why are theynot updated WAS Re: samba 3.0, FreeBSD 5.1

andi payn andi_payn at speedymail.org
Sat Nov 1 14:35:07 PST 2003

Meanwhile, on Sat, 2003-11-01 at 12:34, SWIT wrote:
> I am just curious. But for those that continually sing unix over ms praise
> you think that matters like this would be looked after so
> unixes would be easier for the common man/woman to use.

Do you think Microsoft always gives you new code as soon as they develop
it? Of course not. So, imagine how much more complicated it is for a
FreeBSD maintainer to give you new code as soon as some guy he's never
met working halfway around the world develops it!

Plus, being right at the bleeding edge and being easier to use are often
contradictory desires. You want your system to work; you want all of the
ports you install to work together; you want to have proper
documentation, and a list full of people with experience using the same
software on FreeBSD who can help you. 

All of this is often more important than having version 1.50 instead of
1.48b. Especially for the "common man/woman," who enjoys using software
more than upgrading it.

In essence, this is similar to (part of) the reason Microsoft doesn't
give you new code right away--they want to have their QA teams go over
it, and their tech support people trained on it, and their marketing
people ready to spin the new bugs into features. (Of course they also
want to find ways to charge you for upgrades, but that's a side issue;
their service packs and hotfixes, and upgrades to IE and OE, and lots of
other things, are available at no cost.)

Of course any system can be improved. For example, when Mandrake wrote a
simple script that scanned Freshmeat every day and emailed package
maintainers with messages like, "A new version of foo, foo-1.3.21, was
released today, at http://www.foo.org/foo/foo-newest.tgz", that
definitely improved the freshness of their contribs repository. I'm sure
there are ideas that could help FreeBSD. But I doubt there will ever be
a day when every port in the tree has the very newest version available.

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