Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Thinking about Starting a BSD Blog

This blog has been kind of inactive, but I've been playing around with a lot of things which are Unixen but which are not Linuxen in the last year:

* Illumos, SmartOS and OpenIndiana (stuff based on what was once OpenSolaris, a now dead project)

* The BSD family (FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and others). Most recently I've been messing around with TrueOS which used to be called PC-BSD, and before that I spent some time messing around with Dragonfly BSD.

Whenever the BSD folks talk about Linux licensing, and the GPL, I have to admit, I see their point, and I also see some of the points that Richard Stallman and his Gnu Purists point to.

Where I think the BSD people are undeniably right is:

1. You can't afford to lawyer all the GPL violations in the world, and can't technically even detect them, and so the question is, do you want to spend your time on that?

2. It's fair to ask the question, why not let people take stuff closed source.   If they want to fork and close source a project, why not let them?

3. It's fine to just not care about software freedom, and just want to use your computer.

Where I think the Linux people are right is:

1.  Software freedom leads to hardware freedom.  I don't think that the BSD approach is the right way to handle companies like nVIDIA that refuse to open their drivers. Having the GPL there and the problem of tainting your kernel with private non GPL garbage, is exactly how I think the Linux kernel should be handling it. It's not just a problem that the nVidia partially binary driver is a stupid thing because there are no Stable ABIs in the Kernel Space, it's also a problem because it's a binary blob in my computer and I don't want any binary blobs.

2.  Principles are worth making a fuss over.

So that's where I sit.  BSDs are cool. Linux is cool.

No comments:

Post a Comment