Why FreeBSD not popular on hardware vendors

Chad Perrin perrin at apotheon.com
Fri Dec 12 09:38:42 PST 2008

On Thu, Dec 11, 2008 at 07:04:18PM -0800, prad wrote:
> > Each time, I have very
> > clearly stated my disagreement with his estimation of FreeBSD as
> > being thoroughly beaten by MS Windows in that area, with that URL
> > provided as evidence to back my claim.
> > 
> the problem is that is your own posting
> (http://sob.apotheon.org/?p=335), not that it should automatically be
> disqualified for that reason. also, the focus seems to specifically on
> eye-candy:
> "open source systems are currently better at glitz and glamour than
> Microsoft and Apple systems".

It's a problem that I built an argument rather than appealing to
authority . . . ?  How is that a problem?

Eye candy was the point he kept arguing.  That's the point that
addressed.  Where's the problem here?

> i don't disagree with you that opensource stuff is much better even if
> they don't have certain things. however, is this really a freebsd issue
> or a particular version of a desktop that is offered by a unix system.
> freebsd doesn't offer the most recent versions (and that's not
> necessarily a bad thing).

FreeBSD offers newer versions of a lot of stuff in its stable products
than many comparable Linux distribution releases.  Furthermore, since I
was comparing FreeBSD with MS Windows (in response to claims that it
simply can't measure up to MS Windows), I don't think your weak protest
that FreeBSD is somehow "behind" something like, say, Arch Linux, is very

> > Each time, he has completely ignored what I said and the URL I
> > provided. He keeps coming back to make exactly the same sort of
> > claims he has before, utterly failing to addresses arguments against
> > his hand-waving statements without any logical or evidenciary
> > support.  Nobody else has bothered to dispute what I've said, either.
> > 
> while i would not use xp, somethings do work with less effort there
> than say ubuntu. there are certain programs like voice recognition that
> there isn't an equivalent for with opensource, yet.

Great.  Let's work on getting voice recognition software working better
with open source software so people with disabilities will not be
prevented from using open source OSes as effectively as they'd like.
That doesn't mean we need to abandon everything FreeBSD stands for, and
doesn't even necessarily have to mean we're making the OS more desktop
centric -- and doesn't really have anything to do with the points I was
making, so I'm not sure why you brought that up, unless you're trying to
say that since it's easier to get voice recognition software working on
MS Windows we just shouldn't try for fear of becoming "infected" with MS
Windows design philosophy somehow.

> despite this, i certainly try to demonstrate to people why they should
> use opensource rather than windoze.

Good for you.  This wasn't about you, though.

> > In absence of, at *minimum*, some half-assed attempt to make a case
> > against what I've provided, I will continue to regard his repetition
> > of disputed, unsupported statements to be dishonest or at least wildly
> > inaccurate.
> >
> i think his arguments go beyond the eye candy realm. he is not alone,
> you know. i recall reading a few years ago, the creator of the
> enlightenment wm saying that the desktop war was long lost to windoze.
> i don't know if that is correct these days, but it certainly seemed so
> then.

I was referring to a specific example.  Please either address the example
under discussion or concede the point about that example and explain that
you'd like to discuss other matters.

If I recall correctly, the E creator was talking about *market share*,
which is not the same thing as functionality by any stretch of the

> > Would you prefer I just accept his statements, which fly in the face
> > of my own experience, even after he fails to answer supported
> > disputations of their content, just because it's him and you say he
> > has to be right about everything?
> > 
> chad, you are fantasizing now. i never said he has to be right about
> everything. in fact, i know for certain that he is wrong whenever he
> disagrees with me. :D

That's called "hyperbole":


> i don't think you need to accept his statements. i do think it would be
> better if we could drop the name calling and the anger, displayed in
> the earlier posts. if he fails "to answer supported disputations of
> their content", you can certainly ask him to deal with the matter at
> hand.

How should I do so, exactly?  I presented the same exact argument to him
three or four times, and he ignored it every time.  After three strikes,
you're out, as far as I'm concerned.  At that point, just repeating the
same FUD is trolling -- so I asked him to stop trolling.

Now, this lengthy debate with you, because you don't think he's done
anything wrong, and I'm a bad person somehow for asking him to stop
spreading that FUD.

> > Even if his statement itself isn't dishonest, his unwillingness to
> > either back away from it or offer a counterargument when it is
> > effectively disputed is dishonest.  He pretends there is no other
> > side to the matter, no other valid opinion, yet resolutely refuses to
> > acknowledge such "other side" arguments when they arise.
> > 
> i find he does answer quite prolifically, but perhaps he may not have
> addressed your particular issues.

My "particular issue" was an *example*.  I very clearly stated it was an
example -- the example with which I am most familiar, but not the *only*

I'm about ready to write you off.  That's at least twice I've told you
that.  Wanna try ignoring this and try for a third?

> > 
> > I guess you haven't been reading very closely.
> > 
> well there are other things to do in life, you know.
> but i did notice that you called him a troll and possibly a few other
> things, which i don't think is appropriate for this list which is the
> freebsd-questions list and not the freebsd-namecalling list.

If you're going to try to make an argument, try to make an honest
argument.  If you don't have time to make an honest argument, leave the
arguing to someone else.

