Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 19th Oct 2009 12:06 UTC, submitted by ebasconp
OpenBSD As mentioned in the release announcement: "Many people have received their 4.6 CDs in the mail by now, and we really don't want them to be without the full package repository. We are pleased to announce the official release of OpenBSD 4.6. This is our 26th release on CD-ROM (and 27th via FTP). We remain proud of OpenBSD's record of more than ten years with only two remote holes in the default install." I really want news like this on the front page, but sadly, the long list of improvements makes no sense to me - I don't know what's important and what isn't. If someone can provide a nice readable summary of the most important improvements, I'll include it to the item and place it on the front page. There we are.
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Doc Pain
Member since:

He also said that it is unacceptable, but also unavoidable.

I think this is not specific to Linux. Linus may have applied this statement to the Linux kernel, but the tradition for bloating and complicating things seems to be everywhere. Even in BSD world.

Don't get this statement wrong and let me first clarify: The developers of the BSD operating systems do an excellent job. With every release, the OS runs faster in the same (!) hardware. No problem here.

The problem starts when you want to add additional software. As it has been mentioned earlier, if you install package A, it will install B, C, D, E, F and G as dependencies, even if it just contains "suggested" stuff you don't use or even require (to run A).

Instead of centralized means of configuration, things get scattered among many files and subsystems. For example, if you're using HAL and DBUS for X (the "new" way), setting up a non-english keyboard is complicated, especially if you're not rinning one of the two big desktop environments that keep such things internally. Even starting X now takes much longer.

Remember my statement of the "new dependency hell"? Install things you don't really need? It gets worse. Very often, programs shift from one library version to the next one, e. g. X-Chat from Gtk 1 to Gtk 2. The functionality is quite the same, but the overall operation speed (as it feels to the user) is reduced. Even worse: Usability gets lost; things like using the middle mouse button for tranfering the edit buffer to an input field, or selecting a list entry by double clicking don't work anymore.

A famous statement reformed: "What OS giveth, applications taketh away."

I have been told here at OSNews that this tendency of bloat as a good reason and is needed: For faster software development. But I'd rather use software that is implemented good insteaf of fast, and I would be willing to wait for a good release.

The circle closes here: That's the main reason I have selected the BSDs as my main operating systems (next to Solaris, and Linux mostly for entertainment and education): They pay attention to deliver good software. It's a way to benefit from the development and get a faster, more stable and more feature-rich system without actually upgrading the hardware.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Kebabbert Member since:

"That's the main reason I have selected the BSDs as my main operating systems (next to Solaris...): They pay attention to deliver good software"

It is your opinion that Solaris is not of high quality??

Reply Parent Score: 2

Doc Pain Member since:

It is your opinion that Solaris is not of high quality??

OF COURSE NOT! While BSD is my main OS, I also use Solaris (and OpenSolaris).

I just wanted to point out that paying attention to overall quality is a thing that I (as a developer) do often miss with Linux; that's why I do not use it very often anymore. Searching for documentation about kernel interfaces, file formats or library calls can be a troublesome journey, especially because there are different Linux distributions that handle things differently. Furthermore, there's often the situation that there is either no man page at all, or just an outdated info page, some notes in a file burried deep in some arbitrary directory, or documentation is just scattered around the web, placed in forums, wikis, or left to the users in another way. The kernel source is not as tidy, well documented and enlightened by meaningful identifiers as it is found in the BSD kernels.

Of course, that's just my very individual point of view, so please nobody feels attacked.

Commercial operating systems usually do come with good documentation, too, allthough it might not be for free.

Reply Parent Score: 2