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OpenBSD Foundation Announced 151

Posted by samzenpus
from the check-it-out dept.
OpenBDSfan writes "KernelTrap is reporting on the creation of the OpenBSD Foundation, a Canadian not-for-profit corporation intended to support OpenBSD and related projects, including OpenSSH, OpenBGPD, OpenNTPD, and OpenCVS. The announcement explains, "the OpenBSD Foundation will initially concentrate on facilitating larger donations of equipment, funds, documentation and resources. Small scale donations should continue to be submitted through the existing mechanisms.""
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OpenBSD Foundation Announced

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  • Accounced? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Shambhu (198415) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @04:11AM (#19993755)
    s/check-it-out dept./spell-check-it dept./
    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      i read 'asconced'. which reminded me of drinking a yard of ale at ocford university. though i can't imagine theo being against that.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by jkrise (535370)
      s/check-it-out dept./spell-check-it dept./

      Heh... actually, the spell-check-it dept. accounced they are absconscding, it seems they have abandondoned /. after spelling nazis attack them everyday!
    • 'Accounced' is an openBSD style announcement - one that can be held accountable
      • 'Accounced' is an openBSD style announcement - one that can be held accountable


        Yes, that's great. But... does it actually have drivers for modern hardware? ;)
        • OpenBSD hardware support is generally very good, with one exception; 3D graphics. There is no DRI port to OpenBSD yet, and it's not a priority for any of the developers. Everything else works pretty well. If you've got a modern PowerPC Mac, for example, you're likely to find it better supported with OpenBSD than any other operating system short of OS X.
          • by epee1221 (873140)

            If you've got a modern PowerPC Mac, for example, you're likely to find it better supported with OpenBSD than any other operating system short of OS X.
            This has certainly been my experience. There are a few issues I had in Linux that I never got around to trying on OpenBSD, but I can definitely say the only OS that supports more of my hardware than OpenBSD is OS X. Actually, at the time I installed, I chose OpenBSD because it was the only BSD with support for USB 2.0.
          • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward
            "OpenBSD hardware support is generally very good, with one exception; 3D graphics."

            OBSD's focus is not a multimedia desktop. Routers, bridges and wireless access points don't need 3D.
    • OpenBSD Logo (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Santana (103744)
      I'm sure there are enough OpenBSD stories to open an OpenBSD section with the respective OpenBSD logo Puffy instead of FreeBSD's Beastie
  • OpenCVS? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Thursday July 26, 2007 @04:16AM (#19993765) Homepage Journal
    Yep, cause this license [tigris.org] ain't free enough and, besides, we don't want anything that is better than CVS.

    You're a codin' machine Theo, but I wish you could learn to play well with others.

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by timmarhy (659436)
      we already have something that's better then CVS, it's called SVN. all this bickering and duplicated effort does is help the bad guys win.
      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by QuantumG (50515)
        Yep, I agree. It seems that the OpenBSD folks (not just Theo) think that SVN is too complicated to be secure. They want to stick with the "proven" CVS protocols and RCS file formats. And yeah, they always start from scratch because they've gotta make it BSD licensed.. and besides, it gives them a feeling of ownership.

        This is a pretty common pattern. Complex == insecure to them. Which, to me, implies that secure == poverty. I like security as much as the next guy, but living in poverty because you're p
        • Re:OpenCVS? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Corporate Troll (537873) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @04:51AM (#19993919) Homepage Journal

          Complex == insecure to them. Which, to me, implies that secure == poverty.

          No, you have your negation wrong.... If Complex == Insecure then !Complex = !Insecure, and thus Simple = Secure. The funny thing is: you cannot argue with that: simple is easier to audit and thus easier to audit. It really is that simple (Dah-dum!). Simple doesn't equate poverty, or a Lotus Elise is a poor-mans-car. (Having no radio, AC, etc...) Sorry for the "bad car analogy"(tm).

          You also forget the target demographic for OpenBSD: this is not for your Desktop, nor even for your high-load server. You can use it for that, but the niche in which it lives is firewall, NAT, transparent bridging. Places where security matters more than anything else. Sure, a bit more complex to set up, you need to work more, but this is not your moms OS.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            simple is easier to audit and thus easier to audit.

            Should be: simple is easier to audit and thus easier to secure.

