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Tanenbaum and MINIX & NetBSD


   I'm guessing most of you have already seen this, but in case anyone
into the whole advocacy-schtick missed it.. Synopsis: Andrew Tanenbaum
is being interviewed by about MINIX, and he has some nice
things to say about BSD's (..and NetBSD in particular).

   Relevant excerpts:

   `` : What new features will we see in MINIX in the coming
months (version 3.2) or years?

Andrew Tanenbaum : We are now focused on three things: NetBSD
compatibility, embedded systems, and reliability.
3.2.0 will have a lot of headers, libraries, and userland programs take
from NetBSD, which is a very stable, mature system.[---]''

   `` : Why porting the userland utilities from NetBSD? Is
the goal to become a BSD-like system?

Andrew Tanenbaum : We think NetBSD is a mature stable system. Linux is
not nearly as well written and is changing all the time. NetBSD has
something like 8000 packages. That is enough for us.''

   (I know the purist abstractionists out there are screaming and
yelling "NetBSD != pkgsrc" by now, but it's sort of like GNU != Linux;
most people don't know, and if you tell them, they don't care (even if
they should..)).

   And there's some BSD vs. GPL as well:

   `` : If you could return in the past to change the MINIX
original proprietary licence to the GPL licence, do you think your
system might have become the dominant free OS today?

Andrew Tanenbaum : Never. The reason MINIX 3 didn't dominate the world
has to do with one mistake I made about 1992. At that time I thought BSD
was going to take over the world. It was a mature and stable system. I
didn't see any point in competing with it, so I focused MINIX on
education. [---]

Now as we are starting to go commercial, we are realizing the value of
the BSD license. Many companies refuse to make major investments in
modifying Linux to suit their needs if they have to give the code to
their competitors. We think that the BSD license alone will be a great
help to us, as well as the small size, reliability, and modularity.''

   Read the entire thing at:

   Note: I am the messenger. If you shoot me, you've shot the wrong guy.

Kind regards,
Jan Danielsson

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