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Old 6th September 2013
scraft scraft is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 3
Default Is NetBSD dead?

Hi all!

Just recently decided to give a try to something new after continuous failures to rebuild FreeBSD using gcc4.9 (and with gcc4.9+gcc4.9libs in base system), since i don't like clang that much for its WebKit-ish ambiguity (the bigger code is - the more bugs it contain and the more possibilities to hide something[1] it has.)
Even with my custom, very hacked makefiles (and even some sources), it failed. There also were many mistakes (regressions?) in makefiles, which made my src.conf wrong (such as WITHOUT_OPENSSL; libarchive uses algorihms from OpenSSL lib, and if src.conf says not to build it, makefile is supposed to use libmd to build libarchive, but it uses libc instead, and libarchive fails to build, since libc in FreeBSD has no hash algo support. Some stuff connected with rpc, rpcgen and .x files also failed to build, perhaps because of WITHOUT_NIS. (so i removed rpc and got another portion of dependance errors, then returned it back...))

Anyways, i decided to look at the other BSD's, and very much liked the goals[2], priorities of NetBSD; their handbook^W manual is somewhat more friendly, explanatory and straightforward (it may have a soul, i think); their website... is quite well designed comparing to other BSDs. (not a criteria for choosing BSD indeed, but a criteria of how-fresh-the-project-is)
With portability goes not only code clarity, but also lack of code bloat, since VAX and some embedded hardware can't run Crysis better than IBM supercomputers can emulate neural networks.
With code clarity and lack of bloat goes safety and lack of dumb mistakes.
But there are problems.

NetBSD however seem old. They still use only mailing lists, which aren't very immune to spam[3][4][5][...] contrary to e.g. FreeBSD mailing lists. Development collaboration is a nice use case for mailing lists, but other than that...
They use CVS[6] (!?) which makes me unable to see the list of recent commits to compare frequency of them (there is rlog, but it doesn't work for me somewhy, and cvsweb lacks that feature).
I've heard some cries about lack of modularity in kernel and lack of SSP some time ago.
Some places[7][8] in documentation refer to 2003 and 2007.
And there is also no NetBSD advocates near me. According to bsdstats[9], it's abandoned.

So i ask - is it alive? If it's not, then does that matter really?

(Sorry for lexical\grammatical mistakes if there is any, i'm not as experienced in english speaking\writing as in reading.)
I'm only allowed to post url-s if i have 5 posts, (anti-bot measure i guess) yet i've already written my post with a lot of them, so i'll post them in old style:

1. [HTTP]cm.bell-labs.com/who/ken/trust.html
2. [HTTP]www.netbsd.org/docs/guide/en/chap-intro.html
3. [HTTP]mail-index.netbsd.org/current-users/2013/08/30/msg023238.html
4. [HTTP]mail-index.netbsd.org/current-users/2013/08/24/msg023206.html
5. [HTTP]mail-index.netbsd.org/netbsd-users/2013/08/23/msg013188.html
6. [HTTP]cvsweb.netbsd.org
7. [HTTP]netbsd.org/docs/guide/en/chap-build.html
8. [HTTP]netbsd.org/docs/guide/en/chap-linux.html
9. [HTTP]bsdstats.org


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