Archive for the ‘gnobsd’ Category

It’s Been 80 Days Since I Asked About GnoBSD Sources

May 3, 2010

Did you think I’d forgotten? Not on your life. Back on the 12th of February, I asked where the sources for GPL’ed software contained within GnoBSD were provided. To this date, the guy who’s put GnoBSD together has whiffed at providing them on his site as required by the relevant licenses of those projects. That’s not just Gnome, but everything he distributes under the GPL.

All he’s done in the interim is suggest that he’s provided binaries from ports without modifications with the exception of two packages.

That’s still not in compliance with the license. From the GNU site:

I want to distribute binaries, but distributing complete source is inconvenient. Is it ok if I give users the diffs from the “standard” version along with the binaries?
This is a well-meaning request, but this method of providing the source doesn’t really do the job.

A user that wants the source a year from now may be unable to get the proper version from another site at that time. The standard distribution site may have a newer version, but the same diffs probably won’t work with that version.

So you need to provide complete sources, not just diffs, with the binaries.

Can I make binaries available on a network server, but send sources only to people who order them?
If you make object code available on a network server, you have to provide the Corresponding Source on a network server as well. The easiest way to do this would be to publish them on the same server, but if you’d like, you can alternatively provide instructions for getting the source from another server, or even a version control system. No matter what you do, the source should be just as easy to access as the object code, though. This is all specified in section 6(d) of GPLv3.

The sources you provide must correspond exactly to the binaries. In particular, you must make sure they are for the same version of the program—not an older version and not a newer version.

How can I make sure each user who downloads the binaries also gets the source?
You don’t have to make sure of this. As long as you make the source and binaries available so that the users can see what’s available and take what they want, you have done what is required of you. It is up to the user whether to download the source.

Our requirements for redistributors are intended to make sure the users can get the source code, not to force users to download the source code even if they don’t want it.

The second answer from that FAQ points to section 6 of the GPLv3. It clearly states that source must be made available from the distributor of the binary via one of the listed mechanisms. Pointing to another source — whether a ports tree, an upstream packager, or a project site itself — is not among those mechanisms. And such availability of sources isn’t incumbent on being asked to provide them via one of the listed mechanisms: if you distribute object code you must make the source available, period.

This isn’t a new issue or novelty. It’s required developers who’ve based their distros on others to maintain their own source trees rather than point to upstream distros. Mepis had to do this. So have Ubuntu and Knoppix. And everyone else.

So, too, does GnoBSD.

Someone twat commented complained on the previous entry about the lack of GPL compliance of GnoBSD that because this was BSD no offer of sources was required. The issue at hand wasn’t the OpenBSD part of what he was offering. It was the stuff licensed separately under GPLv2, GPLv3, or later. That raving dufus, who claimed to be not involved with GnoBSD, suggested the binaries in GnoBSD were from unmodified sources (so how would he know this to be a factual representation?). Too bad for him that he was wrong about the GPL’s requirements.

Tick-tock-tick-tock… Where are the complete and complying GPL’ed sources for GnoBSD?

UPDATE/ADDENDUM: The first GNU FAQ question above is relevant for several reasons. OpenBSD’s ports aren’t static. Maintainers update patchsets all the time. The GnoBSD site doesn’t give a timestamp for determining what has and hasn’t been patched since the particular release. Did the guy who put GnoBSD together run cvsup? When? Will the present ports tree now compile to reproduce the exact same product he’s distributing or something different?

As for the second and third questions, there is zero offer of corresponding sources used to produce the GPL software he’s still distributing aside from pointing to a ports tree which may or may not have changed since he produced his image(s) of what he calls GnoBSD.

Where the Fuck Are the GPL’ed GNOBSD Sources?

February 12, 2010

The lonewolf developer of GNOBSD doesn’t have much information on his website, but he does offer links to torrents. I’d like to know where he maintains and provides sources. Are they contained in the image(s) or available in a separate location? Since this is based on Gnome, and most of Gnome is GPLv2/3, he is required to provide his sources along with makefiles and patches, etc.

If you want to distribute something like this, there are rules to follow.

