[nycbug-talk] Meeting Feeler: Non-BSD projects Using BSD software

Matthew Story matthewstory at gmail.com
Mon Mar 12 11:10:30 EDT 2012

Wanted to put out a feeler about doing some meetings on the benefits and
pitfalls of porting *BSD software to non-BSD systems.  And the various
reasons why projects choose to do this, or to support alternate
distributions of their software that provide optional *BSD software.

There seem to me to be a variety of reasons for a project to do this:

1. Quality of software (including better maintenance)
2. Preference
3. Politics (e.g. getting away from GNU GPLv3 ... or worse the AGPLv3)

A few examples come to mind immediately to me, all of which are Debian

1. Debian GNU/kFreeBSD Port -- http://www.debian.org/ports/kfreebsd-gnu/
       * GNU userland + glibc on top of the FreeBSD kernel instead of Linux
2. dash -- http://wiki.debian.org/DashAsBinSh
       * debian extension of the NetBSD Almquist Shell

With several projects taking a stand aginst GPLv3 (most notably Linus'
refusal to move Linux to GPLv3, but also Debian DFSG ruling on DFDL, etc),
I would be interested in how we make components of the *BSD OSes viable
alternatives for other projects, and how we as a community of users can
help get those in search of GNU-replacements interacting and improving the
software that we all use every day.

So, anyone interested in a Meeting on dash, (or the ash port to Linux), or
Debian GNU/kFreeBSD?  And what are the major barriers to adoption of *BSD
components by other projects to create GNU-free OSes?  It seems an
inevitability that this will happen at some point, as the GNU project
continues to fragment itself further and further from anyone trying to do
work with any potential commercial application.

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