Scope of FreeBSD and its affect on Advocacy

Andrew L. Gould algould at
Thu Feb 17 12:07:11 PST 2005

On Thursday 17 February 2005 12:48 pm, Chris Pressey wrote:
> On Wed, 16 Feb 2005 12:16:36 -0600
> "Andrew L. Gould" <algould at> wrote:
> > Has FreeBSD Core defined the scope of goals for FreeBSD as an
> > operating  system?  If so, where?  If not, would this be a good
> > thing to request?   I think it would provide the advocacy list a
> > framework in which to  work.
> Quoting from
>l :
> "1.3.2 FreeBSD Project Goals
> Contributed by Jordan Hubbard.
> The goals of the FreeBSD Project are to provide software that may be
> used for any purpose and without strings attached. Many of us have a
> significant investment in the code (and project) and would certainly
> not mind a little financial compensation now and then, but we are
> definitely not prepared to insist on it. We believe that our first
> and foremost ``mission'' is to provide code to any and all comers,
> and for whatever purpose, so that the code gets the widest possible
> use and provides the widest possible benefit. This is, I believe, one
> of the most fundamental goals of Free Software and one that we
> enthusiastically support.
> That code in our source tree which falls under the GNU General Public
> License (GPL) or Library General Public License (LGPL) comes with
> slightly more strings attached, though at least on the side of
> enforced access rather than the usual opposite. Due to the additional
> complexities that can evolve in the commercial use of GPL software we
> do, however, prefer software submitted under the more relaxed BSD
> copyright when it is a reasonable option to do so."
> -Chris

Hmm, sort of broad.

When FreeBSD Core prioritizes new features to develop, they are making 
strategic decisions.  What drives these decisions?  I refuse to believe 
that the direction of development is based purely upon whim and 
argumentation.  In the absence of formal guidelines, I prefer to 
believe that there are informal, shared goals and principles that guide 
these decisions.  Certainly, the quality of the operating system 
supports this belief.

Interestingly, although each *BSD has its own focus, it is possible that 
these values are the same at fundamental levels across *BSD's.

The next logical step in this message would be to suggest that Core 
discuss the shared values and goals of the Project, and document them 
to some degree.  Since the most relevant values manifest themselves in 
code, the Core is the appropriate source (no pun intended).  Given the 
bloodfest that occurred over the logo issue, however........

What if Jerry Springer were to host a "*BSD values" discussion at 

All kidding aside, it would be cool to get current and past committers 
to contribute their thoughts on this matter.  It's good material for a 
panel discussion; and the results could help define the community for 

Andrew Gould

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