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There's no simple solution to this. For the project to move forward, one or
the other of the warring philosophies must win out; either the project
returns to its laid-back roots and gets on with the work, or it transforms
into a super-organised engineering project and executes a brilliant plan to
deliver what, ultimately, we all know we want.
Whatever path is chosen, whatever balance is struck, the choosing and the
striking are the important parts. The current indecision and endless
conflict are incompatible with any sort of progress.
Trying to dissect the above is far beyond the scope of any parting shot, no
matter how distended. All I can really ask of you all is to let go of the
minutiae for a moment and take a look at the big picture. What is the
ultimate goal here? How can we get there with as little overhead as
possible? How would you like to be treated by your fellow travellers?
To the Slashdot "BSD is dying" crowd - big deal. Death is part of the cycle;
take a look at your soft, pallid bodies and consider that right this very
moment, parts of you are dying. See? It's not so bad.
To the bulk of the FreeBSD committerbase and the developer community at
large - keep your eyes on the real goals. It's when you get distracted by
the politickers that they sideline you. The tireless work that you perform
keeping the system clean and building is what provides the platform for the
obsessives and the prima donnas to have their moments in the sun. In the
end, we need you all; in order to go forwards we must first avoid going
To the paranoid conspiracy theorists - yes, I work for Apple too. No, my
resignation wasn't on Steve's direct orders, or in any way related to work
I'm doing, may do, may not do, or indeed what was in the tea I had at
lunchtime today. It's about real problems that the project faces, real
problems that the project has brought upon itself. You can't escape them by
inventing excuses about outside influence, the problem stems from within.
To the politically obsessed - give it a break, if you can. No, the project
isn't a lemonade stand anymore, but it's not a world-spanning corporate
juggernaut either and some of the more grandiose visions going around are in
need of a solid dose of reality. Keep it simple, stupid.
To the grandstanders, the prima donnas, and anyone that thinks that they can
hold the project to ransom for their own agenda - give it a break, if you
can. When the current core were elected, we took a conscious stand against
vigorous sanctions, and some of you have exploited that. A new core is going
to have to decide whether to repeat this mistake or get tough. I hope they
learn from our errors.
I started work on FreeBSD because it was fun. If I'm going to continue, it
has to be fun again. There are things I still feel obligated to do, and with
any luck I'll find the time to meet those obligations.
However I don't feel an obligation to get involved in the political mess the
project is in right now. I tried, I burnt out. I don't feel that my efforts
were worthwhile. So I won't be standing for election, I won't be shouting
from the sidelines, and I probably won't vote in the next round of ballots.
You could say I'm packing up my toys. I'm not going home just yet, but I'm
not going to play unless you can work out how to make the project somewhere
fun to be again.
To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are
to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and
servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. -- Theodore
FreeBSD is dying
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