OpenBSD Journal

OpenBSD: Hackers meet Soldiers

Contributed by jose on from the well-funded-brain-trusts dept. was the first of a few people to send us this one:
"OpenBSD has a well-deserved reputation for fanatical security. Why is the U.S. military funding it? What do you get out of it? Cameron Laird and George Peter Staplin investigate and talk to Theo de Raadt, the creator, overseer, and taskmaster of the OpenBSD project."
It's a pretty cool article discussing some of the larger programs that the DARPA and DoD research groups have funded lately and how they have impacted OpenBSD's latest developments. The good news is that most of when gets developed gets incorporated, according to the article. Excellent to see things coming back to the wider community.

(Comments are closed)

  1. By advocate () on

    Not to harp on more publicity, but this piece was a real letdown. One quote from Theo in the whole thing?! (note, I do not consider quoting terms such as "unix semantics" or "setuid program" to be substantive -real- quotes).

    Maybe this will be useful to those who have never heard of OpenBSD, or are unfamiliar with its improvements for the past two years - but for anyone with more than a cursory knowledge of the project, this is just not good journalism. Here you have an opportunity to have Theo answer your questions, and really get down to the meet behind the scenes, how the DARPA funding came about - how they approached him, whether there were any conditions to the work, if OpenBSD could use more of this funding, etc. But no, nothing, one quote - no new insight.

    This might serve OK as an advocacy piece, and hopefully it will. But if you have two people "talk[ing] to Theo de Raadt" you would hope that they would have some more to talk about. I find that reading interviews are far more enlightening, because you're not just presented with a set of facts, but you get to hear information that goes beyond just the answers to questions. Often times, you then learn about things beyond the scope of the story, upcoming developments, sore spots (like say a mention of how unfathomable it is that Sun has been holding back documentation, given how many other private, public and governmental organizations that make no pretense about supporting open source are providing support to the project).

    If this were a paper for a class or a personal site, fine no problem, what can a student do? But if you are in a position to provide journalism, it's really sad to see that forum squandered in such a way.

    Oh well, at least it can be added to the "OpenBSD is overlooked and neat, you should buy a CD" article pile.

    1. By coldfire () on

      more or less, i agree .. the article had little information on what the u.s. gov't had to do with openbsd. the only idea i was able to extract is that they gave the project some cash, theo was able to hire volunteers as employees, ... and well, that's it.

      it seemed to be merely a summary of a few security features that openbsd currently employs.

      but of course, i'm a critic ... i think the article was well written. just didn't seem to comply with the title as much as it should have.

  2. By Anonymous Coward () on

    lively discussion on ./ about this one

  3. By Anonymous Coward () on

    Ya know, I wonder if the original CSRG at UC Berkeley ever got any DARPA money for a few notable projects...

  4. By Anonymous Coward () on

    Did not they stress every time a question about base enlargement is aked that they work on the OpenBSD just because they have fun? Now, if this is true, why would anybody take any money from the evil dod? Screw the principles, kidz. Do you work for fun or for money? Anyway, DARPA grants is a seed money for thousands projects onle few of which survives in teh long run.
    Does the project rotate around Theo like Linux around Linus? I seem not be able to find any notion of Core Team anywhere.

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