Subject: about consequences
To: None <>
From: Timo Schoeler <>
List: current-users
Date: 09/03/2006 11:31:26
wrt Charles M. Hannums email, the awakening it caused by shattering the 
NetBSD developers universe, and the discussion about blobs, i'd like to 
draw some conclucsions.

i) in stanza three in 'About the NetBSD Project' there's stated 'One of 
the primary focuses of the NetBSD project has been to make the base OS 
extremely portable.' [0].

due to the acceptance of blobs (there's no opinion on the majority of 
developers on this, some developers like to use blobs if it suits their 
needs, and a few deny them completely) this is no longer true. either 
it's no longer a 'primary goal' or a lie that's spoken out deliberately.

both is not acceptable, at least if one (as an individuum or a project) 
uses to have ideals and, if necessary, 'fight' for them.

it is very important wrt to blobs to be aware of the preferences of the 
project as developer, user or afficinado. as it's in the state between 
not quite told and half-official that NetBSD /will/ use blobs, NetBSD no 
longer is acceptable for people that really do open source. Linux e.g. 
is also no choice (besides multiple technical, philosophical and other 
problems), because it uses blobs.

open source inherits (among other things) equality. this is no longer 
given; furthermore, open source can be seen as one way out of slavery 
(that's what most really mean if they state 'hey, turning away now means 
Bill Gates wins!'), but this means to escape from hardware vendors' 
slavery. there are vendors giving away good documentation of their 
products, those are the ones to deal with. not the ones delivierung 
black box blobs and equal hardware that only runs on x86.

that is why NetBSDs 'One of the primary focuses of the NetBSD project 
has been to make the base OS extremely portable.' no longer is true.

TNF behaves like a vegetarian eating burgers, shouting 'hey, look, i'm a 

ii) the discussion with and among developers shed a clearing light, or 
enlightenment wrt the situation of the project. acceptance of 
non-BSD-licensed code in the base system seems to be the way to go for 
NetBSD. lack of leadership seems to be the way to go. lack of 
organization seems to be the way to go (how many port maintainers are 
not contactable? one? six? a dozen?).

iii) entanglement between TNF/TNP and commercial companies in a very 
double-edged manner. there were cases were employees of this company 
mailed back that the PR that was just filed is fixed in their internal 
branch/fork, without the will to fix it for the public -- even if it was 
just a five line patch. the main thing was to tell everybody that they 
don't suffer from this bug. very childish.

so consequences are, as there's no solution in the near future to most 
or all of the problems that exist neither the demonstration of will to 
change this, to have a look at both the personal or corporate 'moral' or 
'moral obligation' or ideals wrt open source and NetBSDs goals -- and 
what survives in reality.

personally, i came to the conclusion that there's (a huge) imbalance. 
after a conference on this weekend we decided to drop NetBSD for 
internal use, external (customer) use and development. starting monday 
we will migrate a few dozen customers away from NetBSD (most of them 
running servers, and a few early appliances). our internal services 
moved to other major BSDs or commercial UNIX months ago (as if it was 
clear that something like this supernova happens and shows the status of 
NetBSD). our soon to be released appliances, which were luckily 
developed on two different BSDs, one of them being NetBSD, won't be 
shipping based on NetBSD.

i'm a vegetarian, i don't eat burgers. it's as simple as that.

please remove our entry (RISCworks) [2] from the 'Consultants for hire' 

thank you.

[0] --

[1] --

[2] --

so long, and please send all the fish to the Linux guys.

Timo Schoeler | |
RISCworks -- Perfection is a powerful message
ISP | POWER & PowerPC afficinados | Networking, Security, BSD services
GPG Key fingerprint = B5F6 68A4 EC45 C309 6770  38C4 50E8 2740 9E0C F20A

Frankie says: Relax