Examples of “Unsophisticated Users” I Mentioned at DW

February 5, 2010

I was asked to elaborate on what I meant by “unsophisticated user” before I was banned at Distrowatch earlier this week.

Fortunately, my blog is getting plenty hits for searches related to GNOBSD so now I have some examples of what I meant — just from this morning. The “unsophisticated” classification is for those whose preference is to bypass any learning curve and use a Windows-like starting point. That means no console interaction, boot straight into X and a pre-configured desktop. For example, one of the DW reviewers wants things in a NetBSD-based CD to be more like Linux Windows with automounting and tons of services running by default. And then there’s the whole thing Ladislav started by distorting what actually happened in the OpenBSD lists when GNOBSD guy decided to spam it to notify the project of his fork.

At least these people are using search engines to find information. Some unsophisticated users won’t even try looking it up before rushing to the upstream project and badgering them with questions about something they don’t even support. Which brings me to this:

Attention GNOBSD searchers landing on my blog(s) (see my BSD blog listed in the blog roll on the right): I support and recommend OpenBSD, not GNOBSD. What difference does the underlying operating system mean to you if you’re only going to run a graphical desktop environment anyway? Gnome is Gnome whether it’s on Linux or BSD or OpenSolaris or any other operating system.

Adding gnobsd category so I’ll get even more hits. Woot.

Who Are the Bad Guys in This?

February 2, 2010

This is the kind of crap Linux Hater loves because it shows how idiotic the open source community can be.

I want to provide more complete context of the quotes offered by another site’s owner/reviewer [edit due to too many IMs: yes, Distrowatch] as proof that OpenBSD people “attacked” the GNOBSD guy. I couldn’t find any attacks by OpenBSD people. They didn’t care what the guy did with their code, they only didn’t want him to advertise it in their lists — it was just wrong forum for it. But that’s not how the owner/reviewer saw it and he stoked the irrational passions of his most irrational readers.

Let’s be fair and look at the other side of the story.

First, Gilles@ replied with:

omg ... there will be blood ... :-)

Note the smiley.  How is that combative?

Bryan B next replied with legitimate questions:

You can install to a USB stick with the OpenBSD CDs.  What is special
about yours? Why add a bloated Desktop like GNOME?  What's wrong with
fvwm, ormaybe even fluxbox (in a pinch)?

Tomas B kindly replied:

You will misguide users a lot, because I think that most of the users
of OpenBSD don't need GUI installer and users which will try your OS
may think that it's somewhat easy as eg. Ubuntu because - hey, look at
this nice GUI installer and then they expect GUI everywhere.....

Don't do PR of personal projects on mailing lists which are official
for different projects ;-) Of course that you can do your own project
based on OpenBSD, but take care with marketing.

Again, note the emoticon in addition to the approval to do whatever he wants just don’t announce it on the OpenBSD lists. How mean is that?

Steph and Tomas Pf added a similar advisory about the purpose of OpenBSD lists and linked to another thread in which a similar fork was addressed. They didn’t attack GNOBSD guy.

Mehma then asked Stefan (GNOBSD guy) if he’d be interested in working within the OpenBSD project. Was that over the top?

Chris D amused me with the following:

Generally the best day to post these announcements is the first day
of the fourth month of the year.

And if you're into product life cycle management, it's a wonderful day
for a product to be out of service...

To which Bret L replied

But the day these ideas are traditionally developed is on the twentieth
day of the fourth month of the year.

Then someone from the other site, taking the reviewer’s cue to whine about abject mistreatment and abuse, jumped into the thread. Scott offered (ummm…) “sage” advice about everything from how live Linux CDs work to alternative window managers to advising GNOBSD guy to keep at it and named him an OpenBSD developer. This was corrected by Ingo S — GNOBSD is a lone wolf, not operating within OpenBSD development.

