Subject: Re: NetBSD momentum
To: Bruno <>
From: Andy Ruhl <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 12/22/2004 10:49:38
On Wed, 22 Dec 2004 16:27:07 +0000, Bruno <> wrote:
> David Brownlee wrote:
> >
> >     One of NetBSD's failings has been in not communicating what
> >     it can do. I don't think we should be spamming the world
> >     about "how cool we are because we are faster than X at the
> >     moment", but I do think we should make the information
> >     available so we can tell if we are faster, or not, and in
> >     what areas.
> >
> Totally agree on this, and now is a great moment to show the weak and
> strong points.
> Both FreeBSD and NetBSD are new stable releases, and both brought
> expectations.
> >     The original scalability benchmarks were invaluable in
> >     pointing out areas in which we were not as good as we should
> >     have been, and motivating developers to fix them. That is
> >     going to work both ways - if we have a benchmark showing
> >     how much faster we are than FreeBSD it will push FreeBSD
> >     developers to speed up their code. Its a virtuous cycle.
> >
> A cycle of developer motivation can't be bad, no matter what OS. :)

This may be a tangent, but it's worth saying I think.

The main premise that NetBSD was founded on, platform portability, is
becoming more and more relevant as time goes on (probably to the
contrary of what a lot of people would have thought just a few years

Now, NetBSD always was a good operating system, but it tended to lack
features of FreeBSD. I think this is still probably true and it's a
hurdle to certain types of people. Fine.

I think it makes more sense to play the platform angle. I think the
very existence of more FreeBSD ports (ports in the NetBSD definition)
means that the viability of i386 (as a server anyway) is dropping by
the day. I don't think this is any big surprise to anyone.

But the question is, what is going to be the next platform du jour?
FreeBSD sort of "hung their hats" on a single platform in order to
concentrate on other things. Are they now fishing for a new platform
du jour (maybe this is old news, I don't know)?

If this is the case, this makes a strong case for using NetBSD since
moving between hardware platforms is almost trivial. I'm not sure I
would get warm and fuzzys if I needed to move from, say, i386 to amd64
on FreeBSD. This is no problem on NetBSD.

AND, call me crazy, but I might even go so far as to say that Power PC
will be the next platform du jour in the next few years. What OS will
support it best? I have my vote prepared already...