OpenBSD Journal

New interview with Theo de Raadt

Contributed by grey on from the more interviews dept.

Thanks to cruz for informing us of the following:

Newsforge has published new interview with Theo de Raadt as well as NetBSD's Christos Zoulas. The author Jem Matzan asks similar questions to those recently asked in interview with Linus Torvalds with relation to his perspective on BSD variants.

(Comments are closed)

  1. By Anonymous Coward ( on

    Alas Theo doesn't give credit where it is due. To directly implement code from another kernel is rather hard since the internals are so different. OTOH reading and learning is very useful. The GPL doesn't hinder this at all. And as a matter of fact I had a conversation with Henning Brauer who explained how he got the OpenBSD SMP code working a lot better by learning from Linux.

    1. By tedu ( on

      oh come on, just exactly what did henning do to make smp better? find me a commit.

      1. By Han ( on

        Why don't you ask him yourself?

        1. By Anonymous Coward ( on

          Because tedu is too self absorbed to notice other people working on OpenBSD other than himself, and too busy trolling usenet with "rtfm" on every question to bother looking up such things.

          The guy's just a narcissistic ass. Ignore him.

          Or better, maybe Henning will present some kind of work personally and make tedu look like an even bigger ass.

          Now, just watch how fast your post (and this one) get modded down while his goes up, despite his uncalled for slight towards a fellow contributor, and your common sense reponse to such snobbery. Welcome to Undeadly, where contibutor trolling is sacred, and casual exchange is taboo.

          1. By Brad ( brad at comstyle dot com on

            and the point of your post is? Besides proving that you're a blabbering idiot and have no clue at all. I don't see Ted's comment as slighting Henning in the least. He just asked that the author of the original comment back it up with some proof, commits, diffs, ANYTHING.

            1. By Anonymous Coward ( on

              The point of the post was to keep people from expecting reasonable answers from tedu, and how people (read: blabbering idiots) like yourself defend him for being an ass consistently here. You did not disappoint. The slight was implying that Henning had done nothing and that the original poster was lying, rather than stating Henning doesn't work on SMP and that there were no such applicable commits in CVS. One is matter of fact, the other is obnoxious condesention. Henning has made considerable contributions to OpenBSD (as has tedu) and doesn't deserve to be discreditied even if credit wasn't falling in the right places here. In fact, noone deserves to be spoken to the way tedu does.

              1. By Brad ( brad at comstyle dot com on

                He hasn't done anything to improve SMP and he even posted a comment below to back that up and said he didn't say what Han is claiming. Ted was not discrediting Henning, you're just reading way too much into his comment.

                1. By Anonymous Coward ( on

                  It's not about Henning making SMP commits or not, it's about Ted being rude to people for no reason at all. Such statments getting modded up, even being defended for his consistent rudness simply because he is a contributor is revolting. But I guess as long as he falls shy of overt unprovoked name calling, you will always find room to excuse his antics. But your excuses won't make him any less of an ass in the eys of those who have read the little jewels of snobbery he leaves everywhere that a bit of polite correction would have sufficed.

                  1. By Anonymous Coward ( on

                    he has all the rights to treat you in any way he likes.
                    you are not to police his behaviour. if you do not like
                    it then you are free to go elsewhere.

              2. By Anonymous Coward ( on

                i dont know why you make such a big issue of tedu. anyone who's following his contributions to openbsd, whether they were before joining the project as patches or after as upright code theft, he's not someone you need to care about at all.

                tedu is an unoriginal programmer who can not come up with his own ideas. people here give him way too much credit for work that is researched and done in other projects - either for linux or other bsd variants - which is sad.

                just my 2 cents. :)

    2. By henning ( on

      can you stop this bullshit please?
      I don't know where it comes from, I never said that I read linux code to do our SMP stuff, in fact I have not really been involved in our SMP stuff AT ALL.

      1. By Brad ( brad at comstyle dot com on

        Ya, we can't have Henning going insane from reading crusty Linux code.

      2. By Han ( on

        You told me at FOSDEM. It was a story about L2 or L1 caching and the way memory was handled while doing SMP. You told me you read the Linux kernel code and learned a lot from it. Of course I don't have anything to back it up with. I didn't bring a taperecorder with me. It strikes me as very odd that you now deny this conversation.

