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Operating Systems Security BSD

Why OpenBSD's Release Process Works 310

Posted by timothy
from the those-slides-are-a-bit-dense dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Twelve years ago OpenBSD developers started engineering a release process that has resulted in quality software being delivered on a consistent 6 month schedule — 25 times in a row, exactly on the date promised, and with no critical bugs. This on-time delivery process is very different from how corporations manage their product releases and much more in tune with how volunteer driven communities are supposed to function. Theo de Raadt explains in this presentation how the OpenBSD release process is managed (video) and why it has been such a success."
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Why OpenBSD's Release Process Works

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  • by Jailbrekr (73837) <jailbrekr@digitaladdiction.net> on Thursday July 16, 2009 @06:41PM (#28724563) Homepage

    but at least he is stubbornly consistent. Without it, openBSD would not exist in its current fine form.

    That video can serve as a lesson to others on how to manage a project for an extended period of time and keep things consistent and predictable.

  • Re:Summary? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nacredata (761540) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @06:53PM (#28724675)
    What I got out of it was that the core developers, not some other group, do the testing. Rather than hand the task of quality control/testing to some other group just prior to release, all developers are held to a high level of participation in this regard. Theo and other developers use nightly builds in their day-to-day work and the entire system compiles most every night.
  • by chriscappuccio (80696) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @07:00PM (#28724717) Homepage

    you should try a recent version (like the 4.6-current snapshots)
    compatibility with most PC hardware is very good these days, even better than the 4.5 release

    3d X acceleration (for slightly older cards) is out-of-the-box as well

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 16, 2009 @07:02PM (#28724727)
    They really need a new slogan. 'Only two remote holes...' sounds lame. It doesn't matter whether it is technically impressive or not; it sounds lame. And even then, it's only two remote holes because the default install is almost empty and sets up almost no services.
  • Re:Summary? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 16, 2009 @07:02PM (#28724735)

    Two points:

    1) they do not create a separate branch for a release. The release stays in TRUNK until it is released. This has the advantage that ALL developers are working towards a release. Introduction of features is slowed as a release approaches. He does not address the disadvantage of this system: that many developers sit around idle when their work is completed early during this phase.

    2) Everyone tests. There is no test team. All developers test things before a release. He does not talk about agile and how everyone should be testing their own stuff anyways.

    Point 1) was interesting. It works for them because they are volunteer based. They are not paying the salaries of the idle developers during the release phase. It would not work in a corporate environment because those people are to valuable to be underutilized.

    NOTE: I did not listen to him talk... just read his slides.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 16, 2009 @07:03PM (#28724745)

    No wacky and nutty GPL kooks.

    No screaming diatribes over 'purity' of ideology.

    No foaming at the mouth tantrums that someone is using your code and not kissing your fat ugly ass in reverence.

    Over the years I've learned that BSD developers are engineers while GPL developers are ideologues - ie. wackos and nutcases.

    Thank god BSD is well on their way to ridding themselves of GCC and already have the amazing LLVM compiler tech building the system. The efforts the GNU crowd has done to keep open source developers locked into their compiler is sickening from anyone who likes to believe the open source world is some sort of technological marketplace of ideas compared to the Microsoft world.

    Every BSD project I've followed or participated with has been a positive experience due to those types of licensed projects attracting engineers who just want to write good code and want their code to be available and free to everyone to make good use of it.

  • Re:Summary? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrNaz (730548) * on Thursday July 16, 2009 @07:14PM (#28724807) Homepage

    Not that that would be a bad thing. The majority of people in the world are average, by definition. When a truly extraordinary person tells them what to do, and they shut up and do it, the collective ability of the group is far greater than the mere sum of its parts. If the extraordinary person happens to be a bit of a knob, that's irrelevant if they are all focused on the desired result and not their own silly little egos.

    "Oh noes, he told me my code was stupid and wants me to to it again! Cry cry cry!"

    If Theo tells you your code is stupid, then it is. End of story. Do it again. Yes, there are better ways to deal with people, but seriously, Theo gets knocked for his personality not because it's really that big a deal, but more because ordinary people are jealous of his enormous capacity.

    Get over it people. Theo's good at what he does, OpenBSD could and would not exist without him, and the world is a better place for it.

  • Re:Summary? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) <sexwithanimals@gmail.com> on Thursday July 16, 2009 @07:15PM (#28724823) Homepage
    If everyone tests, the developers who are "sitting idle" are spending that idle time testing, no?
  • Re:Summary? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 16, 2009 @07:21PM (#28724861)

    Good point about their work towards the project being idle. However, I would also like to point out that although idle to the committed code, they do involve themselves with side-projects that will possibly be integrated into openbsd.

