Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 12th Nov 2008 09:39 UTC, submitted by Reyk
OpenBSD O'Reilly interviewed 27 OpenBSD developers to present the new release. They discussed buffer cache improvements, the new malloc(), the work to make the math library more C99 compliant, what is new in the SCSI area, crypto support for softraid, a lot of fundamental work happened in PF, a new tool to merge configuration files during upgrades, the status of OpenCVS, some cool features of OpenSSH 5.1, the initial support for USB webcams, the never-ending work on improving and extending the sensors framework, and more.
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Evolving Nicely
by DoctorPepper on Wed 12th Nov 2008 11:40 UTC
DoctorPepper
Member since:
2005-07-12

I installed OpenBSD 4.4 on my two year old HP Pavilion dv2037 notebook right after the CD set arrived. Although I did not test the webcam (I really have no use for them), everything else worked out of the box, including the built-in Intel WiFi, which had been problematic on the OpenBSD 4.3 release just six months before.

I let it "burn-in" for a few days with the standard kernel, then switched over to the MP kernel. Everything still worked. All in all, I've been quite happy with this release of OpenBSD, and it just keeps getting better.

Reply Score: 9

RE: Evolving Nicely
by unavowed on Wed 12th Nov 2008 11:57 UTC in reply to "Evolving Nicely"
unavowed Member since:
2006-03-23

I'm quite surprised at how immature the system seems, judging from the interview: until now they didn't have >4GB RAM support, they were missing basic functions from the C standard library and had lots of other missing features and significant bugs.

I suppose this is because they don't have enough developers, yet they still waste time by doing things such as trying to reimplement CVS, just because they don't like the GNUGPL. Crazy, if you ask me.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Evolving Nicely
by dekernel on Wed 12th Nov 2008 13:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Evolving Nicely"
dekernel Member since:
2005-07-07

I will assume that the use of the word "immature" means lacking features in your vernacular.

What you consider a waste of time is not considered a waste of time on their part. They (the core devs) are a group driven by philosophical wants. For them, the license issue is very important so that is where they spend the majority of the time.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Evolving Nicely
by diegocg on Wed 12th Nov 2008 14:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Evolving Nicely"
diegocg Member since:
2005-07-08

The problem is not so much that they're rewritting CVS with a BSD license. The problem is that these days pretty much everybody is running away from CVS to distributed systems like git or mercurial.

So basically OpenBSD is wasting the few time they have into rewritting a outdated source management system.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Evolving Nicely
by dagw on Wed 12th Nov 2008 15:12 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Evolving Nicely"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

Except they're not simply a making feature-by-feature, bug-by-bug reimplementation of CVS. They're making a better CVS that fits their needs. They're leaving out things they consider bloat in CVS and improving the stuff they don't think works as well as it should. Basically they considered the old CVS too stagnant and too bloated, so they made a better one.

Reply Score: 6

RE[5]: Evolving Nicely
by Wrawrat on Wed 12th Nov 2008 16:56 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Evolving Nicely"
Wrawrat Member since:
2005-06-30

To what I understand, OpenCVS is a reimplentation of CVS with better security and access control while staying compatible with the original as much as possible. At least, it's how they are advertising it. They cannot add or remove many features if they want it that way. Even if they change their minds, they are still building a new solution based on something that is obsolete.

I believe it would just be more productive to start up a new SCM.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Evolving Nicely
by Soulbender on Wed 12th Nov 2008 19:20 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Evolving Nicely"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Do you always consider making the things you use yourself better as a waste of time?

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Evolving Nicely
by Wrawrat on Thu 13th Nov 2008 01:08 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Evolving Nicely"
Wrawrat Member since:
2005-06-30

Not always, but when I do, I take my time to investigate alternatives that might bring me more for my time and money.

It just seem pointless to me to reinvent the same old wheel, especially when there are ways to build newer and better wheels nowadays. That said, the OpenBSD team is completely free to do whatever they want: it's their project and it's not like it's gonna change my life.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Evolving Nicely
by dagw on Wed 12th Nov 2008 21:56 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Evolving Nicely"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

they are still building a new solution based on something that is obsolete.