Michiel vB responded to Scott’s mistaken notions in greater detail. He pointed out that many Linux live CDs don’t work. He also addressed Scott’s complaint that FVWM is “outdated” and reiterated the bloat factor of Gnome. The most pertinent point he could make, though, was pointing out that PCBSD users don’t support FreeBSD in response to Scott’s deluded point that GNOBSD supports OpenBSD. Michiel also wrote that the OpenBSD people are okay that this project is being done but they’re not okay that their list is spammed with its announcement:

We dont worry about others, except when they start using the OpenBSD
mailinglists as free advertisment channel for their crap.

Jacob M replies to Scott that live CDs are “legacy” now.

Over all, the most inflammatory post in the whole thread is Scott’s — and he was “defending” Stefan/GNOBSD guy. There wasn’t any hostility from the OpenBSD people. They asked that announcements not be made on their list, explained that they wouldn’t use it, that it doesn’t fit in with what OpenBSD is about.

I’ve seen a lot of bullshit in my years using and cooperating with open source projects. I’ve also dealt with enough assholes in the open source community to know how rough things can get. This wasn’t rough. This was pretty gentle, even diplomatic.

Those who think this was abusive must have some pretty thin skin. Then again, I’ve been banned for having the nerve to tell people that “respect is a two way street and you might want to look both ways before crossing it.” Imagine that.

It was disrespectful for GNOBSD guy to plug on an OpenBSD list. It was disrespectful for Ladislav to make a mountain out of a molehill and besmirch the OpenBSD developers when they were very even-handed about things — certainly more even-handed than he was in taking comments out of context and suggesting things were hostile and abusive.

It was also disrespectful that his sycophants think OpenBSD developers have to cater to their whims and demands. OpenBSD is its own project and has its own goals. They don’t have to be just like any Linux distro to “succeed,” particularly since the project hasn’t ever really seen fit to use popular adoption of itself as a measure of success (compared to security, proper coding, etc.). The project shouldn’t cave to petty demands by users who aren’t sophisticated enough to bother with learning how to use it.

{KDE,Gnome,GNOBSD} != OpenBSD

At the end of the day, though, only one person at Distrowatch was respectful (well, kind of… it’s funny how I’m always the fucking asshole in these situations when others first resort to calling me “troll” and then they make additional posts to pedantically explain the obvious) enough to honestly answer my question about how much difference there is between running Gnome atop Linux or OpenBSD. There’s no difference because Gnome isn’t Linux or BSD and using a desktop environment from boot until shutdown pretty much divorces the user from the underlying operating system. Unsophisticated users — like the one who prattled on and on about themes and configuration, as if an operating system is about aesthetics — don’t actually care what’s under the hood, they just want to be able to say they ran something they didn’t really run and that in reality they didn’t even bother or desire to understand.

Since it really makes no difference to them in any meaningful way, it makes this whole thing even more amusing.

Banned at Distrowatch, LOL

February 2, 2010

Haha, I’ve been blocked from commenting at Distrowatch. The funny part is some tard wanted to challenge my virility.

For the record, I don’t have a girlfriend. My better half won’t let me have one. Neither will the kids. (Edit: Out of curiosity, what’s more Darwinian: your “feelings” about how much action I get or that you actually have “feelings” about it? MYOB, putz. Stop thinking — worse, feeling — about my sex life and worry about your own.)

Here’s my last reply, which won’t post and redirects me to the DWW page:

SUBJECT: @unsophisticated users
@103: "Unsophisticated users" = those Windows/Linux users who won't bother
to actually learn OpenBSD but merely want to pad their "tried that"-resumes'
by running something pre-configured and dumbed down. Kind of like a couple
weeks ago with the whole automounting crap and an expectation based on lowest
common denominators that everything should work just like Windows. 

Just install OpenBSD if you want to run OpenBSD. If your goal is a Gnome
desktop, there are already plenty of Linux projects which accomplish that
and it's clear that the OpenBSD project doesn't care to participate in
attracting "market share" from those projects. They have their own
comfortable niche. They don't want to cater to the kinds of users who want
automagic everything.

