FreeBSD's problems as seen by the community

Tom Evans at
Fri Jan 11 06:07:21 PST 2008

On Fri, 2008-01-11 at 14:51 +0100, Timo Schoeler wrote:
> Thus Kris Kennaway <kris at> spake on Fri, 11 Jan 2008
> 14:12:25 +0100:
> > Timo Schoeler wrote:
> > You are making the incorrect assumption that one developer working on 
> > e.g. your /dev/uxmas in any way effects the development of other
> > "more important" parts of the tree.
> No, I didn't. I said that the work is done ineffectively as he's doing
> underprioritized stuff. Working on higher prioritized stuff would be
> more efficient, and would help the project even more.
> Given the assumption that the developer is able to do both, the Xmas
> tree as well as importing ZFS v9 into the tree.
> (I don't see the point that when somebody is really *capable* of doing
> both things, why should (s)he do the 'lower priority' thing. If you
> are at the olympic stadium and you're the best sprinter, you wouldn't
> join the marathon...!)

A developer will put his time into doing (major) things because of
either personal reasons, or contractual reasons. Personal reasons would
be because they want a feature, or a bug affects them. Contractual
reasons would be because his employer requires those features.

Some developers are truly selfless and will do things because it betters
the overall system. I think you are assuming that this is the only
reason things get done, and a developer working on the
hypothetical /dev/uxmas, rather than rewriting the fs code to allow
umass removal without unmounting first, is somehow not 'following to the
code'. He isn't, he's scratching his itch. No-one can tell a volunteer
what he should scratch.

> > In almost all cases it does
> > not.  If they were not working on that "lower priority" code, they
> > would not be working on your "more important" code anyway, unless
> > they already wanted to do that.
> That's just a lack of responsibility, morals, and enthusiasm. So, why
> code at all?

Fun, pleasure, eternal glory. If YOU want it fixed, then fix it, or try
to. I'm sure that for any problem you find, if you try to fix it and get
stuck, there will be plenty of people to help you along the way. 

If that is too much hassle, then it probably isn't important to you. It
sounds harsh, but that is the difference between Linux and FreeBSD -
there is no company out there whose purpose is to manage FreeBSD to
placate users (which brings you into the contractual side of support -
'we must have this feature or we are not successful as a company').

This is all just my opinion, I've contributed little more than a few
unaccepted patches (I'm working on my dvb-t card driver though :)


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