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Re: Debian/GNU Freebsd

On Thu, Feb 18, 1999 at 11:58:02PM -0600, John Goerzen wrote:
> > [donning asbestos underwear]
> Hopefully it's full-body :-)

Needs to be around here doesn't it?

> Und Ein Dummkopf. :-)

*bop*  =>

> I never said nor implied that Linux would be the only OS of the future. 
> Notice how I support our Hurd development.  Choice is good.  But if you are
> wanting some real competition, don't be looking to FreeBSD.  Be looking to
> something in the future -- Hurd, perhaps.

Be that as it may, and I do disagree with you, I'd rather have a lot of
pretty good choices than what I have now:  One that is very good but is
facing an assault from corporate america (not to mention the rest of the
corporate world) and one that will probably be pretty cool sooner or
later, more likely later than sooner.

> > Why is "Linux Everywhere" any better than "Windows Everywhere"?  Don't be
> > so quick to replace one oppressive system with another.  Yes, I said
> > oppressive.  How many times have I heard in the last week alone cries for
> Linux is not oppressive.  Being GPL'd, it is no problem to split it if that
> occurs.

Linux may not be in itself, but the hordes of mostly clueless screaming
new Linux users we seem to have picked up in the past 6 months that
believe people who support the FSF and Free Software are just a few
fanatics that need to be pushed aside in the name of "progress" sure are
opressive, and getting moreso every day.  They don't have Debian's
commitment to Free Software, and if Slashdot is any indication of how bad
some of these morons are, Debian is getting FLAMED for its position on
Free Software and the DFSG!!

No, I'm not stupid enough to consider today's Slashdot even remotely
close to a good cross-section of the community, but it sure is
frightening how many people there are and how bad they have become.

> > Linux "World Domination"?  Many people have said they don't believe
> > anyone takes it seriously---look again, people ARE taking it seriously
> > and they're acting like they are on a Jihad to take down the "Evil
> > Empire" and replace it with Linux.
> Well, replacing proprietary software with free is indeed good.  What's wrong
> with that?

Replacing one proprietary app with one free app is bad.  Replacing one
proprietary app with half a dozen free alternatives is GOOD.  This is why
there are about half a dozen popular window managers, not just one.

> > What happens when 90% of the computers out there are running Linux?  I
> > see a very grim future if that happens with the community in the state it
> > is now.  In the US at least, if you are talking about Linux in the press,
> > you're really talking about Redhat.  This is dangerous because most new
> C'mon.  Since when does the press run Linux?  Linux developers, etc. have
> always been largely oblivious to the press and the general public.  We know
> that the press is largely stupid (just see the Y2K coverage they have,
> geez.)

The press brings new Linux users.  These people are coming in being fed
misinformation by the press and Redhat isn't setting them straight
because these people's misconceptions means PROFIT!

This enlarges the "community" superficially.  It increases the number of
people who claim to be part of the Free Software camp, but these people
are the ones accepting binary kernel drivers as "great linux support"...

> > users are by default Redhat users.  Most Redhat users could care less
> > about free software, all they want are binaries for free.
> Yes, that's probably a problem.  It's our job to educate them about  how
> they can get all that quality software for no cost.

No, the press is (incorrectly) doing that part for us.  It's our job to
teach them that there is more to Free Software than cheap CDs and gratis
downloads.  They need to know WHY Free Software is important.  They're
not coders, they won't see it unless it's very obviously pointed out to

> > Redhat is not a Free Software distribution nor is it an "Open Source"
> > distribution.  Much of what they distribute we consider non-free and if
> > the Open Source Definition is essentially equivalent to the Debian Free
> > Software Guidelines, well...
> I agree with you, though probably not to such an extreme extent.

Consider some of the extremity stress and frustration, but only some of
it.  I'm generally concerned that corporations are trying to run away
with Linux.  Maybe they can't easily make the kernel non-free (though IBM
has offered to "help" us with cleaning the kernel's license up some...)
but they can pollute it.

Essentially, I've been frolicking in the forest long enough to consider
it my home and I just took a walk to the edge to investigate strange
noises I had all but forgotten and there were construction workers,
cutting down my forest to build a big smog-producing metropolis.  They'll
strip the land of anything they think they can make a profit of, pollute
the air and the water, then fade away.

I'll be damned if I'll let them take Free Software away from me.

> > Linux is quickly being invaded by non-free software en masse from
> > corporations that all want to make money, as much as they can, with
> > Linux.  They all want to see Microsoft taken down, but any one of them
> > would like nothing more than to take the place as the company that
> > controls the computer industry.
> Again, I agree with the first sentence or two, but you then go a bit
> overboard :-)

See AOL/Netscape/Sun if you don't believe me.  One of them can't take on
the Evil Empire, but together they're no different really.

> > > I don't see how FreeBSD increases portability.  It runs only on i386 (and
> > > maybe Alpha by now).
> > 
> > It increases portability to non-Linux kernels, that's a start.
> You're not realizing my point.  My point is not that we shouldn't branch to
> non-Linux kernels.  The point is that we shouldn't branch to that one in
> particlar.
> Why are we talking about FreeBSD?  Because somebody randomly suggested it. 
> Why not NetBSD?  Why not more effort with Hurd?

OpenBSD is cool, but only with OpenBSD's userspace.  NetBSD is portable
and it's really nice, but the NetBSD people are NOT going to like us
building a GNU OS around their kernel.  FreeBSD people will have varied
reactions, but on the whole they will probably be supportive after their
fears that we're trying to absorb and convert them ebb a bit.  Note that
if we have FreeBSD's kernel supported, NetBSD later should the NetBSD
people be willing to not get too peeved over it would be easier.

> > Creating a BSD kernel based Debian distribution may not do a thing to
> > stop the above nightmare Linux could become from happening, but it's one
> > small step closer to being ready, just in case things happen the way
> > they're likely to at the moment.
> I fail to see what it buys us.  Really, what?

Diversity.  That's probably reason enough.  It also helps to take the
focus off Linux..  The corporations can attack Linux, it's tangible. 
They can't attack Free Software---it's an idea.

Can we benefit from Debian running on a BSD kernel?  Yes, a few things on
the technical side that will end up being good for us in the long run. 
We certainly could use any support the FreeBSD people might want to
extend to us.  Certainly their advances in the kernel would filter
through to us and there are a few things Linux can learn from BSD still.

Can the FreeBSD project benefit from Debian?  Of course, they gain some
recognition in what is quickly becoming a Linux-only world as far as
unices go for one.  We have coders just like they do and the things we do
with it {c,s,w}ould be shared with them.  They could learn a few things
from the Linux kernel to be sure.

Normalizing relations between a group of Linux people and a group of BSD
people is probably a good thing.  We both have ideas and methods that the
other group could serve to take notes from.  For the most part till now
we've kept to our own camps, ignoring what the other camp has to offer
us.  But in the end we're all in the Free Software boat together.  We
have different views of what the "Best" form of Free Software is (GPL vs
BSDish license, etc) but we generally all agree that both are Free

Whether or not we can actually make it obvious to anyone but the already
initiated that there's more to the Free Software movement than just Linux
and if we can change the course of events I see as all too frighteningly
likely or not is unknown.  Certainly it won't be enough on its own, but
it's someplace to start and couldn't hurt things could it?

"There are 3 things to remember about being a Starship Captain: 
 Keep your shirt tucked in, go down with the ship, and never, 
 ever abandon a member of your crew."
                        -- Kathryn Janeway, Star Trek: Voyager

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