        1. By mr.dick ( on

          lol. so. henning wtf? don't be afraid. we know you copied ideas instead of code.

          1. By Brad ( brad at comstyle dot com on

            I don't really know, but Henning isn't an SMP hacker, so I have no idea why he might or might not have said such a thing. Let's just drop this and move on.

        2. By Anonymous Coward ( on

          backtrack ...
          "And as a matter of fact I had a conversation with Henning Brauer who explained how he got the OpenBSD SMP code working a lot better by learning from Linux."
          "It was a story about L2 or L1 caching and the way memory was handled while doing SMP. You told me you read the Linux kernel code and learned a lot from it. "

          Big difference between an individual developer not personally involved in SMP work learning about it from Linux code to improving the project's SMP code from Linux code.

        3. By henning ( on

          I have no idea what you are talking about.
          I for sure never said that I read linux SMP code. I don't know what you got wrong, I never even remotely said anything in that regard.

  2. By almeida ( on

    The situation is getting worse because all open source products (with the exception of OpenBSD) tolerate the status quo of supporting products that provide no documentation, using vendor-provided -- sometimes binary-only -- drivers. I don't think that OpenBSD's abrasive campaign is the way to go, although it appears to be producing results. I believe that the hardware vendors can be convinced that it is advantageous to them to publish proper documentation, but all open source products need to work together for that to work. If a vendor cannot be convinced, we need to vote with our feet and exclude support from our products.

    If I remember correctly, Theo asked nicely for a long time before posting contact information and asking the users get involved. What right does this guy have to criticize Theo if no one from the other projects is going to step up and take a unified stand? Everybody likes the results that OpenBSD gets by holding to its principles, but no one is willing to stand with them when it counts. If vendors aren't cooperating and the other projects are letting them get away with it, it's kind of hard for Theo to get results without being a little abrasive.

    1. By Todd T. Fries ( on

      I find the quoted comment rather hilarious myself. It is, paraphrasing, ``this is not the way to do it'' .. ``oh, but it does get results''. In other words, Theo's doing a good job and someone can't quite muster the courage to even suggest its the right thing to do, let alone do it themselves. My $.02.

    2. By thomasw. ( on

      well stated. i share your sense of righteous indignation.

    3. By Anonymous Bastard ( on

      reminds me of a line from "the people v/s larry flint"..."why do I have to go to jail for your rights"..or something along those lines.

    4. By Nick Holland ( on

      Theo asked nice.
      I asked nice.
      Lots of other people asked nice.

      Long ago, I tried to shake docs out of TI for their then-popular wireless products. I asked nice. I got a call from a non-decision maker, who listened, sympathized, agreed, and said they'd run it up the tree and see if it could happen. And then, things went dead. The last I heard from them, was their automated response, asking if if I was satisfied with my experience communicating with TI. I wasn't.

      Guess how many TI products I have bought since?
      Come to think of it, haven't heard much from TI in the wireless business lately. :)

      My experience with TI mirrors what Theo reports from other vendors.

      We don't ask nice in public. By definition, that's not asking nice. If I wish you to change your behavior, I don't itemize your rudeness on in a full-page newspaper ad. That's embarassing, rude, and in general, not nice on my part. No, I'd contact you privately, quietly, and ask for a change. If you ignore me, reject me, or otherwise don't do what I wish, then I have to consider escalation.

      *YOU* don't see the early stuff.
      You only see the call to action, after the early, nice stuff falls flat. That's the nature of the process.

      Of course, people then say we aren't nice, because we escalated, and if we had just "talked nicely", it would have been so much better. 'Cept we did, and it wasn't.

      Oh, but they happily use the technology we do manage to free up...

  3. By Daniel ( on

    I said "good enough," and that's really telling. The BSD people (and keep in mind that I'm obviously generalizing) are often perfectionists. They hone something specific for a long time, and then they frown on anything that doesn't meet their standards of perfection. The OpenBSD single-minded focus on security is a good example. Ok, I guess we know from the top that 'good enough' is the goal and that focus on 'single-minded focus on security' is not a priority for them. We knew that, but it's interesting to see it from the top. Now, what's wrong with single-minded focus on security After all, isn't it why we pick OpenBSD in the first place!!! My $0.02 worth.

