slashdot interview?

Chad Gross avatar4d at
Thu Dec 27 11:19:10 PST 2007

On Dec 27, 2007 12:23 PM, Jim Stapleton <stapleton.41 at> wrote:
> If this has been suggested before, sorry, I didn't find it in my searches.
> Has the idea of one of those "as such-and-such" articles for slashdot
> ever been suggested for the FreeBSD core team? Recently they've had
> articles asking the readers to come up with questions to ask certain
> developers and/or groups.

I think this would be a great idea. It is a great opportunity to get
the information on version 7.0 out there. The new features of 7.0
should build some excitement around the OS for those not in the know.

> A month or two ago I figured this wouldn't work for FreeBSD given the
> usual droll jokes about it being unpopular and dead, but recently
> there was an article where a few threads grew a lot of interest for
> BSD (several people asking/answering questions on BSD, with not
> serious flaming in sight), and I figured maybe something like this
> might work to get a little more recognition and understanding for the
> OS. Would this be something worth trying? Am I missing something
> obvious that everyone else has seen?

I am a Slashdot-aholic and there are definitely a lot of folks on
there that make references of "BSD is dead," et al, but it is really
the perfect place to do something like you are suggesting. There are a
lot of younger people on there which may account for those know-it-all
comments. It reminds me of an old joke:

"All the knowledge that can ever be obtained happens between the ages
of 4 and 18. Scientists have determined this because at the age of 4,
you have all the questions. At the age of 18, you have all the

As a former person in sales/marketing, I think that the "get them
while they are young" motto has its merits. We need to inform the
people, but especially so in that demographic. The reason most of them
run Linux (I believe) is because they hate Windows/Microsoft and want
an alternative. If they truly understood the way FreeBSD is designed
and is administered/used, I think we will be able to convert quite a
few Linux users to BSD. The younger the people are that we provide
this information to, the better the project will grow.

As a user since version 4.0, it is my personal belief that the design
of the system is much superior to that of Linux and I am sure that
others will follow in that belief given the information. The central
development of the OS is obviously another reason it performs as well
as it does. If we compare the Linux Kernel + GNU userland vs the
FreeBSD way, the pros are clearly on the side of BSD. Plus, once the
userbase begins to grow more rapidly we will have more leverage in
obtaining driver support as well as native binary support (read: Adobe

I do my part to advocate BSD (I run Free and Open) on Slashdot, but we
need front page articles that discuss the way the OS is designed and
the reason why it makes more sense to do it that way. Additionally,
this can lead into how those design choices ease the administrative
tasks of the system. We can't forget to talk about the Handbook
either. The documentation is one of the major reasons it is the clear
winner over other operating systems.

> Thanks,
> -Jim Stapleton
> _______________________________________________
> freebsd-advocacy at mailing list
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Let me know if there is anything else I can do.

Chad M. Gross

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