FreeBSD's problems as seen by the community

Aryeh M. Friedman aryeh.friedman at
Thu Jan 10 04:49:52 PST 2008

Hash: SHA1

Marian Hettwer wrote:
> On Thu, 10 Jan 2008 06:46:23 -0500, "Aryeh M. Friedman"
> <aryeh.friedman at> wrote:
>> I decided to elaborate slightly on the previous reply....
>> One thing that FOSS (BSD or GPL) has historical had issues doing
>> cleanly is seperating free software from free beer.   The first
>> being a very important goal and the second a unfair side effect
>> of thinking that open source by definition means free use of the
>> products.   Yes the source should be avaible to everyone but as
>> far I can tell that does not automatically and should not
>> translate into not having some responibility to the community
>> that created the project in the first place.... my approach
>> (along with 3 other small software vendors) is to have a
>> requirement to contribute back to the community in some form (in
>> work or help support those doing the work), namely it is free
>> software but not free beer.
> Please stop this. FreeBSD is BSD licenced and if you want to start
> another holy war about wether this is good or bad, do it on
> freebsd-chat. Or even better, stop here, right now.

a) I didn't start the thread and was keeping my comments to a min.

b) Contrary to it's charter -chat@ really is nothing except for a
flame redirect location (thus as far I can tell almost no one reads
seriously it)

> This really has nothing to do with the thread itself and with this
> mailing list in special.

As two your second point see item b above.  As to the first point the
OP was complaining about very nebulous (but important) issues which I
feel are symptomatic the larger issues I pointed out; thus even though
it is not 100% on the actual complaints it is still an attempt to look
at correcting them.

- From previous experiences (both mine of others) the FreeBSD community
tends to be way too conservative (yes it is good to be conservative
but to the level we do it is pathological in some respects).   For
example I think it is clear that some work needs to be done to improve
the ports system and I stepped up to volunteer to do most of the heavy
lifting (with two others helping) and on -ports@ got never ending
grief from people who thought that if it is not completely broke don't
fix it.  BTW when I was referring to other peoples experiences, one of
my former bosses was one of the people who worked very hard to bring
386bsd to the masses (not Bill) and they turned me onto FreeBSD in the
mid-90's... they no longer use any BSD because it was unable to keep
pace with linux in areas they considered critical.

I happen to be situated (extremely luckily given my general econ
condition) to be able to volunteer with the ports 2.0 effort (it
serves some of the long term goals of my company in ways that leave me
with being more comfortable with giving away some free beer).   This
is not the case for some people and corporate support rarely helps
recruit/retain such people (the reason is out of the scope of this

In short I am not saying there is anything wrong with the current
model just that it can be improved and my experience with ports 2.0
has convienced me that a certain segment of the community is just too
closed minded to even consider anything that is not already done.

> Thanks.
To avoid this a list to discuss the business/legal aspects of FreeBSD
would be a good thing.

- --
Aryeh M. Friedman
FloSoft Systems, Java Developer Tools
Developer, not business, friendly.
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