    1. By Ian McWilliam ( on

      That comment from Linus just goes to show why Linux is the M$ of the unix world. As long as something appears to work it's good enough to release to the world to do our testing. I'm glad that OpenBSD takes a good technical stance on what they release.

      1. By Anonymous Coward ( on

        After all, there's no way that they'd still have a bugged idle loop that every other OS fixed half a decade ago, right?

        1. By Ian McWilliam ( on

          Well let me see.....A kernel that was supposedly written from scratch, not from legacy code, that has contained exploits a plenty, not learned from others programming mistakes along the way, that having been written from scatch never improved upon the kernel model that is decades old..that bundles GNU code for userland, that was supposedly written from scratch that never learned from the prior programming mistakes, has cantain bug, after bug...........great modern development model that the world must follow.....

      2. By Matt ( on

        ...just goes to show why Linux is the M$ of the unix world

        Well, I'd say that Mac OS X is clearly the M$ of the unix world, (focused on money above ethics --see Konfabulator theft and current bankruptcy, idiot-proof GUI, loves closed source, expensive, overhyped and promoted, astrotufing, and especially considering Apple's partnership with M$ in attacking open-source in Europe via lobbying for stronger patent laws), but yeah, Linux is definitely close behind M$ in "quality" (or lack thereof).

        In short: Apple has the M$ EVIL, Linux has the M$ QUALITY.

        Hmmm... I smell a cool t-shirt quote.

    2. By Anonymous Bastard ( on

      yeah, with linus' comments i have never felt more shame for having once used linux... when i initially read his interview I had to do a double take to make sure they weren't interviewing B.G. "...good enough.." WTF

      1. By tony ( on

        I completely agree, which is why I said F it and installed OpenBSD on my laptop (that used to run arch linux) last night.... i don't care if i dont have 3D accel. or that my screen can't do the maximum resolution because of dell's broken VBIOS code. small sacrifices in my book. tonight im going to reboot my home server with -current to see if the pciide issues are fixed, and if they are, Im installing OpenBSD on that box too.

      1. By Anonymous Coward ( on

        Ugh. What a load of short-sighted crap. I wonder how hard it would be to internationalize a 'worse is better' application? What about supporting it years down the road?

        Seems to me 'worse is better' is what Microsoft uses to develop its software.

  4. By Mike S ( on

    Every time I read an article on NewsForge, I think I associate it with SourceForge, and think "Oh, this sounds interesting."

    When I leave NewsForge, I usually think, "NewsForge is the Fox News of small-time opensource-related web journalism."

    "Someone on Slashdot said that the BSDs are still considered by some to be more technically correct than the Linux kernel. Linus Torvalds has said in the past that it's not all about technology. Do you think that Linus will ever awaken from his persistant vegitative state?"

    I mean, I respect the pluggy NewsForge journalists, but I wonder if they get their background information from flamewars on slashdot and other less reputable sources.

    I'm not doing it, and they are, so I don't want to be too harsh, but I can't take that stuff seriously.

  5. By Anonymous Coward ( on

    WTF--- Lets ask the key Linux kernel developer about BSD then we will ask key BSD developers about Linux. And next week article we are going to interview astronauts about scuba diving, with a follow up interviewing scuba divers about there space travels. I suppose that media attention is good, but there has to be a point. Question like this may have actually been answerable by GNOME, KDE, or developers that create multi platform software. Not the core from OpenBSD or Linux, these guys live and breathe there own software.

  6. By Anonymous Coward ( on

    Theo has absolutely no people skills. When will he realize that he needs to find a person better at PR and let that person do the interviews? This dual-interview makes him look like an idiot. The NetBSD side of the interview was well prepared and covered may points in a very understandable way. Theo's comments were, well, childish in their simplicity.

    1. By Anonymous Coward ( on

      actually it was not.
      it's full of inconsistencies and lacks any kind of direction.


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