    I'm not an openbsd pro, but I think a two of those recent examples would be opensmtpd and the improved malloc()

  • Re:Summary? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 644bd346996 (1012333) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @07:28PM (#28724921)
    It really isn't that big of a leap to implicitly assume that intelligence is normally distributed.
  • Re:It works? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Piranhaa (672441) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @07:29PM (#28724929)

    They have different philosophies. I really don't know where you're going with that post because isn't very accurate. You can't compare the "Linux Kernel" with OpenBSD's whole. A kernel is pretty much useless without a "userland." OpenBSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD are all operating systems. Linux, sorry to say, is not.

    If you want to compare BSD versions to Linux versions, then you'd have to compare with (in no particular order):
    -Gentoo
    -Debian - Ubuntu - Xubuntu - Xandros - (how many more are there?)
    -Slackware
    -RedHat
    -Ubuntu .... because I can't even keep track

    So, you have a million confusion projects going on based on the code all, called "Linux". How many versions of "OpenBSD" are there out there? Umm, ONE. Sure, someone could go and make their own userland and such, but it cannot be called OpenBSD. So, before you go on a rant about how many times BSD has been forked, please get your facts straight.

    Thanks,

  • Re:Summary? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drerwk (695572) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @07:31PM (#28724939) Homepage
    I think you mean envious .
  • Re:It works? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by harmonise (1484057) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @07:46PM (#28725025)

    Your post is off-topic from the video and the Slashdot article. This isn't a comparison about how Linux compares versus OpenBSD. The video, if you watch it, is about how the OpenBSD team manages their releases, meets their agreed upon release dates, and makes sure that each release is a quality product.

    The points he discusses in his video revolve around conducting adequate testing of the product and having the developers use the to-be-released system rather than throwing something out as a release and moving on. His points about managing the release process are just as valid if they were applied to manufacturing and releasing cars, paper products, or skateboards as they are to operating systems.

  • Re:It works? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @07:51PM (#28725071)

    They have different philosophies. I really don't know where you're going with that post because isn't very accurate.

    You just said it: They have different philosophies. I'm answering the question of why, and what's come out of those approaches historically.

    OpenBSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD are all operating systems. Linux, sorry to say, is not.

    I think you're confusing the terms "operating system" and "distribution".

    So, you have a million confusion projects going on based on the code all, called "Linux".

    No, I believe they call themselves things like "Redhat" or "Gentoo", etc.

    So, before you go on a rant about how many times BSD has been forked, please get your facts straight.

    Sir, a full exploration of all of the facts and an exhaustive comparison between all the Unix variants has been the subject of many books, panel discussions, conventions, and academic discourses, and has yet to be fully explored. I think that a high-level overview is both more productive, and better suited, for a humble posting on an electronic forum.

  • Re:It works? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Thursday July 16, 2009 @07:53PM (#28725087) Homepage Journal

    Most of the developers of the *BSDs are variously referred to as "difficult, abrasive, etc.," although Theo, to his credit, has had a major change in reputation over the past several years.

    I've never heard that referring to anyone in the BSDs but Theo himself. When was the last time you heard complaints about NetBSD or the FreeBSD core team?

    They also tend to fragment, as noted by the number of variants, which further weakens their position. Linux, on the other hand [...]

    ...is even more fragmented. How many Debian derivatives are there? RedHat? What about Gentoo, LFS, etc.? There's probably more similarity (and shared code) between FreeBSD and OpenBSD than between Ubuntu and Slackware.

    Cut the BSDs some love. They deserve it, and there's plenty to go around.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 16, 2009 @08:11PM (#28725203)

    He's not talking about MS, you tool. Fedora Core fits that description.

    Hell, I'd say at least 80% of software projects (and a good many non-software endeavors) fit that description.

    - T

  • Re:Summary? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nschubach (922175) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @08:21PM (#28725279) Journal

    As a developer, I think I'd work faster/better if I knew a quality product would let me work on side projects in the end. If I knew that I'd never have time to experiment and play then I'd just trudge along and get depressed. It would be a tremendous moral boost. Developing has downtime unless you work for a slave trade.

  • Re:It works? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by perlchild (582235) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @08:22PM (#28725285)

    He's not confusing operating system and distribution. The D in BSD is for "Distribution", they practically invented the term.

    It's a new idea, though, to have a distribution that wasn't responsible for the kernel. And several terms, like platform, and operating system, were inveted to differentiate from distribution as a result. IMHO, companies(corporate clients) do not confuse platform, operating system, or distribution, they can only evaluate(assign a value to) a distribution, a set of software tested together that works as a whole and was tested, validated. Third party software gains value by similarly, being written for a coherent set of software tested to work together.

