Subject: Re: Merging Net/Free/Open-BSD together against Linux
To: David Greenman <>
From: Matthew Jacob <>
List: port-i386
Date: 11/25/1998 14:25:03
Let me chime in...

On Wed, 25 Nov 1998, David Greenman wrote:

> >Even if such a attempt to merge were made, it would be too soon to even
> >give it a name, although "uniBSD" does come to mind.  But as a
> >mentioned in my post, merging the BSD's can be a distant long term goal.
> >In the short term, those in the core of the BSD's could perhaps start
> >thinking about small, incremental steps, like unifying some of the
> >device drivers, using a common directory structure and naming
> >conventions, eliminating the "domestic" and incorporating strong crypto
> >directly into the distribution.  (If there are any US based concerns,
> >I would be more than happy to donate a NetBSD server on a T3 in Canada
> >to the NetBSD core development team with full root access.)
> >
> >Even if the core goals of the different BSD's are different, the
> >differences are not to the degree that at least some small amount of
> >convergence can take place.  After all, there is a lot more in common
> >between the BSD's then there is with Linux, which is something that
>    The thing you are apparantly missing in all of this is that such a merger
> of the groups is a merger of people, not of source code. While the code may
> look similar, there are deep idiological differences between the groups that
> cannot be reconciled.>

Please leave open the possibility that over time this may change.

> We simply have different and often incompatible reasons
> and motiviations for doing this stuff and even if the source code were
> *identical*, no merger of the core people would be possible without each of
> the groups radically changing their views, goals, and direction.

David- it's possible to have states of cooperation and intermixing that
are in between all or none here.

One of things that Alicia mentioned that would be a worthy goal would be
the merging of some device driver APIs. This could be done in some
respects without requiring overall goals to be identical. This would
likely reduce the "cost of ownership" for all users of *BSD (which I think
is the 'best' name for a unified BSD). This area of partial cooperation is
not unfamiliar to some of us.

> Since we
> work on this stuff for "fun" rather than profit, you'll never see these ideals
> compromised.

Uh- this is not entirely true. "Fun" and "profit" often intermix in this