FreeBSD has serious problems with focus, longevity, and lifecycle

Kaya Saman kayasaman at
Thu Jan 19 16:06:40 UTC 2012

On 19/01/12 11:18, Doug Barton wrote:
> On 01/18/2012 23:07, vermaden wrote:
>> Lets talk about Ports maintainers for a while, ftp/vsftpd maintainer
>> for example, one of the options of this port is to provide a RC script
>> so one will be able to start this FTP server with /usr/local/etc/rc.d
>> script, but ... ITS NOT ENABLED BY DEFAULT, wtf people?
> I don't see any reason why it should be an option at all, never mind off
> by default. Perhaps the maintainer can elaborate on his reasoning?
> Doug

not sure where this thread started as searching my mail archives yielded 
nothing apart from this excerpt.

If this is an attack on FreeBSD as the title suggests; there are lots of 
polls taken in the decision making process over where to go and what to 
do.... I am not really qualified to give an in-depth account on things 
as have only been using FreeBSD for about 3+ years now but the one thing 
I can say is that the lifecycle and longevity is waaaay more then any 
other OS I've had experience with.

I mean as an example - I built a home 'mainframe' for myself round 3 
years ago and at the same time I built Fedora 11 on PPC as a web server 
on my old Apple G4. Well until recently 8.x was the current version 
while a recent install of Fedora on my laptop gave me version 15 which 
is soon to be superseeded by version 16. I had Ubuntu previously of 
which's lifecycle lasts for round 3 months after that it's defunct 
pretty much.

Additionally try dist-upgrading any Linux and see what happens. Almost 
the entire system gets wiped and config files in /etc get reset to the 
new package defaults.

Focus wise there is so much inconsistancy and incoherence with Linux 
that one distro uses ALSA then in the next release switches to Pulse 
audio which is horrible as it gives you no or limited control over the 
sound card. init.d. scripts get tied into service system management and 
then with very limited documentation no one knows what's going on.

Regarding focus I beleive that FreeBSD is a viable alternative to Linux 
as ever package (almost) is in the ports repo and it's my personal 
opinion that the only thing that let's FreeBSD down is the hardware 
support and some multimedia support otherwise I would have switched to 
using FBSD on my notebooks and desktops long ago. For servers however, 
it is the only option in my opinion as it will do everything that Linux 
can but be increadibly stable and have small footprint to boot. 
Additionally version and package upgrades as mentioned are increadibly 
easy and painless.

The following of FreeBSD may not be very large in most areas which let's 
it down as in my understanding if one is not in the North Americas 
FreeBSD is seldom used especially on a professional level. I mean as an 
out of work UNIX engineer for almost a year now, while telling 
recruiters or companies that 'I'm a UNIX engineer' the reply is 
generally 'oh ok so you're a Linux engineer'... erm ????

Actually as a big fan of Solaris as well, the reason I'm not mentioning 
it is because natively there is no package support for it and everything 
must come from 3rd party managed repositories such as OpenCSW or 
Blastwave. To turn it into a 'Linux' beater - which FBSD does natively 
anyway and compiles directly to the CPU architecture further 
streamlining things.

Against corporate OS's like OSX and Windows, there is no comparison as 
both treat the users like idiots but then again most of 'those' 
operating systems users don't actually understand much about what 
they're doing hence the layer of abstraction.

But it is really easy to critisize; to get round those critisisims is 
the hard part. Or to understand a viable work around or working 
solution. Just as it is with any body! People can attack each other and 
say that another person is useless or hasn't got a clue but the issue is 
how to better that person or how that person will better themselves 
(which is a position I fall into currently with companies telling me 
that I don't have enough experience or other faults etc....). I guess 
here what I'm trying to say is don't moan and help by integrating and 
working on a fix or a solution. Moaning and winging takes time and 
energy and works in a negative way while being pro-active within the 
project can have a significant positive affect. - like the other day 
when I got rushed to hospital by ambulance, I got sent home and directly 
as I was (actually being carried) through the door started working on my 
shell scripting abilites.

Anyway, just my 2cents worth.



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