          • by QuantumG (50515)

            the niche in which it lives is firewall, NAT, transparent bridging
            So not a revision control server which sits behind a firewall and therefore doesn't need to be as secure?

            Yeah, figured.

            • You do realise that their revision control server is accessible from the outside world over the internet, don't you? It probably sits behind a firewall, but the CVS ports must still be open.

          • Re:OpenCVS? (Score:5, Informative)

            by nacturation (646836) <<nacturation> <at> <gmail.com>> on Thursday July 26, 2007 @05:56AM (#19994235) Journal

            No, you have your negation wrong.... If Complex == Insecure then !Complex = !Insecure, and thus Simple = Secure.
            Technically you should say the following, where "->" is the symbol for "implies":

            If Complex -> Insecure, then:
            !Insecure -> !Complex; and
            Secure -> Simple

            Otherwise your method of reasoning would go like this:

            Square = Four-sided-figure
            !Square = !Four-sided-figure

            . . . which doesn't make sense because then you could say "and thus, a non-square rectangle isn't a four-sided figure".

            Good old Wikipedia has the details [wikipedia.org].
             
          • by CastrTroy (595695)
            Ok, maybe OpenBSD isn't aimed at the desktop, but apparently PC-BSD [pcbsd.org] is.
            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              Yes? Which is based on FreeBSD and not OpenBSD. FreeBSD which is also used by many people on the desktop (I did a while ago, but that laptop died, unrelated to FreeBSD of course ;-) ). They are really only related by their name and their license. OpenBSD is a fork of NetBSD, which came from 386BSD which also forked into FreeBSD. [wikimedia.org] Let's say OpenBSD and PC-BSD are something like cousins.

              • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

                by MrNaz (730548)
                Given that OpenBSD is a fork of a fork of the parent of FreeBSD, it's more like OpenBSD is FreeBSD's nit picking, purist pain in the ass nephew while FreeBSD is the sagely, less idealistic uncle. I guess that makes NetBSD is the slut Aunty for running on everyone's hardware.
                • True... However, pointing out that PC-BSD is for the desktop is like pointing out that Ubuntu Linux is for the desktop when the discussion is about Freesco....
        • Re:OpenCVS? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Noryungi (70322) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @04:58AM (#19993975) Homepage Journal
          Just read up a little bit about OpenBSD, and you'll notice they are not afraid of complexity. Examples that come to mind are pf, OpenBGPD [openbgpd.org], W^X, etc.

          Besides, choosing a stable and secure algorithm is not a bad idea. See this post for a valid example [undeadly.org].

          Finally, I can't help but notice that Subversion is available as an OpenBSD package [openbsd.org], so quit your yakking already.

          Sheesh, anti-OpenBSD trolls these days.
          • by QuantumG (50515)
            Dude, we're just saying for them to not re-invent CVS. There's better systems available. Move on. All the time they spend rewriting CVS to be secure they could spend auditing SVN and help more users than just themselves.

            All we're saying is that we should work together instead of fragmenting all the time.

            Why is that a troll?

            • Dude, we're just saying for them to not re-invent CVS. There's better systems available. Move on. All the time they spend rewriting CVS to be secure they could spend auditing SVN and help more users than just themselves.
              Or you could stop telling people what they should or shouldn't do in their spare time. If someone has a passion for writing really great CVS software, what's it to you?
               
              • by timmarhy (659436)
                We aren't "telling" them what to do, we are pointing out the blindingly obvious fact that a better CVS already exists.

                hell it might save them wasting their spare time, get the point?

                • No, your telling them what to spend their time on. It is their right to reinvent the wheel if they want. You never know, maybe they will make a better one. Then again, maybe not.
            • Re:OpenCVS? (Score:5, Informative)

              by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @07:40AM (#19994649) Journal

              OpenBSD has a long history with CVS. It was the first open source project to run a public CVS server; previously all open source projects had run a private CVS server that only a few people could access, and published snapshots as tarballs.

              They have a lot of revision history in their CVS repository, and feel it's important to maintain this due to the way in which their auditing process works. They might switch to something else at some point, but for now CVS is the best way they have of ensuring compatibility with CVS.

