Future of FreeBSD

Stijn Hoop stijn at win.tue.nl
Fri Apr 9 05:15:44 PDT 2004

At the risk of feeding the troll...

On Thu, Apr 08, 2004 at 10:45:27PM +0000, Atte Peltomaki wrote:
> Hello FreeBSD users and developers!
> As an active FreeBSD user, I'm ever so interested about the future
> plans of FreeBSD and direction of developement. Many of the features
> that 5.x taunts are very impressive. But as of late I have been
> increasingly worried about the direction (or, lack of direction) things
> have been going. 

What lack of direction? As I see it, everything is gearing up for a great
5.3-STABLE release.

> Departure of Jordan and Greg. Jordan said it's not fun anymore. Is the
> strive for new features driving developers past their limits, or has jkh
> simply gotten old? Also kicking out Dillon, a very talented and active
> programmer, didn't look good at all, especially when it went down
> completely without any explanations to userbase. 

Why drag up old stuff like this? What does it have to do with the future
of FreeBSD?

> Stability of 5.x: from my point of view, the 5.x series, although
> including a lot of very fancy work in many areas, is nowhere near the
> reliability you'd expect from a stable FreeBSD release. Originally 5.x
> was due to go stable in the beginning of summer, are there any new plans
> made yet? 

And how did you determine this reliability? Why did you even expect the same
reliability from a bleeding edge release, even though it's clearly noted on
every page that 5.x is known to be not as reliable as 4.x?

> Feature-wise: things simply don't seem quite ready. ACPI breaks every
> other box,

I'm glad to hear that you sent in the reports for your 'every other box'.  Or
didn't you? Seriously, I think this is unfounded FUD. Nate Lawson and many
others have done magic in making ACPI just work on 90% of the hardware out
there. Granted, things like suspend/resume are not there yet, but then again
that's not 'breaking every other box'.

And please do not drag up specific examples of 'every other box' -- you are
commenting on the general state of affairs, without presenting any kind of

> ULE is still not SMP aware, Giant is far from being
> completely removed and so on. Yet, all these features have been
> presented in the media long ago, giving the impression they would be
> ready (soon). 

Well maybe you got the wrong impression. Certainly, what's far more important
is whether FreeBSD claims to have these features ready or not. It's well-
known that not all of these features are as far advanced as anyone would
like them to be, but then again this is Very Hard Work. I for one am
excited about all the features that have been realized already.

> Now, I'm not trying to pick a fight with anyone.

But you are trying to spread FUD in my opinion. I'd like to counter that.  Be
prepared that others will want to do the same; they may not stay civil.

> I just want to talk about things with their real names. And when things
> are going bad, things are going bad and calling shit on one another ain't
> gonna make it one bit better. I would dearly like to hear an honest opinion
> from someone who feels he knows what he's talking about, against my feeble
> knowledge over much anything. And I would really like to see FreeBSD get
> a grip again, put the media behind it, see what's real and attainable
> and go an' do it, and as a user I will do what I can to assist. 

As a user the best you can do is document all your problems to the developers;
if you want the project to go in a certain direction, or 'finish' a particular
project, you'll have to step in as a developer because that's how opensource
(or at least this project) works. You can't sit by the sideline and say 'hey
this is going wrong' while generally waving your arms about.

Hope this helps you reconsider some things,


"Harry, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day,
 give yourself a present. Don't plan it, don't wait for it, just let it
 happen. Could be a new shirt at the men's store, a catnap in your office
  chair, or... two cups of good, hot, black coffee. Like this."
		-- Special Agent Dale Cooper, "Twin Peaks"
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