    Windows isn't a platform, it's a of distro(each edition, home, professional, ultimate is one distro actually, which share enough code to actually have some third party software that works across distros). Linux isn't a platform, but you can get many distros based on it. Operating System and Platform are useful theoretical concepts, and can be of use, usually outside the business context, but when it comes to corporate clients, and business environments, openbsd is a distro.

    Each unix variant is a distro, and some variants(like trusted solaris) vary enough from the main distro to be considered a distro in its own right. I posit that seeing things this way reduces confusion.

    That software like alien allows some(well written, or limited-enough) software to work across distros is an accident, and detracts from this simple, can explain it to grandma definition.

    "Can I buy solitaire for windows vista ultimate edition?" gets an unequivocal Yes/No answer, and she can know if she has ultimate edition straight on the box.

    The term platform should be restricted to software like java or lua, that's (mostly) interpreted, and works across distros, by bypassing the distro entirely, and usually reinventing the wheel quite a bit.

  • Re:It works? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by man_of_mr_e (217855) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @08:30PM (#28725333)

    I disagree. The "forks" from original BSD weren't really forks. They were Berkeley giving up on it and letting others take over.

    Most of the various BSD's are "forks" because they have different purposes. OpenBSD is security oriented, NetBSD is intended to run on vritually everything that has a CPU, FreeBSD was intended for more mainstram use.

    The only real "schism" I can think of is when Matt Dillon broke off and formed DragonFly BSD. Everything else was pretty much some guys saying "I'm gonna go off and do this instead".

    There may not be any real Linux "forks", but that's because Linus has tried very hard to make Linux "one size fits all", and that has resulted in its own set of problems (see the various scheduler wars, for instance.. they were bloody). There are also any number of "branches" in which different patches are applied to the mainline kernel for different purposes.

  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @08:32PM (#28725347)

    How exactly does GCC "lock in" anyone into using "GNU tech"? How exactly is GCC "not truly free"? The only way in which GCC limits you in licensing your code is that you can't build your own shiny new proprietary compiler on top of GCC, and that is a good thing. The "document format" in question here is C. GNU is not claiming ownership of C.

    And yes, LLVM is nice, for many thing. By the same toke, it's no panacea, either.

  • by Draek (916851) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @08:41PM (#28725393)

    No wacky and nutty GPL kooks.

    But in return you get wacky and nutty BSD kooks.

    No screaming diatribes over 'purity' of ideology.

    You don't know who Theo de Raadt is?

    No foaming at the mouth tantrums that someone is using your code and not kissing your fat ugly ass in reverence.

    You definitely don't know Theo de Raadt.

    The efforts the GNU crowd has done to keep open source developers locked into their compiler is sickening from anyone who likes to believe the open source world is some sort of technological marketplace of ideas compared to the Microsoft world.

    Yeah, how dare they make a superior product, couldn't they have made GCC suck a bit more so the alternatives wouldn't look so bad?

    Every BSD project I've followed or participated with has been a positive experience due to those types of licensed projects attracting engineers who just want to write good code and want their code to be available and free to everyone to make good use of it.

    Same here, and the same goes for GPL'ed projects. In all cases, its the users (and the ocassional Slashdot troll) who make them look bad. Well, except for Theo's yearly foaming-at-the-mouth, but he's such a talented engineer we're ready to let that one pass.

  • Re:Summary? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @08:47PM (#28725413) Journal

    The problem with your statement is that you assume that Theo is perfect. If he's not (and he's definitely not, just like all of us), then "shut up and do what I say, and I don't need you trying to explain me why I'm wrong, cause I'm never wrong!" mentality will lead to a disaster when he gets something wrong. You could say that it's alright so long as, on average, he's right more often than he's wrong; however, the real problem with mistake combined with arrogance is that mistakes often tend to become grave in such circumstances. It's the "fuhrer problem" - it's very tempting to put a brilliant guy in complete control with no backup, but it only works for limited time in practice.

    Theo's good at what he does, OpenBSD could and would not exist without him, and the world is a better place for it.

    Who knows; perhaps, if OpenBSD didn't exist, NetBSD would be better?

  • by Weedhopper (168515) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @09:05PM (#28725509)

    Why was parent modded down as flamebait/offttopic? That's not fair.

    While there are uses for which video is king, video as a way conveying certain types of information DOES suck. I think most people on here can read MUCH faster and process information more comprehensively in written form than some talking head on a video. This vid has slides, so it's better but I'd still prefer to read the slides and attached notes than basically be lectured to at someone else's pace. It does more for my comprehension and it saves time.

