Zonofabee, do you think the FreeBSD Gnome project has a good chance of surviving in the long run?
There are a few new graphics-based BSD's which have come out, based on Free-BSD. However, considering that they are newly developed, most of them are still not ready for prime-time.
They have errors, polishing that's not yet completed, and missing features which are still not yet implemented. Now, if there is one Free-BSD based OS that had a long and good run-time, and was well developed, do you think that it would be worth-while to bring it back. After all most of the work has already been done. And updating it can be done using the Free-BSD repositories.
What I'm talking about is Desktop BSD. It's in the archives because it's developer just gave up maintaining it. It is still available in the archives of Distrowatch. Better grab it before Distrowatch decides to purge their archives! If you're a developer, this OS is worthwhile taking a look into it. It would be sad to just let a well thought out distro, just die of neglect. Any takers?
I'm sorry, but my crystal ball is broken at the moment. The only comment that I can make on this question is that if interest doesn't stay peaked on the survival of an OS, it will not last very long. The fine example of this is Desktop BSD. A fine and well developed OS that was well established, but died when it's developer gave up and abandoned it. No one took on the initiative to pick it up and keep it going.
Desktop BSD forked into PC-BSD, which is extremely polished now, and constantly updated. As an example, PC-BSD is to FreeBSD, as Ubuntu is to Debian.
Do I understand you correctly? That portions of Desktop BSD is incorporated into PC-BSD?
The reason that I ask, is because a short while back, while PC-BSD was being put together and polished, I had written and made a suggestion of using some portions of Desktop-BSD which were already developed and working fine. That could have cut down development time by a great fraction, since the work had already been done on those portions, and was readily available.
I received a reply of "no thank you, we are doing things our own way, and don't need anything else". Okay, so I left it as that!
It is my current opinion that PC-BSD has definitely come a long way, but it is still not totally up there yet. It still has a stretch to go. It will not happen overnight, to become a fully mature OS. It takes time to work out the kinks in the metal.
I also thought that it wouldn't hurt to have two running graphics-based BSD's to bring more attention to the BSD world.
It was my understanding that a few years back, developers from Desktop BSD left, and made PC-BSD, but I could be very wrong. I remember when Desktop BSD was at it's so called prime, but was then replaced with PC-BSD.
PC-BSD is about as polished as anything right now. It use to be a version behind, and lacking a lot of. Now, it's constantly being developed, kept up to date with the latest FreeBSD release, the installer being as stable as possible, and packages tested from all port trees.
The August, they recruited several testers, and even hired a few developers. Yes, it wasn't so great before, but the interest has increased tenfold in the past 5 years.
AFIK, Desktop-BSD was developed and maintained by one individual. In Sept. 2009, he had left a message that he wouldn't continue maintaining this OS, and it was the last upgrade that he was offering. What he's done since then, I'm not privileged to that information. I'm just sorry that it happened that way. The OS was so totally transparent, that one was not brought to mind that he was using a Unix product, or a Linux product. It just worked! It's just like Apple which somewhat tries to keep the underpinnings of the OS in the unseen background. Most Apple users don't know that they are running a POSIX-compliant OS when they go about their business.
If PC-BSD can achieve that, hey, I'm all for that! That's what I call "user friendly", if anyone can use it (besides nerds). It will attract more average users to the BSD world.
I completely agree, and I hope you don't think I was try to 1-up "desktop" at all. I'm going purely on what I've seen, and what users have said in the past 5 years on the BSD forum I'm with. Desktop had a good run, and a lot of potential. Like DragonFly, the idea was taken; then reinvented. Of course, a lot of the success has to do with a lot of hype, and just how polished the installation process is.
I'm glad to see more users interested in BSD distributions, but with such an OS (click-to-play), comes more mistakes, and vulnerabilities. On top of that, come the users that believe they know an OS, simply on the use of the GUI. The reason I have a problem with that, is that they will base opinions on various things they do not understand, nor try to research. I don't have an issue with such people per se; not only do they make *NIX employers more aware of the testing needed before filling a job in the area, they actually give me a good deal of business fixing their wrong-doings. The upside to more new *NIX users, is more developers, more contributors in all areas, and more initiative to make a better OS due to the user base.
As for frozen projects, I wish GING would get back into play. Now that was a concept I was anticipating for many years. Debian with a FreeBSD kernel.
Well, if you'd like Debian with a BSD kernel, you need to find someone who can make the hybrid. I've not been successful to make anything like that to become real. It's not a bad idea because Debian has quite an existing and expansive repository. But how would you mate the Free-BSD repositories with Debian's? Which one takes precedence? When you remove the heart of the product, it's no longer a Linux, is it?
Who'se development would you depend on? Free-BSD's, or Debian's?
Take the Hurd kernel. It's been in development for years, and still hasn't gotten any altitude. Too much of a late-comer. Interest hasn't happened, because there's already enough OS's out there which are doing an excellent job, have been widely accepted, and have been commercially implemented. Take a look at Sun's OS. They on had one aspiration, and that was to become the king on the commercial world. And they did achieve that, for a while. But their demise was because they did not tailor their OS's to be generalists. Their world-wide acceptance was too narrow, and used for commercial applications only. They set themselves up to have Linux eat a good chunk of their lunch. The fact that they were a closed system didn't help them either. Not enough people took a notice of them outside of their narrow realm. So now, they don't exist anymore.
I guess that what you'd like to do means taking on quite a development effort. All Linux applications would have to be revamped to work with the BSD kernel. I assume that a separate and new repository would have to be created to support the hybrid OS. And the Security updates have to be tailored for the hybrid OS.
It's a nice idea, but would you like to really get involved with maintaining something like that?
GING (GNU Is Not GNU), actually did that, and had a decent beta going. Unfortunately, it was frozen around 2006. Of course, as of now, it would have to be completely redone because it was built on the FreeBSD 5 kernel. Other than that, they had working deb packages working with the kernel. I want to say that used FreeBSD's compat libs to make it all mesh together, but I'm not 100% sure. On top of that, you still had all of the abilities of a FreeBSD kernel (i.e. MAC_BIBA, PF, ISAKMPD, etc).