Subject: Re: Yet another BSD, is it necessary?
To: None <current-users@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Charles Hannum <>
List: current-users
Date: 10/06/1995 05:13:13
In article <>
(Neil J. McRae) writes:

   The sparc port has more or
   less stopped making advances that is should have made a long time ago
   because Theo doesn't have commit access.

First of all, you are (probably unintentionally) slighting all of the
people who have contributed to the SPARC port recently.  While the
SPARC port may not be advancing at the pace you would like, note that
I personally posted a fairly large roster of recent changes a month or
so ago, extracted from the CHANGES file.  The SPARC port is most
certainly *not* dead.

   NetBSD is supposed to be about 
   giving Unix to the people, Theo has many fixes, and indeed even complete new
   ports that he has been working on that would benefit the project beyond

As has been said many times, nobody has stopped Theo from making
contributions.  Many large contributions, and even entire ports, have
been created and integrated without the author having access to the
CVS tree.  Even the SPARC itself port has a similar history; it was
derived from Chris Torek's code, and I don't recall him having CVS

   There is no argument anymore, all that is left is people who's egos have
   gotten too big.

Agreed on that, but probably not agreed on *which* egos.

As `der Mouse' put it some time ago:

`_I_ think that if he's going to be that petty, well, it's too bad
he's more interested in egoboo rather than in contributing to NetBSD,
but we can get along without his changes - and someone who "doesn't
care about users" is IMO someone we can _definitely_ do without.  As
for cvs access, well, the only way to ensure we aren't blackmailed
like that is to refuse to be blackmailed like that....'


It seems to me that you're continuing to make a serious error:
assuming that we *can* `sort it out', and that our initiative alone is
enough to do that.  I know that we've tried, and I know that we've
been unsuccessful in the past.  I don't see any way to `sort it out'
without some honest effort from Theo, and I haven't seen any.

What precipitated all this flamage is two separate actions:

1) Theo was removed from `core' and from his role as SPARC `port
master'.  This was because his actions were clearly damaging to the
NetBSD project, and we could no longer allow him to be a de facto

2) The above would normally have been enough, but veiled threats and
other statements from Theo made it clear that, in light of the first
action, we could no longer trust him with blanket access to the CVS
tree and other critical services.  Therefore, his account was

I'm sure there are people who would like to argue about the issue of
trust, and indeed this is a hard thing to discuss without evidence,
which we cannot supply for privacy reasons.  (And that, as I've said
many times, is one of the primary reasons that third parties should
*not* be involved in this discussion.  There are both moral and legal
reasons why we *cannot* supply the information people have been asking
for.)  However, I think we've just seen a rather clear, demonstratable
case: Theo publishing what were clearly private interactions, even
after complaining about other people doing so to him.  This action was
both wrong and hypocritical.

As I've said many times, what hurts the project the most is that
people are spending their time flaming about this rather than coding.
I, for one, should be preparing for the release.