Subject: Re: NetBSD momentum
To: Lubomir Sedlacik , Bruno <>
From: Richard Rauch <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 12/29/2004 19:40:45
Hey, *I* got the wizd(8) man-page humor (at least in part?) without
reading the * lists.  Of course, I've also had
the wizd(8) daemon handle some of my send-pr material.  I was not
aware of the daemon's spell-checking features, though.  Perhaps I
have not been properly starting it?


Bruno, I think that most NetBSD users would agree that explaining
NetBSD's other features (and the fact that some of the direct benefits
sought by other systems are direct fallout from a dedication to
portability), the general lackluster response that you're seeing (or
that I'm seeing in response to your posts; (^&) is because benchmark
results are transient.  And, they kind of do end up being hype,
because they often do not reflect real life too well (or reflect
the benchmarker's real life).

Here are some things that I think could reflect well:

 * Plot a chart of some kind showing different OSs and archetecture
   types---and measure how long, for each combination, it took
   for each port of each OS to go from "I'm doing an <x> port" to
   "It's booting multi-user".  Maybe throw outliers at one or both
   ends and compute an average time-to-port for each OS.  "If you
   want a port of a UNIX-like OS to a new platform, here's how long
   it takes..."

 * How many vulnerabilities have been found and over what time
   frame?  (Pro-actively finding bugs is good.  If the code base is
   common to other OSes, the bugs should tend to be common as well,
   if the development teams are comparable.)

   I mention this since, more than once, I've seen someone assert
   that NetBSD has fewer bugtraq vulnerabilities than any other
   OS.  I'd like to see that quantified.  (^&

 * Maybe list companies that use NetBSD in commercial products
   without making a fuss about it.  (I seem to recall a NetBSD
   developer relating a story of meeting an IBM salesman.  He
   chatted for a while, while looking over the product.  Noticing
   the familiarity of the OS, he checked, and found his own
   (the NetBSD developer's) name on a copyright/banner in the
   product that IBM was trying to sell him.  No doubt, IBM had
   felt that they added some worthy additional functionality, but
   I gather that the developer got some amusement and satisfaction
   from it all...)

 * Write an essay about the "fallout" of portability, and emphasize
   that NetBSD has had security, performance, etc., as well as
   portability as primary goals for (I assume) all of the nearly
   12 years that it's been around.

Any current-state comparisons to other operating systems will be
prone to being inverted.  But recurring things (like twice being
chosen for setting the networking speed record) could be good,
as well as longer-term statistical observations.

Just my 2.718281828459045... cents, adjusted for inflation.

Shake.  Do not stir.  Let cool in a 500 degree oven for
5 minutes before serving.

  "I probably don't know what I'm talking about."