[TUHS] OT: critical Intel design flaw

Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Fri Jan 5 03:28:45 AEST 2018

On Thu, Jan 4, 2018 at 10:20 AM, Tom Ivar Helbekkmo via TUHS <
tuhs at minnie.tuhs.org> wrote:

> Theodore Ts'o <tytso at mit.edu> writes:
> > The biggest problem with Jolitz's work seems to have been more social
> > than anything else.  The writeups from that era seem to indicate that
> > the Jolitz's wanted to keep a much tighter control over things, and
> > this discouraged collaboration and contributions, which led to the
> > first of *BSD fragmentation/spin-offs, starting with FreeBSD and
> > NetBSD.
> Indeed.  I've used NetBSD since it was called 386bsd 0.0, and the way I
> remember it, we grabbed that when Jolitz made it available, and had an
> Internet community playing with it and improving it.  Patches were
> accumulated, and sent back to Jolitz.  Then he released 0.1, with none
> of the patches from the 'net.  Some of the more active people ported our
> existing patches to that, and we kept on going.  Again, patches were
> sent back.  When Jolitz released 0.2, again with no patches from the
> Internet community included, it was decided to part ways, and start a
> forked project on the 'net.  This became NetBSD.  After a short time, it
> was obvious that there were two camps: one wanted to keep the OS
> multi-platform, while the other felt it was smarter to ditch that in
> favor of maximizing performance and utility on the Intel platform.  The
> latter group became the FreeBSD project.

Both NetBSD and FreeBSD emerged from the 'patchkit' efforts that would take
the good accumulated patches from the net to 386BSD and apply them to try
to cobble together some kind of distribution. It was after Jolitz refused
to play ball with other people at all. It's unfortunate he was the one to
bring 386BSD to market from the net2 distribution in many ways, since it
spawned a Diaspora that's been a mixed blessing: A diversity of platforms
has has lead to more experimentation. It's also lead to a bunch of
duplicated effort when that experimentation lead to a system that made it
hard to share.

Of course, Jolitz wasn't the only strong personality in the early days that
had issues working with others, which also contributed to the Net/Free
split, the later Open/Net split and the even later Free/Dragonfly split...

Then again, Linux is no paragon of people working together either...
There's numerous examples where stupid technical things were done because
of personality disputes (exhibit A: systemd, even Linus can't stop it).

> And yes, the stupid lawsuit came at just the right time for the world to
> adopt Linux instead of BSD, but that's the way the cookie crumbles.  The
> BSD community is doing just fine, thank you, and we still have the
> better product, so there!  ;)

I'm with you there, even if we have some denominational differences :)

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