About FreeBSD kernel newbies

Michael Powell nightrecon at hotmail.com
Mon Nov 15 18:51:51 UTC 2010

Fernando Apesteguía wrote:

> Hi all,
> I was wondering if anyone has considered the creation of  a kernel
> newbies mail list for FreeBSD.
> I am aware of two places where someone can ask questions about that:
> either freebsd-hackers@ or the "FreeBSD Development" forum
> at http://forums.freebsd.org.
> I've been following the Linux kernel newbies list for a while and I
> think it is very informative.
> Would it be good to have such a list?
Can't say for sure myself, but certain points do spring to mind - mainly 
based upon the fact than 'BSD's are not Linux. The main difference that 
would apply is the separation in the Linux world between kernel development 
and userland. Some work on the kernel while others package distros, adding a 
userland to what kernel developers produce.

FreeBSD is not Linux in that it is a complete operating system, kernel and 
userland are developed together and distributed as a complete unit. Since 
there is no separation between kernel and userland development maybe an 
alternate proposal might be for people coming to FreeBSD from the Linux 
world to endeavor to learn and adjust to what has worked for the community 
well for many years now. In other words, leave the Linuxisms in Linux land 
and learn the FreeBSD-isms. 

The FreeBSD community does try and function as a meritocracy for a lofty 
goal. It may not be perfect, but it also does try and be open and look at 
new ideas when they come around. Things not immediately dismissed out of 
hand will be debated from the bottom up, and if by the time it percolates 
upwards to the top it has survived many a thrashing it may just be 

So, no harm in proposing new ideas. Just keep in mind that many times such 
proposals have a limited lifetime and have actually been proposed before. 
The community may have bandied the idea about and decided not to pursue it. 
Then it is quickly forgotten until the next cycle comes around with some 
newcomer proposing the same thing again. It happens. Witness the "Why Do You 
Have a Devil for a Mascot" meme that continues to resurface periodically 
year after year. We got tired of that many years ago, but it just will not 
go away...  :-)

So if the larger community and it's reasoned approach decides a proposal has 
merit for whatever number of supporting arguments, and idea might just take 
flight. Whatever I, as one individual, may think about any one idea/proposal 
it is the larger community in general that will decide. 


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