Lennart Poettering: BSD Isn't Relevant Anymore

Chad Perrin perrin at apotheon.com
Wed Jul 20 21:43:09 UTC 2011

On Tue, Jul 19, 2011 at 12:03:56PM -0600, Sam George wrote:
> Having come to BSD from Linux less than a month ago, I find it 
> interesting that the very thing, which Mr. Pottering is encouraging in 
> Linux development, is what has lead me to search for other options 
> besides Linux.  Of late Linux has been loosing the 'plays well with 
> others award'.  First they cut the .AppleDouble support from the 
> appletalk drivers, then they refused to let the ReiserFS code into the 
> kernel, and I suppose their lack of implementing ZFS is possibly same 
> motivation (given that they _do_ have the man power to port the code).

Actually, as I understand it, the reason the Linux community has had
trouble integrating ZFS is licensing.  That's a major downside of
copyleft licensing: most copyleft licenses (GPL, CDDL, et cetera) are
mutually incompatible.  Because the FreeBSD kernel is BSD licensed, and
the Linux kernel is GPLed, it is easier to get ZFS working legally with
the BSD kernel in a distributable form than with the Linux kernel.

I'm a little iffy on the details, though.  I have not looked into the
matter in any depth, and may have misstated myself a bit.

> If Kerningham and Richie were focused on staying 'professionally 
> relevant' UNIX would never have /existed/, and as its decedents, neither 
> would have BSD or Linux.  Is BSD relevant?  Looks like it's /essential/ 
> given the context of the question.

In general, I think you make good points, and like this wrap-up of yours.
I just wanted to point out a little-recognized detail of the benefit of
BSD Unix systems over GPLed systems, once you (sorta inadvertently)
brought up one of the effects of that difference.

Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: http://owl.apotheon.org ]
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