ninjatux wrote:You do realize that Linus once said in an interview that had 386BSD been available when he had started, Linux never would've happened.
Yes, and here's another pearl of wisdom, followed by the quote you refer to in a fuller context which is quite illuminating
If the GNU kernel had been ready last spring, I'd not have bothered to
even start my project:
(29th January 1992, source: comp.os.minix, currently available to view as http://groups.google.com/group/comp.os.minix/msg/9f3c7c165aacc83f
The remarks about 386BSD can be found at http://gondwanaland.com/meta/history/interview.html
and to put the quote in context here is another extract and
the one you refer to:
Meta Magazine (Mike Linksvayer): Do you agree that without the net to facilitate collaboration and a base of preexisting free software (e.g., the GNU tools), Linux would not be nearly as developed as it is?
Linus Torvalds: No question about it. Without net access, the project would never have even gotten off the ground; having access to gcc and the other GNU tools was very important. I was also able to get in contact with some people like Bruce Evans (author of the Minix-386 patches and the 16-bit assembler that is still used to assemble the Linux 16-bit startup code), and we had some interesting discussions by E-mail. Aside from getting me started, net access also kept the development going and accelerating: up to about version 0.12 or so, I wrote most of the code myself, but in the current kernel, only about 50% of the code is mine or very closely related to code written by me. The SCSI drivers, the networking code and the new floating-point emulator code is completely written by others.
Meta: What is your opinion of 386BSD?
Linus: Actually, I have never even checked 386BSD out; when I started on Linux it wast available (although Bill Jolitz series on it in Dr. Dobbs Journal had started and were interesting), and when 386BSD finally came out, Linux was already in a state where it was so usable that I never really thought about switching. If 386BSD had been available when I started on Linux, Linux would probably never had happened.
I also have very limited computer resources (right now I have 160MB of disk spacethe original Linux development was done in 40MB), so I havent tried to set up 386BSD just to see what the competition does. This means that I have only followed the 386BSD discussion and development from the side. As far as I can tell, its a good port of BSD that is plagued by some problems (mostly non-technical).
One of the major problems with 386BSD seems to be the lack of co-ordination: that may sound weird coming from the Linux background, but in fact the 386BSD project seems to suffer from a lot of people working on the same thing due to the long release cycle (I think there are three different and incompatible keyboard/console drivers for 386BSD). A long release cycle is the way to go in a controlled environment (i.e., commercial development), but I think it hurts the free development that results from a lot of unconnected persons having access to sources and doing lots of modification. The NetBSD project may be a step in the right direction, but I think 386BSD has been hurt by the way it has been developed.
Note that others that know more about the actual 386BSD development may disagree and think the Linux releases have been very chaotic (which is also true, but differently). Also, 386BSD has had different starting points and different goals, so any real comparison may not really be valid. In any case, I usually ignore Linux/386BSD comparisons: Ive not let any 386BSD considerations change the way I work, but just done things the way I want them done and hoping it works out. I have gotten a few mails like were considering changing over to 386BSD, as Linux doesnt do... but I refuse to be blackmailed by things like that. Ive also gotten mails from people who have changed the other way, so its obviously a matter of taste.
Perhaps it's better if people read for themselves what RMS or Linus Torvalds actually say/said.