They obviously disagree with you that CVS is fundamentally obsolete. Sure Linus didn't like CVS, but all that means is that Linus didn't like CVS, not that CVS is obsolete. And given that they have far more experience with large scale collaborative software development than I have, I'm certainly not going to argue with them.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Evolving Nicely
by Wrawrat on Thu 13th Nov 2008 01:46 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Evolving Nicely"
Wrawrat Member since:
2005-06-30

Well, it's not like CVS is going to bit-rot projects that are still using it. However, many high-profile open-source projects and enterprises are moving to alternatives because they are improving the collaborative experience for their users. After using SCMs like SVN, Hg or Perforce, it's a bit hard to get back to CVS.

I just wonder why the OpenBSD folks didn't started up a brand new project instead of working around CVS.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Evolving Nicely
by zsitvaij on Fri 14th Nov 2008 08:55 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Evolving Nicely"
zsitvaij Member since:
2006-06-14

There's already a better CVS than CVS under a more liberal license, and it's called SVN.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Evolving Nicely
by edogawaconan on Wed 12th Nov 2008 13:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Evolving Nicely"
edogawaconan Member since:
2006-10-10

different people, different focus.
And I believe its license isn't the only problem (on CVS).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Evolving Nicely
by lteo on Wed 12th Nov 2008 13:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Evolving Nicely"
lteo Member since:
2007-03-25

I suppose this is because they don't have enough developers, yet they still waste time by doing things such as trying to reimplement CVS, just because they don't like the GNUGPL. Crazy, if you ask me.


It's not "just because they don't like the GNUGPL."

From a OpenBSD misc@ mailing list post at http://marc.info/?l=openbsd-tech&m=112589526510808&w=2 Theo responded to a post about OpenCVS as follows:

> I'm not sure if the people who have e-mailed me are actually involved in
> the OpenCVS effort or not, however the off-list reaction seems to be
> that the primary interest of the OpenCVS project is in re-licensing.

That is not the primary goal at all. Some people who really have nothing to do with us, and know zero about where we are going, are saying that. And they are wrong.

> In
> this case perhaps there wont be a lot of synergy between the projects.

That said, we have no interest in furthering GPL codebases. Not just because of the licenses, but also because of the obvious bloat that always happens with these codebases designed to "work on every stupid variation of system even written in the past".


And later on in http://marc.info/?l=openbsd-tech&m=112589736230624&w=2

OK, let me be more clear. When people who know nothing about anything write software, in the GNU-style, they write bloated bloated bloated crap when it is not neccessary.

When it is done, OpenCVS will run fine on other systems.

Like OpenSSH.

Without the boatloats of bloat that is common in GNU-style projects.

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Evolving Nicely
by dagw on Wed 12th Nov 2008 15:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Evolving Nicely"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

'm quite surprised at how immature the system seems,

I guess immature means different things to you and me. I consider OpenBSD extremely mature and have done for years. Their hardware support has always been more than sufficient for my needs and everything they claim to support works perfectly out of the box. The entire system has been always been rock solid. I honestly don't think I've had a crash with OpenBSD. OpenBSD has always been a breeze to manage and their firewall and filtering software really is best I've ever used.

OpenBSD takes the approach that it's better to support few things well than lots of things badly. And admittedly because of this there have been projects where I've been unable to use OpenBSD. But they're very clear about what does and doesn't work, and I've never been in a situation where something I thought would work didn't. So while I might not have as many features as, for example, Linux, the features they do have are very mature.

yet they still waste time by doing things such as trying to reimplement CVS, just because they don't like the GNUGPL. Crazy, if you ask me.

They're not reimplementing CVS because they don't like the GNU GPL. They're reimplementing CVS because the don't like the GNU implementation of CVS. Two entirely different things.

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Evolving Nicely
by omoerbeek on Thu 13th Nov 2008 08:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Evolving Nicely"
omoerbeek Member since:
2006-10-28

Question of priorities. We choose to spend time on security features like stack smash protection, heap and library location randomization and much more.

We could as well say: oh dear, other systems are just busy catching up on these security features, they are really immature.

A strong point about OpenBSD is focus. We are not trying to please everybody, since we know that will fail anyway.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Evolving Nicely
by fithisux on Thu 13th Nov 2008 09:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Evolving Nicely"
fithisux Member since:
2006-01-22

Stack smashing protection is a must in a modern OS. I do not know any commercial OS having this feature.

