Heiko Wundram (Beenic) wundram at
Thu Nov 8 12:32:18 PST 2007

Am Donnerstag, 8. November 2007 20:11:14 schrieben Sie:
> 	Wow, yeah sorry man... I did not even realize you guys were having a
> funding drive. Ouch, that sucks, probably not the support you were looking
> for.

Just for the reference, do you actually know what Open Source really is? What 
its good sides are, and what the bad sides are?

Basically, even in open source software (like FreeBSD), you get nothing for 
free. Either:

1) you need it so badly that you do it yourself or pay someone else to do it 
for you, or

2) you _kindly_ ask other people to do it for you _for free_ (always remember 
that!) by giving constructive feedback and them implementing it with taking 
your feedback into account because they need it/want to implement it anyway, 

3) that simply doesn't work in the rant(ish) kind of way you gave feedback.

In the second case, you're not guaranteed that anybody will actually take the 
time to implement what you would like to see in the system, because they may 
(and most probably will) have a completely different prioritization of the 
multitude of open things to take into consideration in building a functional 
and stable operating system.

> But I have heard some great things about FreeBSD as a server. Now I 
> saw that there was a 'dummy downed' version and I thought I would give it a
> go. And man, that was not pleasant.

Sure, fine, it wasn't pleasant for you. We've heard that now.

I personally couldn't care less (and wouldn't be a volunteer to take on any 
form of redesign of the installer), because I had absolutely no problems with 
the installation process when I first installed FreeBSD about half a year ago 
_after reading the manual_ (yes, I'm a sort of freshman to *BSD too) and 
neither for the multitude of times since then (well, to be fair: I didn't go 
the 2-CD-way yet, I always did a net-install).

I switched to FreeBSD because of licensing issues with the Bluetooth stack of 
Linux (and especially the BlueZ-userland, because every, even the basic 
system headers, are licensed under the GPL), because I develop, amongst other 
development for the mobile segment, commercial Bluetooth applications as a 
day-job, and for me it's most certainly not the installer that's a concern, 
but the Bluetooth subsystem. Guess what would happen if I were to beg the 
Bluetooth maintainer of FreeBSD at every turn to implement functionality I 
need (or to fix that which is partially "broken" or incomplete in FreeBSD 
[sorry Maksim, if you're reading this, I most certainly don't mean to 
belittle your work on the BT stack by this, but I'm talking about missing SCO 
support and such]), or would simply whine on the list about how FreeBSD is so 
utterly bad because its Bluetooth support isn't as "enhanced" as the Linux 
one: noone else would react positively to my whining either, because most 
probably they don't need it.

Anyway, after having the first and second look at the system (because of 
FreeBSD's much more liberal licensing) and evaluating whether it was sensible 
to build on that which was already finished, I sat down and started to 
implement my additional requirements, and after some time even switched my 
desktop to FreeBSD (from Gentoo, which I was the ultimate fanboy of before 
that for quite some time), because I was starting to like it. All of my 
tweaking is possible because FreeBSD is open source, but with it comes the 
price of having to lay hands on the system in case I'm not satisfied with it.

If the second look at FreeBSD would've turned out to discourage me from going 
further, I would've most certainly turned away, and I guess noone on the list 
would've shed a tear even if I'd have written a mail like yours giving people 
the "hard" goodbye.

And, just to get back to what I wrote in the last mail: if you're not happy 
with FreeBSD, do yourself a favor and turn away. And do it with dignity. But 
if you decide to stay, be welcome, but if you feel something needs fixing, 
don't whine about it, but take it in your own hands. By the multitude of ways 
you can do so (PR, anyone?).

> If I may help you ask? Sure. I would 
> suggest the team working on the UI for the install to think about their
> action following a condition a little better. That would not result in the 
> user not having to find themselves in frustrating situations like the one I
> was in. Being that I chose various port options. At the end the install
> shows a list to review, containing categories and sub categories. After all
> selection is complete and install is in progress, I was prompted for CD one
> as if it needed the info for the categories list, and then it would ask for
> CD two to acquire the info for each subcategory. Just have them create a
> list kept in memory with all port requirements and build port install from
> CD2 using list from CD1 in memory. I don't know that much about
> programming, but I do believe that you must be able to do that, right?

So it seems you do know something about programming and about UI designing. 
Would it be too much to ask to actually take the time to read the sysinstall 
source (which is pretty well readable by the way), and to check why the 
decisions were taken as they were? And to prepare a patch or just a 
recommended screen order for sysinstall, which you can then submit via a PR 

Maybe someone takes the time to implement what you request, but most probably, 
it'll then be because they wanted to implement it anyway (because they found 
the install similarily irritating).

> 	Well, again... I do apologize for my comments, but I had to know
> what kind of community it is that I am presented with. I must say that your
> response shows a very interesting aspect of your community that I have been
> hearing about. Perhaps I will continue to stay informed about your
> community.

I really don't know what you're trying to tell me by this, but I guess you're 
trying to say something like the following, which I think is very true (and 
was something that made me stay with FreeBSD on the second look I mentioned 

Linux tries to be the better Windows and development efforts (by a lot of 
people) are driven by the desire to improve usability and simplicity of the 
system, simply because lots of developers take satisfaction out of 
being "better" than Windows and equally "accessible" even for the 

It's basically the wish of being "1337", cool, whatever (because of using 
a "non-standard" system, thereby being non-conformant), combined with the 
desire of the individual developer to "shine" in the community with his 
contribution to get some extra recognition in his "3733t" circles. That's why 
you'll easily get (the "lower ranks" of) Linux developers and users to react 
to your kind of comments with all kinds of replies, ranging from most stupid 
back-flaming and "M$-fanboy" name-calling up to offers to help you in the 
process of installation such as coming over to visit you, and lots of other 
things equally over-the-top (at least for my taste).

The ("lower ranks" of the) FreeBSD audience generally have a much more mature 
view on this. They're very helpful, if you ask them questions you might have, 
but they don't see it as an evangelical mission to keep you with "their" 
system, because they don't need you to look up to them. If you like it, be 
our guest and stay, if you don't, leave at your leisure. If you ask, be aware 
that we're all just acquaintances here, so don't overdo your welcome by being 
rude or taking the arm when all you're given is the little finger.

This is not an elitist attitude, it's simply the grown-up thing to do. FreeBSD 
for most of us simply is a tool to get a job done (and a hell of a good tool 
at that for me), and not some kind of pissing-contest between youths. If you 
look at the "higher ranks" of the Linux developers, you'll see the same 
phenomenon: Linux is a means to an end, and probably besides ESR, for most of 
them not a holy mission.

PS: I'm posting this to questions@, too (even though you didn't with your mail 
to me), because I think this discussion deserves a broader audience than just 
a private mail exchange.

PPS: Don't understand the term "lower rank" and "higher rank" in a wrong way: 
every community has "celebrities" in one way or another, even FreeBSD. I 
personally would most certainly qualify myself as "lower rank." Others (for 
example comitters, easily recognizable by the mail-address) most 
certainly are "high rankers."

Heiko Wundram
Product & Application Development

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