FreeBSD's problems as seen by the community

Dag-Erling Smørgrav des at
Sat Jan 12 05:44:17 PST 2008

Oliver Fromme <olli at> writes:
> Certainly, but as I wrote, it's not a big deal.  I have
> several other patches that I maintain on my own for
> various reasons.  For example I have a local patch set
> that enables "-c none" in ssh, so I can scp large files
> much faster between slow machines over channels that don't
> need encryption, and still be able to use ssh's features.
> I don't even try to submit the patch to the OpenSSH people,
> because they would reject it.


> I considered submitting it as a local patch to the FreeBSD base, but I
> think it would be rejected too, reason: "please submit it upstream to
> the OpenSSH people".  :-)

Incorrect.  I have done this myself in the past, and IIRC it's almost
trivial.  I don't recall why I didn't commit it.

> In the particular case that I mentioned, the maintainer
> of syscons was in the process of completely restructuring
> the code anyway, so any other patches had to wait.

Except he didn't really completely restructure it, he just broke it in a
different way than it was already broken.  I was very disappointed, but
I didn't feel that I had sufficient seniority to contradict him, nor
sufficient experience to fix it properly.

> > > (I don't even think is the largest German BSD
> > > community, but that's a different story).
> > Even in case it's the second biggest forum, it shouldn't be ignored;
> I agree completely, it shouldn't be ignored.  (Whether it's
> the first, second or third biggest forum doesn't matter at
> all; it can't be easily measured anyway.) is a native-language forum, and I suspect it suffers from
the same problems as other native-language fora: they become closed
communities with little or no contact with the parent community, and
over time they construct their own mythology of how that community
functions and acts.

I have seen this before - a complete disconnect between the reality of
the project and its perception by a native-language user group,
culminating in one case in a face to face "crisis meeting" between
members of that community and FreeBSD developers, and in another in a
flame war over an "open letter" from that user group to the developers.
Interestingly, both cases involved German-language communities.

I also dimly recall a similar situation with the Japanese FreeBSD
community, which resulted in Warner learning Japanese in an effort to
bridge the divide.  I was very amused when he started copying some of
the idiosyncracies of the Japanese community :)

Dag-Erling Smørgrav - des at

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