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Open Source BSD

OpenBSD Fork Bitrig Announced 178

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the netcraft-confirms-netbsd-developers-arming-for-war dept.
With the goal of bringing more experimental development to the OpenBSD code base, a few developers have announced a fork named Bitrig. According to their FAQ, Bitrig aims to build a small system targeting only modern hardware and "be a very commercially friendly code base by using non-viral licenses where possible." Their first step toward that goal was removing GCC in favor of LLVM/Clang. The project roadmap shows their future goals as adding FUSE support, improving multiprocessing, porting the system to ARM, and replacing the GNU C++ library with LLVM's.
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OpenBSD Fork Bitrig Announced

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  • by ArhcAngel (247594) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @12:49PM (#40311769)

    If they contribute back to the main trunk, then I think all is well.

    The double edged sword of the BSD License. I'm sure they will probably contribute back but unlike the GPL there is nothing legally to compel them to.

  • Re:No interest (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Applekid (993327) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @01:03PM (#40312007)

    Freedom -- true freedom -- is about people having the ability to be assholes if they choose.

  • by Conley Index (957833) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @01:07PM (#40312051)

    Most points of their agenda are common with FreeBSD and some are already done there or actively been worked on. No one would stand in their way porting WAPBL from NetBSD (if done decently). Ok, stripping the base is (fortunatelly) not on the FreeBSD agenda, but making most of it optional for embedded needs is.

    From their FAQ, "OpenBSD [...] has some of the best code around". Ok, but I still do not buy it. If they want to leave some of the conservatism that comes with the security focus of OpenBSD behind (from the article), I do not find a real reason why they started with OpenBSD.

    Not that some more good, modern code with any of the BSD would be wrong...

  • Re:No interest (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Goaway (82658) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @01:14PM (#40312109) Homepage

    Why would those companies want to have to maintain their own forks and keep those up to date?

  • by bmo (77928) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @01:18PM (#40312161)

    "be a very commercially friendly code base by using non-viral licenses where possible."

    The advantages to Linux over BSD licensed operating systems is that improvements are reinvested in the code base, by mandate. This accelerates development at a much faster rate than we've seen with any of the BSDs since it is a positive feedback loop. Contrary to this, companies take BSD code, improve it, and tend to release nothing back. Because they don't have to. Look at OSX.

    So now we have a project that is "focused on modern hardware and SMP" among other things. Compare and contrast to Linux which keeps up with modern hardware a lot better than any of the BSDs. I'm betting the goal of "keeping up with modern hardware" is going to fall by the wayside when they eventually discover how difficult it is when it's just them doing all the heavy lifting.

    I also take issue with the "commercially friendly" jab. Linux is GPL, and it's commercially friendly. Sensible companies are not afraid one bit of using Linux. The ones who are don't understand what they're missing when it comes to the code reinvestment cycle.

    BMO Downmods coming in 3... 2 ... 1...

  • by jonadab (583620) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @02:18PM (#40312919) Homepage Journal
    > The double edged sword of the BSD License. I'm sure they will probably
    > contribute back but unlike the GPL there is nothing legally to compel them to.

    In practice, this only matters if the project is so stagnant that it doesn't actually matter any more after all.

    If the project is active, the work of maintaining your changes (either by constantly updating your patches every time an upstream change breaks them or, if you prefer to go the clean fork route, porting over or reimplementing upstream changes that you specifically want) is so burdensome that any reasonably competent developer will WANT to get his changes incorporated upstream just so he can get off the maintenance treadmill for a bit and maybe have time to implement something else.
  • Re:No interest (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MartinG (52587) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @04:01PM (#40314493) Homepage Journal

    Including the freedom to take away other peoples freedom, I suppose?

Computer Science is the only discipline in which we view adding a new wing to a building as being maintenance -- Jim Horning