Subject: An open apology to the NetBSD VAX list
To: Anders Magnusson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: NetBSD Bob <email@example.com>
Date: 02/28/2001 15:35:20
One of the NetBSD list remarked:
> Please, keep the OpenBSD discussions on their mailing lists. There are
> quite a lot people that have been handled real bad by OpenBSD and may
> feel bad if you try to discuss OpenBSD here. Please try not to offend
> people even if it is by accident by mentioning OpenBSD.
If I have offended anyone, intentionally or otherwise, please accept
my apologies. But, that aside, I would offer the following......
1. I will take issue with the topmost statement, since it can affect
the community effort to make a better BSD. Although I prefer
BSD's over most other flavors of UNIX or UNIX clones, I really
don't ``give a damn'' about which particular flavor I use, except
as relates to particular hardwares and how well it runs on any
given particular hardware. These flavors include Free/Net/Open
BSDs, and more traditional BSDs back as far as 4.3BSD, as may be
2. My intention of mentioning OpenBSD on the NetBSD list was not to
raise any offense towards anyone, but to provide some insight into
some nuances that the NetBSD folks seem to have lost touch with.
It was, at the least, a minor comparative analysis of the systems.
To that end, it was done as a learning experience for the NetBSD
list, poking fun, if any, at myself as the writer, and reporter
of the experience. If I choose to do that, and poke some little
fun at myself, that is my poetic license, and I accept the full
responsibility for it.
3. My goal and agenda (if I have to have one) is to make a better BSD.
That is the long and short of it, folks. Let's make a better BSD
first, and worry about politics/bad blood/old hurt feelers, later.
4. As to issues I raised in the cited email:
a). we need to fix VAX booting. OpenBSD, amazingly, has a perfectly
fine boot floppy for VAX. Why don't we? Let's make a better
BSD and fix that. Henry Spencer is noted to have said, to the
effect, that ``Not all the world's a VAX'' as related to C
programming. I take some issue with that, since I find a lot
of my ``world'' deals with VAXentoyz. But, I would paraphrase
that, to this extent, ``not all the world's a netboot'', and
surmise that perhaps we need to make a better BSD and fix the
NetBSD VAX booting systems a bit. A working tape boot might
be nice, and a working floppy boot might be nice, especially
for the 3100 class machines which abound, and many I have run
across do have that mystical DEC scsi floppy rack, inside.
The last really good NetBSD VAX system to boot on almost
everything up to the kitchen sink, was NetBSD-1.4.1. Somehow,
after that time, things are becoming lost in VAX booting.
Lets make a better BSD and fix that.
b). the other things mentioned were things that NetBSD did well,
and OpenBSD was a little short on. If anything, that is
kudos to NetBSD and OpenBSD could learn a little from NetBSD.
I, myself, am not a particularly great code jock, but can muddle around
in the code sufficient to fix my needs most of the time. But, I do
consider myself a fair sysadmin, practically, and do see things from
that point of view, much of the time. To the extent that I need to
easily install and maintain many different kinds of older machines,
including VAXen, anything that can be done to improve installations
and maintenance, is always good, in my book. The OpenBSD boot floppy
was a real eye-opener in the install mode. Immediately, an inner voice
suggested, ``Gee, we need that kind of thing in NetBSD VAX!''. Thus
was born the need to raise this issue.
To summarize, if anyone has taken offense to my original posting of
OpenBSD related issues that might be of potential interest to NetBSD
users, I offer my apology. Now, lets collectively make a better BSD!
(Now donning ancient rusty dusty musty Inet Flak Jacket.....(:+\\...)