, Greywolf <email@example.com>
From: Greg Lehey <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 03/19/2000 13:16:53
Sorry for digging up a dead thread, but I haven't had time to look at
> On Thu, 9 Mar 2000, Peter Seebach wrote:
>>> They do not mention in the press release that other BSD systems exist.
>>> Later they say "BSDI intends to form a united front for the BSD operating
>>> systems." So apparently BSD means BSDI and FreeBSD now.
>> Well, everything I've seen has indicated that the intent of marketing "BSD"
>> is to push the idea of BSD as opposed to Linux, and that is *not* intended
>> to be specifically about FreeBSD or BSD/OS.
> The press release was clearly designed to push the idea of FreeBSD (and
> for a little extra, some "value added" features from BSDI) instead of
> Linux, not *BSD. It didn't even hint that other BSDs existed, and the
> language would very likely be interpreted as "the two BSDs have merged" by
> someone who does not know that other BSD systems exist. I can see why
> BSDI would want to promote this image, but I do not think that it is in
> the best interest of NetBSD and I certainly hope that BSDI will not be any
> type of a "front" for NetBSD.
I think we need to look at where the BSDI people are coming from.
They've realised that a proprietary (and expensive) BSD doesn't work
when you can get three different versions for free. They merged with
FreeBSD, rather than NetBSD or OpenBSD, because the project goals are
closer (a limited number of hardware platforms, more geared towards
the clueless end user). As I understand it, they're currently having
trouble finding common ground between the two projects, and that's
obviously their first priority. Yes, they first need to be viable as
a company, and that's only BSD/OS and FreeBSD.
Elsewhere, however, you'll find statements that the intention is very
much to unite all the BSDs. That's a secondary goal, though, and I
think that it's correct. By merging BSD/OS and FreeBSD, BSD/OS will
effectively cease to exist except as a set of proprietary extensions
to FreeBSD. Do you want the same thing to happen to NetBSD? My take
on the merger is that the BSD projects should work more closely
together, but there's a lot of benefit in having individual projects.
>> I tend to agree that it's important to recognize that not all the
>> "BSD" systems are under one roof. (Note that in other media, like the
>> slashdot interview, I believe they pointed out the specific intent that
>> collaboration with the other BSD projects happen.)
> I hope they do. But from the press release and the interview, I
> seriously doubt it. Before Bob Bruce mentioned anything about
> collaboration, he said:
> At first much of the BSDI codebase will remain proprietary. It will
> only be freed as it is integrated with FreeBSD. There are some parts of
> the codebase that cannot be freed because the code was written under a
> contract that does not permit disclosure.
> This doesn't sound like cooperation. Jordan Hubbard added that
> userland would be merged much faster, but still no mention of
> working with anyone else or even it being available separately.
My understanding is that the intentions are very much to make
everything available under open source unless specifically prohibited
by an NDA. Note, however, that I work for neither Walnut Creek nor
BSDI. Note also that a lot of things haven't been finalized yet, so
you shouldn't necessarily compare what Jordan has said with what Bob
has said; to a certain extent, both statements are individual
intentions and opinions.
> I can see why they made this decision from a business point of
> view, but it certainly appears they they have decided to ignore
> NetBSD and OpenBSD while claiming to unify the BSD operating systems
> against Linux.
This isn't really true. It just appears that way from what you have
quoted. I have 271 saved mail messages about the subject, and I'm
sure I could find something in there to illustrate the intention to
cooperate with NetBSD and OpenBSD. It's certainly something that I
would fight for.
On Friday, 10 March 2000 at 21:57:52 -0800, Greywolf wrote:
> On Thu, 9 Mar 2000, Peter Seebach wrote:
> # In message <Pine.BSI.3.96.1000309175411.935Cemail@example.com>, Matthew Orga
> # ss writes:
> # >[moved to advocacy]
> # While I have to admit, it might be a lot of fun, I'd like to push people on
> # both sides of this to try to resolve this *WITHOUT* getting into the endless
> # ego contests that have historically marked the BSD "community".
> I think, this time, the worry isn't so much that we are verbally "excluded"
> per se as much as the letters BSD might be denied our use. What then?
> I'd hate to see us forced to frag off to be yet another *ix, *ux or turn
> into something else completely.
IIRC BSDI owned the BSD trademark before the NetBSD project was
formed, and they specifically granted permission to use the letters
"BSD". I don't see why they should change their minds now, nor even
if it would be possible.
> ...but I will confess that it bugs me a bit that we (OpenBSD/NetBSD)
> are looked on as the bastards of the community when BSD,
> Inc. doesn't support half the platforms we do.
This is FUD. As I said above, the projects have different goals.
> I also have to wonder: How did we miss out on this opportunity?
I wonder if you would have been happier if you had not :-)
> # I personally tend to agree that some of the wording in the press releases
> # doesn't quite say what I think it should say, and I am inclined to believe
> # that this is not an intentional slight.
On Saturday, 11 March 2000 at 8:48:22 -0800, Greywolf wrote:
> On Sat, 11 Mar 2000, Peter Seebach wrote:
> # I think mostly marketshare and revenue. That said, I'd expect that, if the
> # NetBSD folks *WANTED* to get in on the "merged system" idea, there'd be happy
> # feelings all around... I think the idea was to *start* by merging two systems
> # that were known to have a minimal degree of "but they were rude to us four
> # years ago". :)
> Well, cool. Let's rip o^H^H^H^H^Hborrow the OtherBSD security stuff and
> consider ourselves to have a merged code base, and then get with BSD...
> I have a bone of contention with the way everyone and his brother seems
> to want to mangle userland's layout. The various Linuces don't agree on
> it; Debian is the closest one to being sane. The various BSDs don't agree
> on it; NetBSD seems to be the only one to be sane, although the divergence
> is much less than, say, the other _commercial_ Unices which are even more
> diverse than the Linux userlands! Am I making sense yet? I mean,
> Solaris seems to be the closest stock system to being "sane", for svr4.
> HP/UX, IRIX and the rest (modulo true svr4) are what they've always been:
> Special Interest Unices who figure that they can establish their own
> standards. They _are_ big enough. (Need I even mention AIX?)
One of the things that I really think would make sense would be to get
all the BSDs and a handful of Linuces together at a virtual table and
agree on userland layout. It would be of benefit to all. This is the
kind of cooperation which does make sense, while maintaining (most of)
the individuality of each project.
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