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

Pete Wright pete at nomadlogic.org
Tue Mar 13 19:50:45 EDT 2012

On Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 06:54:00PM -0400, Matthew Story wrote:
> > i personally am uneasy with projects like GNU/kFreeBSD and the like.
> > one of the other huge benefits of a BSD unix is that it *is* a complete
> > OS, not a kernel with bolted on userland.  as such i've never understood
> > the utility of GNU/kFreeBSD.  i'm probably biased, but after working on
> > a Nexenta system (which seems pretty similar to gnu/kfbsd) i ran crying
> > as fast as i could and just put solaris back on the hardware.  it always
> > seemed like so much was lost just so someone could say that bash was the
> > default shell, and look it has apt.
> >
> I agree that BSD systems are better largely because they are ... well ...
> systems.  But I think it's a mistake to not advocate making use of parts of
> that system in other systems.  My reasons for this are 2-fold:
> 1. More people using BSD software means more eyes (and hopefully more
> hands) looking (and hopefully developing) on code, and theoretically this
> means better code long-term, faster iteration on bugs, and generally better
> maintained software.  This point boils down to it being better for BSD.

yea that is a really good point that i tend to forget when i have my
gumpy admin hat on :)

> 2. BSD software is simpler than other software, and most of the time
> better.  This point boils down to it being better for other projects.
> There may be some issues with tunnel-vision resulting from the former, e.g.
> someone is only interested in NetBSD shell, or FreeBSD SMPng, and not
> interested in the overall health of NetBSD and FreeBSD as systems ... but
> this seems to me to be a small problem compared to the benefit of more eyes
> and hands on code.
> One way to improve the strength of the projects is to advocate the use of
> the system, and I certainly try to do this.  But if someone is married to
> the Linux Kernel for legitimate reasons, or to GNU user-land for legitimate
> reasons, why not invite them to make use of parts of the system when they
> cannot use it whole hog?

yea i tend to agree with this for sure c.f: openssh, tmux et. al.  my
only concern is that as an enduser of BSD unix systems is that resources
that could be put towards documenting and testing are being siphoned off
for side projects that I am not personally interested in :)

the reality though is most certainly closer to what you are saying
though - these are all symptoms of a healthy ecosystem, lots of


Pete Wright
pete at nomadlogic.org

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