[TUHS] Free/NetBSD revision history (was Code bloat)

Jacob Goense dugo at xs4all.nl
Fri Feb 10 09:38:41 AEST 2017

On 2017-02-09 11:14, Warner Losh wrote:
> I thought someone had posted a github project to merge the history of
> all publicly available sources of unix.

That's the thing, it banks on what is publicly available.

NetBSD and FreeBSD both started out from 386BSD + patchkits. They threw
it is cvs, and engineered a release.

This was all, in essence, Net/2 based, then the USL vs. BSDi lawsuit
kicked in and was settled by a.o. "encumbering" Net/2 by agreement.

Panic ensued and the NetBSD and FreeBSD teams took a chainsaw against
what they had released until then.

The publicly available repos from that period are butchered.

The number of people on earth trying to curate stuff like the history
of locore.s/tty.c between 386BSD and the reboots of Net/FreeBSD is a
handfull, and I'm being optimistic here.

This stuff has been deliberately purged and hard to find. Jason Stevens
went as far as reconstructing a NetBSD 0.8 kernel because the complete
sources where nowhere to be found. Then he ran into the proverbial
coughing, chain smoking guy in a raincoat in a parking garage with
a manilla folder of a CD-ROM of 
or was it a forgotten ftp site?

Anyway, the revision history of the "encumbered" pieces in NetBSD is
probably lost, but at least the 0.8 checkpoint was unearthed.

If you take a close look at the publicly available revision history of
FreeBSD you'll notice some serious gaps as well. Someone went through
that cvs with an axe or surgical knife for legal reasons (and made a 
teleporting AMD64 to the early 90s).

What dspinellis did with git is truly awesome. But I see the scars the
USL vs. BSDi lawsuit made. I have no idea why I care, but I do. I 
that not everything can be made publicly available, but I pray stuff
such as an original FreeBSD revision history is at least dumped into
hidden archives like Warren and friends keep until the time is right.

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