              Currently, they use GNU CVS, but there have been a number of security problems with it in the recent past. Part of this comes from the fact that, when it was written, GNU projects used the private-CVS-public-snapshots development model, so only trusted people got access to the CVS server anyway. After fixing a few security holes in GNU CVS, the team decided that the code was in such a state that doing a full audit and getting it up to the standard required by OpenBSD would be more effort than writing a replacement, so they decided to replace it instead. So far, they have OpenRCS, which is a drop-in replacement for GNU RCS (on which CVS is built). Now they are working on the CVS component, and seem to be making good progress.

              It's really not hard to understand. Considering the code quality of the rest of OpenBSD, I'd be more inclined to use their version than the GNU one if I needed CVS. Take a look at the recent BIND vulnerability that affected every platform except OpenBSD for an example.

              • by k8to (9046)
                If I needed to run a world-facing CVS implementation, yes. The original CVS and current gnu CVS do not impress me from design to implementation. When I needed to set up CVS for remote developer access, I required developers to go through a signup process which involved setting up an SSH key for each, by which they accessed CVS. I had every faith that CVS was a leaky, dangerous server, easily exploited, and we were a moderate target.

                However, I must echo the sentiments above. CVS is problematic partially
                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  I've worked with CVS. It's limitations are why OpenBSD exists: Theo de Raadt was kicked off of the CVS commit list for NetBSD, with excellent cause, andn this left him unable to gracefully publish his own fork for others to review or integrate.

                  Almost every other major source control system would have allowed him to maintain his own fork and publish it, keeping his software synced with or development integrated with the main source tree: Bitkeeper, git, Subversion, Perforce, etc. CVS fails this task pretty s
                  • by zyche (784345)

                    What in the world are you talking about?! The OpenBSD tree was originally created from source that was downloaded as source tar balls (in some way or the other) from NetBSD since no project before OpenBSD allowed anonymous access to their development tree! The NetBSD CVS server was not publically available. CVS (and atleast Subversion) requires that you have access (and sufficient permissions) to the revision system server to be able to create a branch. Thus, it wouldn't had matter what revision system soft

                    • by k8to (9046)
                      Most modern version control tools allow *more graceful* development on a *seperate system*. The idea is not to create a branch on a central server, but elsewhere.

                      That said, subversion does not support this type of thing, although the other tools do to a larger or smaller degree. (Perforce very much smaller; git, bitkeeper very much larger.)

                      It's a kind of silly observation though since essentially none of those tools were available at the time.
              • And you forget the most important reason for them to write OpenCVS. Each developer works on whatever project or program that he or she wants to. Theo and others might encourage others onto certain projects but he does not dictate programmer XYZ needs to work on program ABC. They do what interests them and what is useful for them. Now, if it happens that your needs/desires matches up with 1 or more programmers' desires then you are in luck and likely good things will happen on what it is you're interested in
              • Do you know where can I download OpenRCS? Google doesn't seem to help too much.

                Sorry, I am a newbie :)
          • they are not afraid of complexity. Examples that come to mind are pf

            I don't know about the backend, but pf's frontend is a study in elegant simplicity. Seriously, it's just about as clean as such a potentially complicated system can be made. If it's underlying code really is complex, then I'd say that they made the tradeoff of keeping the frontend simple because that's what most people will see and shifting the tricky bits to the hidden backend where the experts can hover over it.

        • by Ed Avis (5917)
          I feel the OpenBSD guys are right. In general, a simpler system is less likely to have bugs (and hence security holes) than a more complex one. Indeed the first rule of programming is 'keep it simple'. CVS is an old program, having started life as a collection of shell scripts around RCS and then been gradually borged into a C program. CVS development hasn't exactly been rapid in the past few years and it is barely being maintained (look at the CVS site on Savannah).

          CVS has had plenty of security holes
        • by j-pimp (177072)

          Yep, I agree. It seems that the OpenBSD folks (not just Theo) think that SVN is too complicated to be secure. They want to stick with the "proven" CVS protocols and RCS file formats. And yeah, they always start from scratch because they've gotta make it BSD licensed.. and besides, it gives them a feeling of ownership.

          This is a pretty common pattern. Complex == insecure to them. Which, to me, implies that secure == poverty. I like security as much as the next guy, but living in poverty because you're paranoid about security is not healthy.