    Christ, you'd think people thought the parent post was personally attacking Theo or something.

  • Re:It works? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rbanffy (584143) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @09:36PM (#28725591) Homepage Journal

    They are all GNU/Linux. You can't compare BSD to the Linux kernel, but you can compare it to the Linux kernel plus the GNU userland.

    The fact there are different distros that share slightly off-sync versions of a common base continuously forking and merging back makes for a more interesting history than the, as the GP aptly described, BSD fork bloodbath.

    BSD is for those who want to write free software, while GPL is for those who write free software and want it to be free forever. They may be called ideologues, but you can't question the GPL side of the fence breeds greater diversity and a richer ecosystem.

  • Re:Summary? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @09:49PM (#28725627) Homepage

    Excuse the pedantry, but you're making a big assumption when you're considering that the majority are in the average. For all you know half of people could be extremely bad and the other half extremely bright, leaving no one anywhere near the average.

    Ummm ... they've measured IQs, plotted it on a bell curve, and defined average to be the peak in the curve plus some on each side.

    Since that holds the majority of the population, it's entirely correct to say that the majority of the people in the world are average. It's defined to include the majority of the people.

    What you're describing is, I believe, a double-tassel distribution -- which is what first year comp-sci classes tend to look like. You either get it, or you don't, there's no middle of the road.

    Average human intelligence really does sit in the middle, and most people are average.

    Cheers

  • by metrix007 (200091) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @09:51PM (#28725633)

    A secure system is more than just not having vulnerabilities.

    Secure systems, for a start, should have the ability to control and restricts information to a fine grained level. Unfortunately, Theo is stubborn that things like MAC and RBAC should not be included, as they are not necessary. Which is remarkably short-sighted. DAC has many problems, any any truly secure system should have an alternative. As much as I like OpenBSD for what it is, and as much as I respect the development team, a focus on quality is not the same as a focus on security. Secure by default is a good approach, but is somewhat meaningless, as you are limited in what you can do with it. A true metric would be to look at the vulnerabilities of software in the ports tree, of which there is still a lot.

    At the moment, SELinux or RSBAC are far more secure systems, despite those platforms having more vulnerabilities. If you gain a root shell through Apache for example, you will not be able to do a damn thing. On OpenBSD, as there is no defence in depth, the system is yours. Even NetBSD and FreeBSD seem to have more of a focus on actual security, with efforts like SEBSD, executable signatures, PAX/NX support etc.

    OpenBSD is quality, top not software. It is not however, a secure system.

  • Long story short: Theo rules with an iron fist and springs releases like pop quizzes.

    Mod parent up. Successful organizations need strong leadership. FOSS' generally decentralized model (and that damn egalitarian hacker ethic) works against this. Not that that's a bad thing, but somebody needs to steer the boat.
  • Re:Summary? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by uncqual (836337) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @10:31PM (#28725845)
    If only those that "didn't get it", got out...

    Instead, too many struggle by and end up thinking someone should hire them to code.
  • Re:Summary? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by uncqual (836337) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @10:41PM (#28725893)
    That ability to eat your own dogfood for real sounds pretty crucial to the strategy. Unfortunately, if one is developing software that they don't actually need to use extensively and continuously to get through each day, relying on developers for testing "by using it" is likely less reliable and/or predictable

    For example, developers of software for set top cable DVRs (Motorola developers who write the crap Comcast downloads to my DVR - you know who you are!) may not even subscribe to cable -- and, presumably, even if they do, they have little time to watch it at the very time when it most needs testing.
  • by schon (31600) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @10:55PM (#28725977)

    Wow, just wow.

    My thoughts exactly.

    Perhaps you need to read about what started it all [lxer.com] before you make further posts. Your ignorance about the entire matter is showing.

  • by guacamole (24270) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @11:11PM (#28726029)

    I could be wrong, but I think the primary reason they release so fast is because the OpenBSD team does not attempt to bundle all of existing open source software with their OS like say Debian is trying to do. In *BSD distros, there is the core OS that includes essentially only the operating system and some utilities, and then there is the ports collection. I believe a serious bug in some port package will not halt the release process of a BSD distribution, at least for non-essential ports.

  • Re:It works? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 16, 2009 @11:38PM (#28726159)

    When someone says they run OpenBSD, you have a very clear picture as to what kernel, compiler and userland they are running. When someone says they run Linux, the best you can hope for is that they actually are using the Linux kernel. That's the difference between an operating system and a distribution.

  • Re:Summary? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 17, 2009 @12:01AM (#28726259)

    It would be pointless to test prior to integration of all submitted components.

