I became a FreeBSD committer. I've been using BSD Unix systems since 1986 starting with 4.3 BSD on a pair of VAX 780 machines. In 1992, as a bored PhD student, I reimplemented sed(1) and contributed it the unencumbered BSD version that was then being put together; it is now part of the *BSD family. I crossed again paths with BSD software when the prize of the 2000 Usenix technical conference ``win a pet Shark contest'', Digital's Network Appliance Reference Design-DNARD, came with a NetBSD boot image. I used that code for drawing about 500 examples for my book Code Reading: The Open Source Perspective (Addison-Wesley 2003), detailing how to read software code others have written . Since 2001 I 've been using FreeBSD to control my home's security, communications, and entertainment systems as described in a SANE conference paper and a recent article in Personal and Ubiquitous Computing (as an academic I have to live by the "publish or perish" motto).
Why did I become a committer? My feeling is that FreeBSD, although less visible than other systems, exemplifies the state of the art in software engineering, both as a product and as a process. Its scale (6 MLOC), quality, level of integration, legacy, and development practices could well be unmatched both in the proprietary and open-source software. I therefore want to be close to this effort and will be proud to further contribute to it.
My (longish term) plans as a FreeBSD committer:
Given the memory requirements of this task, it would also be an interesting test case for the 64-bit FreeBSD version. This will be a massive effort, so volunteers with time and access to appropriate hardware are more than welcome.Read and post comments, or share through
Last modified: Friday, October 3, 2003 7:34 pm
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