Please don't change Beastie to another crap logo such as NetBSD!!!

Bart Silverstrim bsilver at
Sat Feb 12 12:18:23 PST 2005

On Feb 11, 2005, at 4:51 PM, Peter Risdon wrote:

> On Fri, 2005-02-11 at 15:56 -0500, Garance A Drosihn wrote:
>> At 8:00 AM -0500 2/11/05, Bart Silverstrim wrote:
> [...]
>>> Since when did FreeBSD, a project always driven by volunteers and
>>> not by commercial matters,
> FreeBSD is a commercially viable operating system. I happen to think
> it's the best server OS there is - for businesses. This thread has made
> it seem, sometimes, as though the touch of commerce is anathema, which
> is silly. As I understand it, the support of commercial organisations 
> is
> vital to the project. If you want a project that pisses on its 
> sponsors,
> there's always OpenBSD.

I didn't say it wasn't commercially viable.  What I said was that it 
was driven by the volunteers.

Commercial support isn't being "pissed on".  BUT it can easily taint it 
when a commercial sponsor goes from *just* supporting to saying they'll 
support more if...and more if this...and that...oh, and you don't want 
that person over there on the commit list because he's not a team 
player.  And yes, I'm overdramatizing to try to make a point.

If they want to support it, that's great. But the thing I don't want to 
see (and I hope others don't want to see) is FreeBSD starting to have 
it's priorities driven by commercial interests or a group of people who 
want to mess with something solely because it's not their definition of 
politically correct.

The difference between driven by volunteers and driven by commercial 
interests is that commercial interests will cater to the user and give 
them what they want.  The volunteers give them what they need.  What 
they want yields products like Windows, so hobbled by bandages and 
bandaids for backward compatibility and security breaches to support 
their "ease of use" mantra that it is...well...crappy for use anywhere 
but the desktop.  What they need yields servers that are reliable and 
robust and minimize unscheduled downtime.

>> suddenly gain a marketing department
>>> that is trying to steer FreeBSD into the business sector?
> You mean it isn't in the business sector? It's just for geeks to put on
> their home computers? Somebody ought to mention that to Yahoo. And 
> let's
> hope nobody who is having FreeBSD pitched to them as a viable server OS
> for their business reads that remark as they google.

Again, never said it wasn't.  It was well made and it HAPPENED TO BE 
perfectly viable for that use.  It was never a group of people who sat 
down and said, "How can we build this OS to serve Yahoo's customers the 

Never read the remark that there's an ulterior motive behind the 
creation of FreeBSD, that it was aimed for businesses?  My impression 
was that it was created to be a good server OS.  Use it or don't.  It 
doesn't need businesses to survive, but if they use it they'd be better 
off.  It was untainted by business politics and marketing tripe.  
FreeBSD and Linux were examples of what happens when marketers stay OUT 
of the core process of delivering the project and the geeks using and 
developing the OS told users that if they wanted a feature, they might 
put it in...maybe not.  Don't like it, you can do it yourself.  Is this 
the best approach?  Probably not.  But it's how it came to this point.  
If marketing led FreeBSD's goals now, you'd have an OS that would 
require three times the RAM, twice the disk space, Ports would have a 
front end tool that's entirely GUI driven, the OS would have more 
services by default, and it would always install and boot to a GUI 
based on GNOME or KDE...because it friendlier and more marketable that 

>>  Is
>>> FreeBSD starting to have marketing dictate technology instead of
>>> technology dictate marketing?
> What changes would a logo require of the underlying technology of
> FreeBSD? That's just rhetoric.

It doesn't.  The question was, "is FreeBSD starting to have...".

>> Some of those volunteers would like to see a new logo.  Others
>> would not.  The vast majority probably do not care at all.  Somehow
>> the ones who like the present logo seem to think they can simply
>> dismiss all comments from the other volunteers who would like a
>> new logo, as if the work done by THOSE volunteers is somehow
>> irrelevant.
> I haven't noticed anyone suggest that Beastie be banished, just that a
> proper logo might be appropriate now. Here's a suggestion: Beastie 
> stays
> as the mascot. People use it as and when they wish, subject to
> conditions which are at the discretion of a private individual and not
> the FreeBSD project. And there's a new logo, as opposed to mascot, if
> the competition throws up one people like.

This distinction has been being made more and more; "change logo, not 
mascot".   I think what got people's hackles in a bind was that there 
has been periodic discussion over changing or altering the mascot 
because it's too satanic.  He's evil!  You're debbil worshippers!

This periodic infringement of religion on geek territory...the mascot 
that has come to represent what many people have donated significant 
portions of their time to working with...makes people a little edgy 
whenever the word "change" comes within fifty feet of Beastie.  They 
get a little touchy about that.  People suggesting the contest and 
people flaming the protesters should step back and respect that.

Then there's the announcement of a new logo.  The first thought for the 
Beastie defenders is that another fundie feud is starting, and they 
might use this as a way to once again try to get rid of the, 
mascot...they have made so near and dear to them.

> By the way, thanks very much indeed for the work you're doing as a
> volunteer committer. Without that, we wouldn't be here burning up
> bandwidth on a technical support mailing list.

Every list has side comments and debates every so often, as much as the 
purists hate it.  Almost as much as people hate it when new people ask 
the same question that was answered a week ago and is in the archives.  
Or is in the Handbook.  Or the FAQs.  Deal with it.  This expresses 
some of the personality of people who use FreeBSD.

I remember someone writing in saying they were an evangelist.  Someone 
else questioned if they were a real evangelist for FreeBSD, working on 
stage arguing for deployment of FreeBSD like they did.  Hey, it's great 
that you're out there being vocal, but you know what?  Everyone who 
puts even ONE FreeBSD system in their business and points out that it's 
FreeBSD, not just another faceless server, is an evangelist.  They took 
the time to learn the ropes of install and hopefully will learn the 
ropes of proper administration.  If you want a pure list that never 
discusses anything, always follows strict rules of what to post how and're going to lose potential sysadmins.  People will be too 
afraid to speak up for fear of looking stupid.  And you're going to 
look like you're on too high a pedestal to lower yourself to answering 
someone else's questions because they're just burning up bandwidth.

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