freebsd - for the win

Tim Judd tajudd at
Sat Jun 12 19:53:43 UTC 2010

On 6/12/10, Matthew Seaman <m.seaman at> wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> On 12/06/2010 16:38:13, Chad Perrin wrote:
>> On Sat, Jun 12, 2010 at 08:06:52AM +0100, Matthew Seaman wrote:
>>> Absolutely.  Especially when you compare it to MacPorts and consider the
>>> disparity in numbers of users between MacOS and FreeBSD.  Given that the
>>> ports is maintained by a bunch of volunteers basically in their spare
>>> time, the fact that it is consistently of good quality and that the
>>> popular packages are generally updated to the latest available versions
>>> within a couple of weeks -- frequently within a few hours --
>>> it's a pretty astonishing accomplishment.
>> I don't mean to belittle anyone's accomplishments, of course, but I don't
>> find it astonishing at all.  FreeBSD's development model is one that
>> encourages people to develop what they use, and to use what they develop,
>> and it doesn't exclude people for rules of arbitrary hiring practices.
>> When your software is developed and/or maintained by way of a more
>> meritocratic system in which people are "eating their own dog food" and
>> the developers/maintainers are self-selected in large part because of
>> their *interest* in what they develop or maintain, it would be surprising
>> to me if something like FreeBSD *didn't* end up doing better than
>> something like MacOS X, which is developed and maintained under an
>> autocratic model wherein many of the developers and maintainers were
>> assigned to their respective projects (regardless of interest) after
>> being hired due to their resume bullet points (regardless of actual
>> ability).
>> That's just my perspective.  I suppose yours may differ.
> You are entirely correct, as far as MacOS X itself goes, although I
> suspect that Apples' core developers are equally as interested in what
> they do as FreeBSD's.  (Not least because there is quite a bit of
> overlap between those groups.)
> MacPorts however is not an official Apple controlled thing (although it
> does have Apple's full support).  It's a volunteer project with
> maintainers and committers in very much the same roles as the
> equivalents for FreeBSD ports.
> Given that MacOS X has, what, about 5.8% of the entire world desktop
> userbase (compare: Linux 1.2%, FreeBSD not even on the graph according
> to Wikipedia:
> they have
> so many more potential volunteers that even if their volunteering rate
> is an order of magnitude less, they'd still come out ahead.

These market statistics are pointless.  The numbers are based on
people reporting their OS and usage.  A system like Microsoft or Apple
can use a unique host id when checking for system updates which can
tabulate this data.  Linux is possible to do same, I don't voluntarily
run linux so I don't know it as much as I do BSD.  However, on BSD, we
have to purposely select, download, configure and use a product to
track, I know there are large corporations that use BSD (in one shape
or form) for their OS, it's just not reported.

I check the market share/statistics every now and then to see what the
trend is, but I consider them very one-sided and personally very
useless to show the actual usage.

My 2 cents.

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