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Date:      Tue, 23 Aug 2011 10:19:02 +0200
From:      Polytropon <>
To:        Alejandro Imass <>
Cc:        Evan Busch <>,
Subject:   Re: A quality operating system
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <> <>

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Allow me some short :-) comments.

On Sun, 21 Aug 2011 16:18:50 -0400, Alejandro Imass wrote:
> Disagree. I've worked with FreeBSD since 6.2 and it's only been
> getting better and better. FreeBSD is getting faster and better whilst
> Linux really seems to have drifted from direction like you say.

Using it since 4.0, I've always been impressed that updating the
system meant a speed improvement. More functionality and shorter
startup times were things you could actually _see_ in operation.
So if you kept the same hardware and updated the OS, it always
got better.

Sadly, it's the 3rd party software you traditionally install by
the ports collection that takes away those advantages. leading
to a slower system. Like in "Windows" land, you need to upgrade
your hardware to keep the _same_ speed. Additionally, there often
is functionality that gets lost and cannot be restored again
because the programmers removed it in the attempt to "improve"
their programs.

May I name a few?

I may. :-)

The xzgv viewer, after being updated to Gtk+ (instead of Gtk)
hast lost the ability to adjust image brightness and contrast.
Keyboard interaction removed some features.

The Opera web browser now can't access a normal LPR system
anymore. It seems to require CUPS, and even if this is installed
and configured, it doesn't print (at least not in my case).
The file dialogs, as well as the handling of some context
menues got really crippled. Configuration has been moved to
a "Registry"-like pile of... you know.

Functioning programs like Sylpheed 1 (using Gtk) also get removed
from the ports tree because they are "obsolete". In the past few
days of horror, I was lucky to be able to _use_ this program
because it worked - unlike its "modern" counterparts.

I could carry on for many pages (or days). :-)

Let's just say that if you want to have a stable system, there
_may_ be cases where it's wise to install _once_ and then keep
using, _not_ touching it anymore. But you could achieve such
states with nearly any OS, so it's not specific to FreeBSD here.

> I don't think there is any doubt that FreeBSD as such is more a
> server-oriented OS that can be configured as a high-end Workstation.
> PC-BSD on the other hand is aiming more for the Laptop and Workstation
> user whilst maintaining it's FBSD core intact.

There are other "specialized" FreeBSD derivates for specific
uses and purposes.

> We haven't experienced this ever. Both with Linux and FreeBSD you will
> experience this depending mainly on hardware support. It's got nothing
> to do with the OS but with the fact that HW manufacturers don't
> support Open Source simply because they hardware is getting cheaper
> every day being replaced by software that eats up the central CPU.

In many cases, they invent something "new" instead of simply
conforming to existing standards. Just imagine you would need
a driver for your hard disk. :-)

> Honestly I don't understand where you are getting this from. I don't
> seem to have experienced anything like what you are describing. On the
> contrary, I find FreeBSD to very organized and well maintained.

In this regards (being organized): See "man hier" and compare to
what different Linusi store where. Then try to find out where
"Windows" stores things. Good luck. :-)

> This is so funny because I loved FreeBSD from the start precisely
> because it had a one and only handbook, not like Linux where every
> distro does whatever the hell they want with their docs.

Like having "no documentation", leaving it to the users to write
the documentation in some arbitrary Wikis. :-)

> Also, the way that Linux distros change the original projects and
> configuration files layout is really anoying to me.

Portability across different distributions can be quite problematic,
it's like transitioning configuration material from Solaris to HP-UX
or to IRIX, which are different operating systems.

> FreeBSD stays
> aligned with the original project and lays out the installation and
> configuration structure that is faithful to the original project.

The strength within this concept is that you can _predict_ where you'll
_find_ certain things, without _searching_ for them. This is the
strength of logic and deduction. The opposite is "don't care",
"put it into an arbitrary place" or "put it in many different
places, choose something new when updating".

> And of course, if you use FreeBSD you probably
> use the ports system and try to install everything from source anyway.

I think a major "problem" is that many users still expect that
installing software means opening a web browser, using google
to find something, then download it, then go through some
"wizard" with high interaction, "step by step", handholding
the system, and then rebooting. This also implies that they
expect every program to care for its own updates. A centralized
means like it's present in FreeBSD is, in my opinion, much more
logical and modern than those stange and old-fashioned concept
that usually is employed to get spyware on typical PCs.

> We are all
> volunteers here and we usually try to help those that have first
> helped themselves.

It's always a sign of helpful communities that help is given to
those who _first_ invest in solving the problem on their own,
and with admitting that they can't master it, seek for help,
being _open_ to that help, instead of expecting others to solve
the problem.

This is, by the way, the reason of the belief that some systems
are "easy": They seem to be, as all problems are delegated to
others. :-)

> I personally told some college student a few weeks ago to go do his
> homework and it cost me a discussion with a couple of members here,
> and I will do it again. FreeBSD's list is IMHO much more tolerant than
> _many_ other places I share my time in.

Depending on _what_ other communities one visits on the Internet,
the FreeBSD mailing list can sometime be a bit... direct - but
that's not a problem because it's not a personal offense or an
insult. And in my opinion, a direct statement often is more
helpful than something wrapped in pretty words that doesn't
help at all.

> I think it's time that Ron posts directly and trade some facts about
> all these claims. Preferably one post per fact at a time like
> Netiquette indicates.

Yes - those claims aside, I'd be interested in real facts,
real cases where the claims could be backed up with some
evidence. I do _not_ want to say that it's all wrong, because
there's a little truth in some of the statements, but without
a specific case, it's very hard to discuss that.

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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