Why FreeBSD not popular on hardware vendors

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at infracaninophile.co.uk
Sun Dec 14 02:43:47 PST 2008

Glen Barber wrote:
> On Sun, Dec 14, 2008 at 5:03 AM, Wojciech Puchar
> <wojtek at wojtek.tensor.gdynia.pl> wrote:
>>> You remind me of a tech I once worked with who thought all customers
>>> were stupid. Maybe they were...
>> the difference is that FreeBSD is free software.
>> or is not?
> How is that relevant?

The tech was being paid to do a job, so he really was contractually obliged
to be nice to the customers.  FreeBSD isn't under any sort of obligation,
contractual or otherwise to do anything.

Well, apart from the exceptions where developers have been hired or given
grants to implement bits of functionality, or companies have decided to task
their employees with developing FreeBSD drivers[*].  Even so, while the
obligation of any individual may not be directly to the FreeBSD project itself,
the result is effectively just that.

Not to mention the moral obligation that developers accept to debug and maintain
the code that they give to the project.  Sure, no one can demand that a developer
drop everything and /fix/ /this/ /now/ but most developers, most of the time,
will respond extremely quickly to well-formed bug reports concerning their areas
of interest.

The difference is the degree and nature of the motivation to work on FreeBSD
related things.  Ideally developers are self-motivated.  They do it because
they want to, not because they have to or because they won't get paid if they
don't[+].  It's not an entirely  black and white  distinction -- after all,
employees aren't slaves.  If they really can't stand being nice to the idiot
customers, they always have the option of seeking alternative employment.  



[*] I'm thinking of the Intel NICs that Jack Vogel maintains in particular

[+] Although being paid to do what you would be doing anyhow is always nice.

Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                   7 Priory Courtyard
                                                  Flat 3
PGP: http://www.infracaninophile.co.uk/pgpkey     Ramsgate
                                                  Kent, CT11 9PW

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