FreeBSD's problems as seen by the community

Timo Schšoeler timo.schoeler at
Fri Jan 11 01:46:51 PST 2008

thus Aryeh M. Friedman spake:
> Hash: SHA1
> Poul-Henning Kamp wrote:
>> In message <4786F66A.5010003 at>, "Aryeh M. Friedman"
>> writes:
>>> 1. Should people be allowed to code FreeBSD as a hobby (with or
>>> without any financial reward)?  Oh course
>> This is a retorical question that has nothing to do with changing
>> the licensen.  (And so was the rest for that matter.)
> It has everything to do with license issues because the current one
> makes it so you have to work for some organization that pays your
> bills to allow you to work on FreeBSD (either directly for them or
> gives you the freedom of free time to do it)... this option is not
> available to smaller contributing organizations and individuals
> because the demands of making a living are such that they do not have
> the time or money to do it for free... the only way to repair this is
> add a clause that allows for direct fees for use of FreeBSD (I do not
> want to take up a few pages explaining the why when it is in my blog
> so I will leave the reason as an exercise for you)
>> Ny scheme that depends on us changing the license is a non-starter
>> for both practical (we'd need to get everybodys acceptance of that,
>>  and piss of a large number of users who have cleared the BSD
>> license with their laywers) and ideological (we don't want to
>> create uncertainty about the well known and deeply established BSD
>> license).
> The revision I am suggesting does not change the nature of the license
> such that it would invalidate such legal existing legal advice.  Other
> great ideas through out history have also died due to refusal to adapt
> to current situations.... i.e. a non-commercial BSD license makes
> sense only if there is not a large user base relying on stuff to
> continue working and that is currently the case.  As to fighting a
> "loosing battle" that has never detered me in the past I have lost
> some and won some.
> - --
> Aryeh M. Friedman

Holy crap! How was this license nonsense introduced into this thread?!

The license is *perfect* and works for decades now. I'm pretty sure 
people know when they can 'effort' it to contribute to an OSS prject 
like FreeBSD. If they have time to do so and the will to do so, they 
will do it. If not, then they won't do it.

The license is not responsible for coders' lives in a way to make sure 
they can 'live' (rent an appartment, eat, drink, whatever).

Furthermore: Even the GPL does not regulate this.

(Total waste of time...)

The problem is another one: It is a social one, and one of 
organizational problems.

IMHO, in total contrast of what used to be the 'philosophy' of the past, 
nowadays developers are more competitive amongst each other; there's no 
real 'team play' any more like it used to be.

Everybody works on his own stuff, to earn the merits (if there are any 
besides 'glory'). The thing that is missing is satisfaction -- if you 
can feel satisfaction that your code works, then it's regardless of 
whether it was build by you or a team you were part of.

This competition, which wastes a damn lot time, energy, and ressources 
(look at capitalism, I'm almost sorry for this: Who needs a damned 250 
different tooth pastes? For all of those there are development costs 
(though they are hardly different), lots of waste here, marketing and 
advertising costs -- lots of waste, too, people printing hundreds of 
drafts, flying from east to west coast and back, etc etc etc -- all this 
is incredibly ineffective).

Team work, as it _used_ to be, in contrast, is very efficient. Teamwork, 
though, needs a strong leader. And that is, I might point out, missing.

FreeBSD is everywhere and nowhere at the same time. As was stated in, I should run ultra stable on servers, as it *used to be*. 
It no longer is. Instead, there are drivers written for HD Audio... Is 
there something I missed? Logic or Cubase already ported to FreeBSD? No?

So why waste resources and write this driver? 'Because one can.' That's 
a typical answer that might be given in only one context: There's no 
real 'agenda' of where to go with FreeBSD.

The problem is, that when people start to migrate *away* from FreeBSD 
(like was stated in, where some guy's company could no 
longer justify to recommend FreeBSD to their customers, because they had 
way too many problems with it), then a chain reaction is started.

As I wrote yesterday, 'If I want features, I run Linux.' I take a not so 
stable OS and can connect my new USB Digital Camera to it, or my CardBus 
HD Audio device, or whatever. The Linux guys import every single crappy 
unneccessary driver into their kernel, that's why APIs are changing as 
often as some developers change their underwear, and why Linux is NOT 

If I want a stable server that can (although not should) achieve very 
high uptimes, I choose FreeBSD. However, this might change.

I simply doubt that todays FreeBSD's quality, robustness can keep pace 
with the quality it had some years ago.

I hope not to piss of anyone, this is the way I see it. We use 
commercial Unices, too, and I have a personal odyssee behind me putting 
emphasis on NetBSD, FreeBSD, then OpenBSD, then on my annoyance that one 
is bound to a foundation, the other one accepts blobs and decays, and 
the third one is lead by somebody who barks at you immediately.

Best regards,


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