Subject: quality, sharing, etc.
From: Rich Morin <rdm@cfcl.com>
Date: Sun, 27 Aug 2000 11:39:29 -0700

At 9:49 AM -0700 8/27/00, Phil Hughes wrote:
>...
>This isn't the fault of Linux per se, it is the fault of the various
>distributions.  I don't know which distribution you were working with
>but these sorts of problems are being addressed.  ...

I attended a panel in Monterey on the "Future of the BSDs".  The panel
had folks from Apple, BSDi, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD.  One point of
discussion was that, although the Joe Public perceives Linux as a single
entity, it really isn't one.  Rather, it's a bunch of different distros,
based on roughly the same kernel and application packages.

The Linux model should, in theory, propagate all bug fixes to the "main"
version of a package and then back out to the various distributions.
The disadvantage of this is that, when a bug shows up, the fix may have
to wait on the developer of a given application package.  The BSDs, we
were told, took responsibility for their own bugs, fixing them at once.

The flip side of the coin, however, is that a bug fix in one BSD may
never migrate to the others (let alone to the Linux community).  So,
FreeBSD has tools that work really well for Intel, NetBSD has tools that
work on _everything_, and OpenBSD has tools that only work for the right
users (:-).  A given bug fix may propagate, but this is not the rule.

Does this seem like a reasonable characterization?  Is this a problem
that needs to be addressed?  Is there a better approach that should be
investigated?  Inquiring minds need to know...

-r
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