Please point out the "few other things" -- and I didn't specifically call
him a troll.  I asked him to stop trolling.  It's like the difference
between calling someone a bad person and asking him to stop behaving

As for those "other things", I suspect you're referring to another piece
of hyperbole -- when I asked "what kind of cruel, sadistic bastard does
that?" (paraphrased from memory -- not necessarily word-for-word
correct).  If that's the case, I admit the implication may appear to be
that he's a cruel, sadistic bastard, and apologize for any confusion.  It
was meant as a hyperbolic question intended to point out what my problem
is with his behavior.  It wasn't intended to literally paint him as
having cruel and sadistic character traits.

> > Oh, poppycock.  Go back and read the very post to which I responded
> > when I called him a troll.  Notice how he says things that seem
> > carefully calculated to make people think "Oh, this FreeBSD thing
> > obviously sucks as a desktop OS."  
> > 
> i really didn't get that feeling. i think it was more that he doesn't
> feel desktop paraphernalia is a high priority.

He literally tells people that MS Windows is a much better choice, and
people should just use that instead.  Yes, literally.  Read the archives
if you don't believe me.

> > If you want me to speculate, the best I can offer ... [snip]
> > 
> well you may be right, but i think for now it should simply rest as
> speculation only.

*You* asked.  I didn't offer any such opinions on the matter *until* you
asked.  Don't try getting on a high horse about it now.

> > Nice -- I make a single comment directed at him about his trolling
> > behavior, and you drag that out into this lengthy back-and-forth --
> > and somehow this means I have a vendetta.
> >
> well words like "cruel", "sadistic" and "bastard" really compliment the
> ambiance that the initial "troll" conjured up. i think you may have
> said things more 'forcefully' than intended, which is why i thought it
> was sounding rather like a vendetta.

See above -- both my discussion of the use of the word "troll" and other
terms, and the fact that in the quoted statement here I was talking about
the fact that *you* are the one that turned this into more than a single,
simple statement that he should refrain from taking on trollish behavior,
stirring up unnecessary debate (which, now that I think about it, is
basically what you're doing with me) and telling people they shouldn't
use FreeBSD.

> > In answer to your question, RTFML (i.e., Read The Fucking Mailing
> > List).
> > 
> nor is there really any need for what is commonly accepted as
> profanity by a significant number of the population. i don't really
> think you expect me to go through the mailing list to find instances of
> what you consider the "half a dozen times in the last year ... he has
> done his level best to dissuade people ...". on the other hand, if you
> are able to find these 6 references for me since you are sure they
> exist, i promise you that i will read them.

I gave you an example.  You haven't done anything but talk around it.
With that kind of reception, I'm not likely to put in the effort to
educate you on the behavior some someone on this list.  If you pay so
little attention to his behavior that all you can do is make vague
hand-waving comments about how you don't think he acts trollish and seems
to know something about FreeBSD, I don't see why you expect me to go out
of my way to offer more examples than the example of three or four cases
I've already provided.

> > http://catb.org/jargon/html/T/troll.html
> > 
> >   To utter a posting on Usenet designed to attract predictable
> > responses or flames; or, the post itself.
> > 
> > I think that better fits his consistent statements to the effect that
> > FreeBSD is inferior to MS Windows as a general desktop OS on the
> > FreeBSD mailing list than it does my statement that trying to drive
> > people away from FreeBSD when it might be the best option for them is
> > cruel and sadistic.  I used hyperbole; he said things that seem
> > calculated to draw flames.
> > 
> on the other hand, some of the words you have used (hyperbole
> notwithstanding), do ignite the fire - it is likely we wouldn't be
> engaged in this discussion if more appropriate words were used.

You should pay attention the next time he tries to justify his opposition
to letting people learn about FreeBSD as an "alternative" to MS Windows
some time -- specifically, to the "appropriateness" of the words he uses.

> > I'm done trying.  I guess, when someone offers a supported argument,
> > he simply ignores it -- and therefore doesn't have to admit to having
> > been effectively disputed.
> >
> chad, i think it's great that you are such an opensource advocate. i
> think there is little doubt wojecieh is too. i happen to agree with him
> on this freebsd matter though and i haven't found your arguments
> convince me otherwise. nor have i found some of your comments about him
> either accurate or appropriate. perhaps, some others feel the other
> way around because of your posts.

This has nothing to do with being an "opensource [sic] advocate", and
everything to do with someone spreading unsubstantiated fear,
uncertainty, and doubt, flying in the face of counterarguments without
even acknowledging they exist.  Feel free to disagree with me -- and good
work, having the common decency to tell me you disagree.  Hopefully, if
someone offers reasonable disputation of what you say, you'll address it
somehow rather than just repeating the same thing the way he did.

. . . though it would be nice if you'd stop defending people for behaving
that way, as well as avoiding acting that way yourself.

> i think you and i have exchanged enough information on this topic, so
> if you are done trying, i won't continue this beyond this post since i
> think we are both possibly polluting the list at this stage. (if you do
> wish to continue discussing, you are welcome to email me privately.)

Whoops, I typed up this entire response before I read the end of your
email -- and it's typed up in a manner intended for public consumption.

When I said I was "done trying", it was within the context of exactly
what was said at that point in your email -- and not as a reference to
the concept of talking to you at all.  If I find I have more to say, I'll
send it off-list, as you suggest.

Chad Perrin [ content licensed OWL: http://owl.apotheon.org ]
My first programming koan: If a lambda has the ability to access its
context, but there isn't any context to access -- is it still a closure?
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