Subject: Re: One Size Fits All
To: Frank Warren <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Jim Wise <email@example.com>
Date: 12/04/1999 17:07:58
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On Sat, 4 Dec 1999, Frank Warren wrote:
>Largely, what strikes me as so incredibly stupid in most of the UNIX world
>are the flavor wars, nonsensical religious abstractions which are meaningful
>to less than a tiny fraction of a percent of the world. What remains of
>UNIX is not a thriving community, but one that, apart from the Internet,
>would be a backwater eddy of a genre surviving only on old, junk hardware.
>Linux, the most popular flavor, is little more than a reaction to
>Microsoft's arrogance and clear Big Brother attitudes as he tries to lock
>out all the software industry until only Microsoft itself remains.
But all of this seems to ignore one key point: we're not talking about
religions, or sportscars, or bands. This is an operating system, and,
as such, a tool to an end.
In Real Life, I am a sysadmin, and a Network and Network Security
Architect. Building secure, reliable, and scalable systems is what puts
bread on my table and keeps a roof over my head the heads of my
family. We can argue 'til we're blue in the face about which OS does a
better job of reaching out to users, or adding smiling penguins to its
install program, but when I go in to work on Monday morning, I'm going
to go with the OS that makes it easiest to do what I need to do -- and
that means NetBSD.
Why NetBSD? Well, when your goal isn't to run the platform that the
latest IRC client comes out on first, or the platform with the installer
that hides what's really going on the best (and is thus the hardest to
debug when something goes wrong), but to run the platform which makes it
easy to build a real world system, you look for the system with the
cleanest design, not the system with the best marketing team.
In the end, only one thing is going to allow a system to be secure,
stable and scalable and to stay that way -- careful attention to clean
design during every stage of the development process. This is something
that NetBSD simply does beter than the competition, and that's why I use
Sure, NetBSD has a different choice of which technologies are important
to focus on, as a result of this. No I don't get perl5 in the base
operating system, or gnome binaries before everyone else, but let's look
at what I do get: IPv6 in the default configuration. IPSEC right out of
the box. Strong crypto with the OS -- and not because I'm a paranoid as
you suggest, but because the data I'm moving around in the Real World
is valuable to my clients and needs to be protected. A third party
package system which focuses on usability and maintainability, not
cramming in all the latest toys, and is still extensive enough that
there is almost nothing left that I need to install by hand.
That is why I use NetBSD. Linux and FreeBSD are perfectly good in the
dorm room. NT may be the easiest sell in the board room, but NetBSD is
what I trust in the server room. 'Nuff said.
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