Why FreeBSD not popular on hardware vendors

Tyson Boellstorff perlcat at alltel.net
Thu Dec 11 12:47:17 PST 2008

On Thursday 11 December 2008 13:55:04 Chad Perrin wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 11, 2008 at 08:32:20PM +0100, Wojciech Puchar wrote:
> > >Please stop trolling.
> >
> > having different opinion than yours isn't trolling.
> > and i WILL NOT stop writing my opinions just because your is different.
> It's not just that you have a different opinion than me -- it's that
> every time someone brings up anything related to migration from some
> other OS to FreeBSD, you basically tell them to go away.  This is
> unproductive, leads to endless argument on the mailing list, and
> generally makes everyone unhappy.  That sounds suspiciously like trolling
> to me.

In Wojciech's defense, he is technically skilled, has found use for FreeBSD, 
and spends his time on the mailing list answering questions. I enjoy his 
opinions, and if FreeBSD ever needed a BOFH, he'd be my first choice. Not to 
say that he knows everything about everything -- that's my Ex's job.

The answers he gives are somewhat abrupt and definitely coloured by his 
experiences and ego -- if you want your hand held, he is not your guy. 
However, he has valid points, and isn't trolling. It's just who he is. It's a 
cultural thing, and his input is valuable enough that I don't filter him out 
or stir him up. If you recall, on the mailing list, there are cautions not to 
waste people's time with FAQ questions due to the response they may get, and 
from what I've seen over time, the people on the list have been kind and gone 
well beyond the 'RTFM' answer I'd have given most inquiries if it was up to 

I guess what I'm saying is that Wojciech acts well within the expected 
guidelines on the list, and if you don't like his answers, you certainly are 
not obligated to respond. I don't respond to 99% of his responses, but I am 
seeing a dogpile coming on, and I'm not so sure that's a good idea.

If we want FreeBSD to grow to where vendors pick up obscure and not-so-obscure 
devices and support it more than it is now, we need publicity. If we need 
publicity, we need marketing types. If we need marketing types, we need to 
pay them, and we need to put up with them, and even be nice to them. I'm not 
so sure I want to pay that price. 

As it stands right now, it's a meritocracy -- those with the skills share 
their work with others with the skills. It is bound together by the respect 
we have for each other, and there's not much name-calling going on. The 
product is technically sound, has better hardware support than other *ixes (I 
run OpenBSD on servers -- but not on the laptop beause of the lack of laptop 
support), and gets the job done well. The documentation is simply phenomenal. 
I'm good with that. I'm also more than pleased that there are barriers to 
entry based upon a basic unix knowledge level -- I've had one too many 
encounters with the unwashed to want to go that direction. Linux developers 
spend more time catering to that crowd, and IMO, it suffers for it as much as 
it benefits from it.

If someone wants to commercialize FreeBSD, they are welcome to do so within 
the terms of the license -- the more the merrier. But asking the list to 
hand-hold is a bit much -- we're adults here with real jobs that we should be 
doing. Getting an opinion from a person with skills isn't such a bad thing, 
and I think the list benefits from his knowledge. To be completely honest, 
I'd rather get the right information from a person who cannot relate than no 
answer at all from people who are more friendly.

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