Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (5130 mails)

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Re: [SLE] Re: Meta-discussion on the IP issues of GPUs and 3D -- 90+% of the Linux community is too ignorant for legal issues
  • From: suse@xxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 29 May 2006 15:29:09 -0400
  • Message-id: <447B4B85.9010706@xxxxxx>
Bryan J. Smith wrote:
Torvalds was also far more open and straightforward in dealing with
people than BSD's developers, who tended to be rather insular, as most
projects of the time were.

Whoa! Watch that generalization!

Hubbard and the FreeBSD team, as well as various people on the NetBSD
team, are excellent and friendly individuals.
That's why I said "tended to be", and by "insular", I don't mean unfriendly or anything of the kind. What I mean is that, from everything I've read and heard, the BSDs have largely held to key core developers, rather than open submissions for patches. XFree86 was much the same way, as were most projects of that era. The take was "If you have something to add, you should become a key developer, otherwise, don't waste my time." On the one hand, this shielded the project from the threat of having to debug someone's bad code, but it also drove away all but the hardest core from being able to contribute. This attitude, of course, was a normal outgrowth of how software is usually written, the "Lock a group of programmers in a room and nine months later, a new program is born." The *BSD developers, of course, weren't in the same room, but the attitude and style were quite the same. This does not mean that they were mean people or anything of the kind. It's just a development style.

Torvalds brought a rather refreshing breeze of openness to development, and an important practicality to GNU. To be blunt, the FSF has frequently put its ideological agenda ahead of its software. With apologies to President Kennedy, Stallman's take always seemed to me to be "What can this software do for FSF?", while Torvalds brought "What can FSF do for my software?" The answer to the latter question, of course, is quite a bit, as the past decade and a half has shown us.

That, and if you've ever met Richard Stallman, he's creepy.

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