Again, it's *irrelevant* what OS is running beneath your desktop environment
if you don't want to get your hands dirty with the OS. This whole thing is
amusing from that aspect because you people are acting like someone's depriving
you of something by not catering to the lowest common denominator of
(unsophisticated) computer user. I've installed OpenBSD 4.6 and its installer is
quite easy to use, even easier than earlier versions -- and those were pretty easy
for anyone willing to actually RTFM.

As I wrote on my own blog yesterday, "Dumbing the process down brings in dummies"
and that's not one of the goals of the OpenBSD project. It's not about snobbiness,
it's just about the project's goals -- and it's not that OpenBSD's goals are out of
step with people like you, people like you are out of step with OpenBSD's goals. They
respect your right to use other operating systems that will cater to your sort, so why
can't you respect their right to not appeal to users like you?

If it's out of step with the project's goals, why should they want someone to spam
their list with an announcement about a fork? If you don't respect the project enough
to work within it, don't be surprised if they express some form of rebuke -- in this
instance, I thought it was very mild -- when someone outside their own ecosystem uses
their list to advertise a fork. They don't owe forks or fork-ers anything. If you don't
work with them, why should they work with you? Answer that, please. 

What's up with the personal attack on my virility, lamer? Stop projecting and stick to
the issues. You *really* don't want to go there.


Personal note to Ladislav: I’ve been banned by better people from better sites for a lot worse. If you can’t stand valid criticism and other points of view, maybe you’re in the wrong business.

Oh Boo Fucking Hoo

February 1, 2010

I just read a “review” of GNOBSD over at a certain website. It was less a review than a timeline of the guy creating a live Gnome-based live DVD using OpenBSD 4.6 and how some in the OpenBSD community reacted when he advertised it in their mailing lists. He withdrew his ISO due to server traffic and less than positive feedback from the community.

He’s not the first to fork from or base something on OpenBSD. He won’t be the last. He’s also not the first person to receive a rebuke of some form from those in the OpenBSD development (and user) community.

I looked through the thread. I didn’t think any of the comments in the thread were incendiary. Some had smilies. Some directed the poster to another thread from last year about a similar issue. I’ve seen much harsher treatment where it’s more deserving. This was all fair and even-handed.

I also think the reaction of the OpenBSD development community might have been a bit different if this GNOBSD guy had first become involved within their community rather than working outside their ecosystem and then advertising a derivative out of the blue in their email lists. Dittos for the guy in the other thread for his “remix” last year. For starters, it would’ve given him an understanding of the community his work is potentially disrupting.

Yes, disrupting. I don’t buy the argument that separate, forked projects like this are of benefit to the upstream project. OpenBSD development is funded by sale of their release CD sets. People downloading an ISO are unlikely to go to the upstream project and support it (just like all the software, music, and movie pirates have a disincentive to go buy more software, music, and movies despite all the fucktards who think they’re acting in the interest of artists when they take it upon themselves to violate copyrights); unfortunately, they are likely to go to the upstream project and ask inane rudimentary questions the developer teams have already answered in their documentation — from their own guides to their man pages. Dumbing the process down brings in dummies. That’s not beneficial to their project.

(Yes, dummies. What’s the fucking purpose of installing something like OpenBSD with a graphical desktop preconfigured if you can do that already with Linux or something else? If you’re unwilling to understand what you’re doing and unwilling to configure it to work exactly the way you want, then you’re looking at the wrong operating system. Stick to your Ubuntu, stick to something that you don’t have to or want to comprehend. Gnome and KDE aren’t Linux or BSD, they’re Gnome and KDE. Most apps can be compiled to run in Windows, so your “friends and family” don’t even have to switch operating systems to see, try, or use them.)

So this is a lose-lose proposition for OpenBSD developers. If they wanted to expand their market share, they already know what they could do — and they’re not doing it. OpenBSD developers are talented enough to assemble such a project if they wanted to. The fact that they haven’t should demonstrate that they’re really not interested in a market-share or dick-measuring contest with other BSDs or with Linux. Accept it.

And to the whiners and bitchers (10, 19, 22, etc.) over at Distrowatch who say they’ll either stop using OpenBSD or never try it over this episode, good riddance. You’re probably not the kind of users Theo&Co would want anyway. Grow a pair.