Subject: Re: Bad Mistake by Announce List Owner
To: Alicia da Conceicao <>
From: James Chacon <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 12/09/2001 04:33:15
So why exactly should a disclaimer go out when the very licnese the code
folks develop on specifically allows them to release without showing any
code to anyone....

That's a large double standard and honestly would just tick me off if I were
in their shoes. "Oh...the license says I don't have to release my code or
any of my custom changes but I'm now considered a pariah of sorts unless I
do anyways? Ok, goodbye"...

The idea is to encourage companies to support NetBSD...


>>> Allowing the announcement of 4Front Tech's new sound driver is
>>> on the Netbsd-Announce List is a mistake.
>>> The code quality of this package cannot be independantly verified
>>> as source is not available and  using this driver, which works at
>>> very low levels of the OS, can compromise the stability of the 
>>> NetBSD OS for which each and every NetBSD developer has
>>> worked so hard.
>>> I suggest that announcements of this kind may not be allowed
>>> on the list 
>Here is my two cents.  Announcements of commerical or other non-
>opensource software *SHOULD* be allowed on the Netbsd-Announce,
>if they release NetBSD specific binaries.  The purests do have a
>valid point, so I suggest that a disclaimer be added to the
>beginning of each commerical or other non-opensource software
>announcement.  For example, such a disclaimer can look like this:
>The NetBSD announcement list is please to announce the following
>commerical vendor software release for NetBSD.  Note that as with
>any non-opensource software, we cannot guarantee its performance
>or stability, since it has not been subjected to a public code
>review, however this is unknown risk is a tradeoff for the
>additional capabilities and functionality that such software
>Okay, I am not a good writer, but you get my idea.  There is so
>little commercial software releases for NetBSD, especially when
>compared to other OS's like Linux, that we need to encourage them
>much as possible.
>In the case of 4front, regardless of the quality or stability of
>the drivers, the fact is they provide the *ONLY* drivers for many
>laptops.  I run many NetBSD servers, but I do all of my NetBSD
>development on a workstation laptop, where I am more than willing
>to sacrifice stability to hear 16 bit audio when playing my MP3's
>on the road.  I would not install it on my servers, but I have
>purchased a licence copy for my laptop.  This is the exact same
>reason why I like to run NetBSD on my workstation laptop, to take
>advantage of new features and driver support, but only run stable
>releases on my servers.
>Personally, I dislike the fact that 4front uses a loadable kernel
>module, since it only works with a limited list of NetBSD kernel
>releases, which do not include current snapshots.
>Just as an idea, why not offer a userland plugin API for
>commercial driver support in userspace?  The plugin API can be
>fully opensource, and companies like 4front can release their
>drivers in userspace, so that it would be independant of the
>kernel.  Anyways I do not know enough about the kernel, to know
>how well this would work out, but hey it is an suggestion, so
>no flames please.