The sorry state of open source today

John Baldwin jhb at
Fri Apr 20 15:50:28 UTC 2007

On Friday 20 April 2007 04:08:05 am Radu-Cristian FOTESCU wrote:
> --- Tom Rhodes <trhodes at> wrote:
> > What was it that you said then?  I actually cannot remember.
> Page 7: "Except for the *BSD family, whose members are either _*_backed_*_ 
> 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations like The FreeBSD Foundation or the NetBSD
> Project, or the task of individuals like Theo de Raadt for OpenBSD and Matt
> Dillon for DragonFly BSD (by the way, your donations to either of them are
> appreciated), the 500+ Linux distributions fall roughly into two main
> categories: the vast majority of the distributions are made by the
> enthusiasts, for the enthusiasts, and a given number of them are mainstream
> distros, supposed to be trustworthy and polished enough to satisfy both the
> corporate-minded user and the home user."
> Backed != controlled.

Hmm, I think even "backed" might be a bit strong in the case of FF.  FF 
provides some assistance to FreeBSD such as sponsoring some development work 
(such as on Java) or travel vouchers for conferences, but they aren't the 
only ones doing that either.  Many companies also provide similar support to 
the FreeBSD project by employing or contracting developers, submitting code 
back to the project, donating hardware and colo space, etc.  I would still 
say that a significant chunk of work done on FreeBSD is done w/o any 
involvement from the FF at all (that is, not done on hardware donated to the 
FF by other parties, or sponsored by the FF, or done at conferences while 
being subsidized by FF travel grant, etc.).

Arguably, FreeBSD was "backed" more by the old WC-CDROM folks than anyone, 
certainly more than what the FF currently has done to date.

(Note: none of this is meant as a rip on the FF at all, just as observations 
of current practice.)

John Baldwin

More information about the freebsd-advocacy mailing list