2

manofsteel21 Member since:
2006-08-31

I dont think anyone would be crying unless it was a major distrobution, say Redhat, Debian or Slack, one of the three that other distros are based off of, then yea, there would be a lot of crying. But the nice thing about Linux is that there are so many distros that you can find one for your particular need, and if your distro fails im sure somone somewhere will either pick up the pieces or create a similar project. The fact that this is a major BSD, makes it that much harder to swallow. But I think if there is enough out cry then why notstart a new project with the NetBSD at its code base and start to make the needed changes?

Reply Score: 1

Janizary Member since:
2006-03-12

Really there is no need, the project can just do it itself - no need to fork, no need to even quibble or argue. It could be done in minutes. The reset button awaits.

But no matter what happens, be it a reboot, a fork or the wholesale merger of anything worth merging into other projects, anything worth merging into other projects will be merged.

Reply Score: 1

adapt Member since:
2005-07-06

Because I like NetBSD. How about that. It does its job better than OpenBSD and FreeBSD FOR ME. NetBSD is by far my favorite OS on the planet. Clean, simple, correct, stable, fast, portable, organized, pkgsrc, unhyped... word.

Just because NetBSD is portable, people think they shouldnt use it because they only use 1 arch. Being portable is a benifit - not its only feature.

.adam.

Reply Score: 2

as for me
by sequethin on Thu 31st Aug 2006 15:36 UTC
sequethin
Member since:
2005-07-06

I would love to use netbsd more often. I installed it on my home pc to try it out a few months ago and I was amazed at how fast it ran. Compared to my freebsd system it just "felt" so much faster. The problem is that if I want to run NetBSD on my desktop at home I have to give up quite a bit. My video card won't run as it should, my sound card wont run as it should, the community is very small and therefore I'd basically be out on my own... that's a lot to give up just to run an OS. What is netbsd good at in and of itself other than portability? The package management is nice but that's simply not enough of a reason. At least with openbsd I'd be giving up my nvidia card for thoroughly inspected, secure code.

For now I'm sticking with freebsd...

Reply Score: 1

...
by indiocolifa on Fri 1st Sep 2006 02:54 UTC
indiocolifa
Member since:
2006-06-20

If NetBSD can be put on the road again, it's still a good codebase to integrate to other BSD projects.

Portability and SMP enhancements for FreeBSD would be a good thing to aim.

Reply Score: 1