Reply Score: 2

v We don't care
by ciol on Wed 12th Nov 2008 14:35 UTC
The webcam support..
by fithisux on Wed 12th Nov 2008 20:00 UTC
fithisux
Member since:
2006-01-22

is based on isochronous transfer. What is the difference with FreeBSD? They hve some iso support but it is experimental nd slowly merged in mainline kernel. Do they use the same or there is a re-implementation?

About the friend talking about immaturities. I am GPL fan and against BSD licence. I use linux. But OpenBSD is exceptional because it is a source of drivers for other BSDs. Moreover it cooperates with other BSDs and is not writing incompatible code ala MS. I wish there was projects like GNU/kFreeBSD for Net/Open/Dragonfly-BSD. I also wish MidnightBSD worked on porting GNUstep/Etoile on OpenBSD and not doing a kernel re-write. Hopefully with OpenJDK they will have better userland tools to configure their systems.

I hate BSD ideologically but these folks are doing a tremendous job. Maybe one day Haiku enters this ecosystem.

Reply Score: 2

Quite nice, just as expected
by foldingstock on Wed 12th Nov 2008 20:34 UTC
foldingstock
Member since:
2008-10-30

I've been using OpenBSD as a router for several years now and I use it off and on as a server. It has always been a simple, clean, and stable environment. The latest 4.4 release is no different.

<blockquote>yet they still waste time by doing things such as trying to reimplement CVS, just because they don't like the GNUGPL. Crazy, if you ask me.</blockquote>

Do you contribute source code to the OpenBSD project? Do you donate money? If not, you really have no reason to complain.

Just because one solution exists for a particular problem does not mean it is the most efficient. Open source is a free and open market. I'm glad to see competitive efforts in the field.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Quite nice, just as expected
by Zbigniew on Thu 13th Nov 2008 00:56 UTC in reply to "Quite nice, just as expected"
Zbigniew Member since:
2008-08-28

Do you contribute source code to the OpenBSD project? Do you donate money? If not, you really have no reason to complain.

Does it really take to pay (or contribute) first, to have (then express) one's own opinion?

Reply Score: 1

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

no, but it takes doing a little more research on what you're talking about than reading an interview.

Reply Score: 3

"Masturbating monkeys"?
by Kebabbert on Thu 13th Nov 2008 10:30 UTC
Kebabbert
Member since:
2007-07-27

OpenBSD seems to come up nice, despite what other people says. OpenBSD runs in VirtualBox, yes? So it is easy to download and try?

Reply Score: 2

RE: "Masturbating monkeys"?
by Soulbender on Thu 13th Nov 2008 10:57 UTC in reply to ""Masturbating monkeys"?"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

OpenBSD runs fine in VirtualBox with the exception of X. You can probably get X working by creating an xorg.conf config file and fiddle with it.
Just download install44.iso and install it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: "Masturbating monkeys"?
by sakeniwefu on Thu 13th Nov 2008 12:21 UTC in reply to "RE: "Masturbating monkeys"?"
sakeniwefu Member since:
2008-02-26

Well, X runs perfectly fine on KVM/QEMU I cannot understand why people enjoy that limited proprietary clone.
However, I do not use X for my OpenBSD VMs I have them to test things I wouldn't dare to do in a real machine with real data inside.
No need for X - I have the Linux host for that.
I could probably use X as it was intended and pump apps into to my box but, as I usually just use the terminal, what I do is I forward a virtual port and communicate with it via ssh with the main tty on stdout. I have two nice puffy icons in my Xubuntu desktop, one for the "daemon" and another for the ssh sessions. Seamless desktop integration, I say.

Edited 2008-11-13 12:38 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: "Masturbating monkeys"?
by Soulbender on Thu 13th Nov 2008 12:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: "Masturbating monkeys"?"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Well, X runs perfectly fine on KVM/QEMU I cannot understand why people enjoy that limited proprietary clone.


Maybe he doesn't have Intel VT or AMD-V in his computer? Maybe he just likes VirtualBox? Who cares, since he didn't ask about KVM/QEMU.

Reply Score: 3