          CVS is ok if you don't go moving and renaming files. Due to the nature of OpenBSD, that does not happen very often. Granted, I think OpenSVN would be a much better use of there efforts in terms of it benefiting the rest of us, but they are free to do as they want.

          You are right that Theo and friends take the simplicity a bit too far and functionality does suffer. However, OpenBSD does have its niche in my world. If I wanted to use an old machine to act as a firewall or a box with SSH access to the world,

      • by Anonymous Coward
        There are no bad guys, and there is no contest to be won or lost. Why do so many slashtards try to push their irrational FUD on to open source projects? If you want to win something then go compete at something. The OpenBSD team is just making an OS they like because they like it. There's no way to lose at that.
    • Re:OpenCVS? (Score:5, Informative)

      by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @04:56AM (#19993955) Homepage Journal
      Actually, I believe there was a good reason to create OpenCVS. Lots of sites still use CVS, but development GNU CVS is a mess and has become effectively unmaintained (leaving several vulnerabilities open). OpenCVS is intended for those sites who, for whatever reason, wish to continue using CVS, but also want some degree of security.
    • Re:OpenCVS? (Score:5, Informative)

      by zyche (784345) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @06:14AM (#19994311)

      What people seems to forget is that even if CVS usage is replaced with something else (like for example SVN) it doesn't make all the old CVS repositories go away. So, 20 years into the future (when we have flying cars which runs on water) you sit there (on your levitating chair) and wants to extract some files from an old CVS repo you found in the company's archive. No problem, except that GNU CVS isn't available on SuperDuper Windows Extra Deluxe 2027, due to the fact that code base and build system is such a mess that no one manages to make packages for Cygwin anymore (that and the fact that Microsoft (Operating Systems Division) does not any longer permit that GPLed software is used on its products.

      Ok, I'm exaggerating, but the point is that there is no fault in having a clean and maintainable code base for the future - even if it's only used for handling legacy projects.

      Besides, who are we to tell these people how to use their spare time? If anyone want to re-implement Unix in Brainf*ck, then let them.

      • by QuantumG (50515)
        Then you use the CVS-to-SVN migration tool.

        I tell ya one thing though.. all those pig-headed people who are reluctant to upgrade their CVS servers already are even less likely to do it if OpenCVS is a success.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by TheRaven64 (641858)
          The reason OpenBSD didn't do this is that the CVS-to-SVN migration tool does (did?) not properly migrate all of the history information. I suspect this is a very hard problem, given the semantic differences between CVS and SVN. If it's solved, then there becomes much less of a need for OpenCVS, but until then some people would rather use a maintained and audited version of CVS than an unmaintained insecure one.
          • So why don't they fix the cvs-to-svn tool? The gcc guys did just that before switching from CVS to SVN. Once you're out of the land of CVS' RCS-inherited braindeadness, it's easy to switch the VC tool.
      • by cromar (1103585)
        I am reimplementing Unix in Brainfuck, you insensitive clod!
      • APR is a fairly complicated project, but a lot of that comes from the 'portable' part. It would probably be relatively simple to write a non-portable version for OpenBSD. This would allow SVN to be used on OpenBSD without the dependency on Apache 2.0 code.
    • when opencvs was started, subversion was not ready to replace it

      and the drive to keep it going was partially fueled by the desire to have a home grown system that the developers understand, can easily modify, and that is completely compatible with the current cvs tree
  • Interesting (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ilovegeorgebush (923173) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @04:29AM (#19993819) Homepage
    I wonder what Theo will say about all this? 9 times out of 10 he tends to scorn things, so I wonder if he'll embrace this with open arms, or just shun it [forbes.com] like he does most things.

    Either way i'm happy. At least there's even more support for open source software and anything non-windows related.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by NicM (188290)
      > I wonder what Theo will say about all this? 9 times out of 10 he tends to scorn things,
      > so I wonder if he'll embrace this with open arms, or just shun it like he does most things.

      This is an official OpenBSD effort, all of the directors are OpenBSD developers. I'm sure
      Theo was pretty central to setting it up, he is unlikely to shun it.
    • Re:Interesting (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Noryungi (70322) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @04:52AM (#19993929) Homepage Journal
      Given the fact that it was stated by Bob Beck, a member of the OpenBSD programming teams, I think he will be OK with it.

