Subject: Re: netbsd and linux
To: Tom Linden <>
From: Kevin P. Neal <>
List: port-alpha
Date: 10/23/1997 15:03:08
At 08:00 AM 10/23/97 -0700, Tom Linden wrote:
>	I'm curious why the two groups don't collaborate.  I don't
>	see the purpose of continuing separate and similar lines of
>	development.  It seems to me that a lot more could be accomplished
>	by joining forces.  Just some thoughts.

Oh look, a new guy! :)

I think what keeps the two groups from working together is mostly a
difference of philosophy.

The NetBSD and Linux people have, um, different ideas about how code in the
kernel (or the rest of the system) should look. There are many other
differences that will probably never be erased (nor should they be).

Another big issue is the copyright issue. The BSD style copyright allows
(encourages?) commercial use of the code. Witness the use of BSD code by
Apple in their new system. The copyright used by much of Linux, OTOH, (the GNU
Public License) makes it impossible for what they call "hoarding" of code
(which is what most companies do -- how often do companies give away source?). 

It may be a waste of resources, but that's how it is and I don't see it
changing. It'd be roughly as difficult as merging all of Christianity back
into one branch. Perhaps that's a bit of an overstatement, but there is a
grain of truth in there. 

That the two groups of developers don't work directly together doesn't mean
that there is no cross-polination of ideas and bugfixes. Indeed, when a bug
in a chip is found it sometimes happens that one group looks at the other
group's code and finds the work-around. 

(the language in this post intentionally neutral so this doesn't erupt into
a flame war -- please!)
XCOMM Kevin P. Neal, Junior, Comp. Sci.     -   House of Retrocomputing
XCOMM              -
XCOMM              Spoken by Keir Finlow-Bates:
XCOMM "Good grief, I've just noticed I've typed in a rant. Sorry chaps!"