Are FreeBSD or NetBSD communities any better? I’m not asking to absolve the Linux community, I’m just maybe seeking alternatives.
The FreeBSD mailing lists have none of the legendary Linus/Theo flames. We’re still unhappy with Pottering’s software and the underhanded way it’s been foisted on people though.
There may be some interesting self selection bias with people who choose to work on BSD license software (give it away to raise the bar for everyone) vs GPL (tit-for-tat share alike). I would consider Linux the mainstream/default free (as in price) software platform these days, so someone who chooses to run a BSD is likely doing so for some particular choice/reason.
Then again, in any community large enough you will end up with undesirable personalities…especially in anonymous venues.
so someone who chooses to run a BSD is likely doing so for some particular choice/reason.
In my case, it’s actually because of systemd … or, perhaps, what systemd represents. You have your Windows in my Linux sums it up nicely:
Go ahead, kids, spackle over all of that unsightly runlevel stuff. … Tune your distribution for desktop workloads.
Go reinvent Windows. … Ultimately, that is what systemd looks like to the rest of us. It’s not pretty.
I’m at the point where I can switch my work laptop over from Linux Mint to FreeBSD, and will be doing so one evening this week. I’ve created a GitHub repo for my setup scripts - bear in mind it’s still in flux, not fully tested, may eat your kittens, etc.
I’ve found the FreeBSD documentation excellent, and a local FreeBSD user (hi Kirill!) very, very helpful in getting set up. Seriously, the documentation is really good … better than almost all commercial products I’ve used, and has been of great help in switching over from Linux.
I think it’s much better in terms of community. When I first got into open source, Linux had me scared to participate due to all the vitriol foisted on some poor newbie who had the audacity to ask a simple question. RTFM was the lightest touch most would offer, but the BSD communities were far gentler and would actively help the most simple questions. I love FreeBSD but Docker is a game changer and they need something like that so I can use it at work and increase the BSD market share in my corporate setting.
This article is much more about how people react to Lennart Poettering than it is about open source. Given all the pain his half-finished work (PulseAudio, systemd) has caused over the years and likely will continue to do so in the future, I’m not sure we’re not being trolled.
At a certain point, it’s not about him at all. This callout is legit no matter how much you dislike his projects. How is it ever acceptable to harass and threaten someone in the ways he describes?
I will only quibble that at that point it is, once more, not about open source in particular so much as people in general. This sort of closing ranks and bullying out the non grata is par for the course among groups of any kind; anyone who has been following GamerGate has been watching the ongoing unfolding of a particularly nasty case study.
Not to disagree with you, though: while I am with @journeysquid in that I find it hard to scrounge up even an ounce of sympathy for Poettering, this is a matter not of sympathy but (basic human) empathy. Treatment like what Poettering describes is inhuman.
Maybe some people are being trolled a little bit, but he’s at least partially right.
There are more than a few OSS projects where the leaders or many of the contributors are abrasive to the point of hostility. Linux and OpenBSD are the big popular ones that stand out, but there are a lot of others.
I can’t imagine any workplace where going on a rant and publicly suggesting a coworker should have been aborted wouldn’t result in almost immediate termination. But on some open source projects it’s just another day…
Not to defend him, but Linus only attacks people he knows personally on the mailing lists. It’s still not great behavior, especially on a public forum like LKML, but he’s nothing like e.g. Ulrich Drepper who furiously insulted users reporting bugs to the point that Debian switched libcs to avoid him.
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It’s really odd that your response is to put the blame on the recipient of the abuse - why don’t we spend some time trying to root out the “typical obnoxious behavior” instead?
When teenagers do this we have “stop bullying” campaigns. Fraternities get in trouble for hazing. But when our group does it, the victims need to toughen up instead.
What’s worse is that many good people are going to be dissuaded from participating because of this tripe, and if you don’t care about anything else, surely you care about that.
I certainly believe Lennart when he says he gets disgusting personal attacks and threats from the community, and I certainly don’t think that’s okay regardless of motivation.
What I see in discussion of this article, though, is people dismissing complaints about systemd or Lennart’s own personality problems (and let’s be clear, it and he are assuredly not blameless), which I think is also not okay. (Less not okay than personal attacks, but vastly more frustrating to me.) I couldn’t say if this post is more a reaction to personal attacks or criticism taken personally since, to be totally honest, I can’t make myself read Lennart’s g+ posts through all the smugness and self-importance, but both issues really need real discussion. I’m inclined to believe it’s the former just because Lennart’s been taking flak for things for a long time now.
I get frustrated by community problems like this at least as much because they obscure discussions of other real issues that need to be had as because disgusting behavior is itself disgusting, which I suspect may not reflect well on my priorities. =P