      Besides, the OpenBSD Foundation stated very clearly [openbsdfoundation.org] that it will focus on large donations (of funds, hardware, etc) and that small donations should be sent directly to OpenBSD through the usual channels. RTFA and all that.

      I do think Theo will be A-OK with that.
  • OpenNTPD
    I'm pretty sure they meant "OpecCTPD".
  • Accounced (Score:4, Funny)

    by LittleImp (1020687) on Thursday July 26, 2007 @05:09AM (#19994031)
    Slashdot is according to Google already the Nr. 2 Source for accouncing!
  • BSD is ACCOUNCED!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I think this is great. Now it should be easier to see just how well the three *bsd camps are doing. FreeBSD has a list of donors on it's foundation web site. Heck, you can get listed for a $1-$19 donation. Sounds like they took a page from the OpenBSD folks, who would list donors on their web site and printed your name in the instructions with the CD for each release until there got to be too many. Now it is just on the web.

    But look at the overhead! NetBSD listed $10k in donations for 2006 and $2k in le
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Congratulations! That's the way to go. This should have done long time ago. Nobody wants to donate/contribute to individuals. Good luck and best wishes. - Sagara

  • Don't they realize that by establishing a Canadian foundation, they're aligning themselves with the greatest piracy threat against the MAFIAA members' intellectual property? Everyone knows OSS is all about piracy and cracking, and basing it in Canada increases that threat!

  • From their Donations page:

    We are not a registered charity, in the sense that we do not issue tax deductible receipts. The reporting overhead (accounting and legal costs) to operate a registered charity in Canada is prohibitive without a sizable revenue stream. Currently, this would divert a great deal of resources that could be better utilized in helping build good free software. We do issue receipts (not tax deductable) for all donations.

    If it's so stinking hard to do in Canada, maybe they should have

    • by shking (125052)
      Will never happen, thanks to US crypto laws & software patents.
    • Your mom ignoring potential legal consequences by not having a lawyer, etc. and (probably) submitting incorrect (b/c your tax system is FAR more complex than the Canadian one) tax forms, etc but not getting caught, doesn't mean that it is easier to run a charity in the US. It just means that doing things in certain ways PROPERLY is complicated and costly in Canada and getting away with things in the US is easier.

      You've also completely missed the point. That being that having a registered charity "would di
      • by Ritchie70 (860516)

        Well, first-off, my mom's 501(c)(3) has a board of directors which has on and off included attorneys and CPAs, and they have all been OK with the paperwork being done. There's lots of info on the web, and it's just forms to fill out. At least in the US, a few a year, and not that many. My personal taxes, as far as I can tell, are way harder, and I do them every year without any real problems.

        I continue to not accept the assertion that not being able to accept tax-deductible contributions somehow improves t

  • If so, you can pretty much forget about it making a difference.

    While i respect him greatly for his technical abilities, as a marketing guy he sucks wind. His political views get in the way every time. ( and his abrasive personality does not help much either )
    • Nope, the article lists 3 directors of the foundation and Theo isn't one of them. I expect this foundation to mostly leave Theo alone to do his thing, while independently drumming up bigger donations for OpenBSD projects.

      I remember a Slash article a few months ago discussing how Theo was super broke, at that discussion led to how OpenBSD's financial problems would be much more tractable if they'd just set up a foundation people or businesses could donate to. So, apparently other OpenBSD devs thought the sam
      • by nurb432 (527695)
        I wasnt able to read the article, but that sounds like its a workable plan, and yes i agree its good news.

        It would be a shame to see OBSD die out.
  • I don't use OpenBSD at home (as mentioned, its niche is in firewalls and routers), but I think it's one of the most underrated and well-designed OSes in the history of modern computing. Theo de Raadt, abrasive as he is, is something like a thinner, paranoid RMS who showers once in a while, and I say that with only the best intentions. Like RMS, he may be hard to get along with, but he's nearly always right. Theo, if you're reading this, good luck!
  • Organisations that handle lots of money tend to attract people who look for a job or opportunities for personal gain and have no interest in its original mission. Considering that the founding members will sometime retire or leave, how can a foundation ensure that its original culture and focus on its mission will pass on to all new members within generations? I always regarded this as a disadvantage of formal organisations. I am not saying this specifically for OpenBSD (which I highly respect), but I am

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