    Stay away, stay faaaaaaar away from my code and applications.

  • faux inefficiency (Score:5, Insightful)

    by epine (68316) on Friday July 17, 2009 @12:45AM (#28726449)

    In an ideal world, I suppose, 386BSD would have been managed better and there would be no forks.

    In your "ideal world" I suspect we would all be rather less well off.

    I've never understood the appeal of one-size-fits all. Why is it the premise of so many off-the-cuff comments in every venue of discussion?

    So far as I can see, it accomplishes two things: makes it easy to criticize others for not getting along, and relieves the commentator of having to learn or understand systems theory, which is subtle and difficult. If only the whales had not split off from the carnivorous ungulates, evolution, in the ideal world, would have accomplished so much more. Put into a real context, the idea barely parses.

    Within the prokaryote kingdom, there is a great deal of horizontal gene transfer. Within the BSD clade, there is a great deal of horizontal transfer (of ideas and code) whenever the need arises.

    horizontal gene transfer [wikipedia.org]

    The most profound fork is probably the GPL from the long-standing conventions of public domain, which the BSD license more nearly mimics.

    I don't see much difference between the scope of source code and the scope of human interpersonal relationships. In an ideal world, we would all be better off if either A) all information was private, or B) all information was public. Turns out, some people have information they don't wish to share (for a list of reasons which includes every human motivation) so the GPL lacks universal appeal. Turns out, some people have information which they don't wish other people not to share, so neither does the BSD license have universal appeal.

    Having the two license camps puts a crimp on horizontal transfer, but it hasn't caused the world to stop turning. Is it fundamentally a bad thing to implement an idea twice, beginning from two different sets of premises? Only if your goal is world domination. For maximizing insight, diversity rocks.

    I could continue, but I'm sure the choir has already figured this out, and the sinners are set in their ways.

    At the end of the day, fork has become a term of social derision founded upon a monolithic Garden of Eden which never existed, and wouldn't have been a paradise even if it had.

    If the only reason to fork is that two parties can't get along (X, libc are possibilities, but I don't know enough of the story) then forking is a mite unseemly, much like a failed marriage. Do open source communities fork more often than any other walk of life? I suspect not. And no, I'm not counting whiner attrition, where one or two guys copy a code base into their own tree, make a dozen patches, and are never heard from again. Does IBM fork every time a deadbeat is fired or quits?

    Many of these projects have accomplished things through volunteer collaboration that twenty years ago few would have believed possible, yet they are mostly criticized in retrospect for the occasional loud public spat prior to a parting of ways, by people who are deeply in touch with their inner primate.

    Those of us in the results oriented camp are less inclined to praise the false nirvana of pretending to agree when you really don't.

    For an interesting comparison, consider the disputes over the years within NASA over the "smaller, faster, cheaper" engineering meme.

    Small Is Beautiful, But Big Is Necessary [nasa.gov]

    I suspect smaller, faster, cheaper might work, but it won't ever be NASA who consistently pulls this off. NASA is what you get when an agency never forks. Ideal leaves a lot to be desired.

  • Re:It works? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by klui (457783) on Friday July 17, 2009 @02:15AM (#28726755)

    Boot the Linux kernel and nothing else. What can you do with it? Not very much, therefore, just the kernel is not an operating system.

    Your original post states that the Linux code base has never been forked you imply that OpenBSD has. I don't think OpenBSD has been forked after its creation. Who really cares what the code's history was before it became OpenBSD? This article is about OpenBSD release engineering. If it were about BSD release engineering, you would have a point.

  • by synthesizerpatel (1210598) on Friday July 17, 2009 @02:31AM (#28726811)

    SELinux and RSBAC don't necessarily provide any additional security. They certainly seem to suggest it, but the software you trust is just software like everything else.

    But, I think the primary 'hmm' here is that you suggest that there aren't more granular levels in BSD. Of course there are.

    * chroot
    * privilege separation (root from an apache server? sounds like a linux box to me..)
    * sysctls for kernel and other behavior (security level, immutables)
    * built-in stack protection (isn't that half of why you'd need SELinux anyway??
    * encrypted swap/fs
    * randomized malloc()

    There's a variety of standard, well documented features that anyone can use. Each element on it's own has it's own vulnerabilities, used in concert correctly they are very effective and predictable. Unlike SELinux for instance that will randomly just not let something happen emitting a cryptic error message. And, while we're at it.. why do you trust SELinux? Audited it's code?

    Given the overall security track record of the Linux distros (Debian SSH RNG anyone?) -- I trust OpenBSD a tiny bit more.

  • Re:Summary? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ciggy (692030) on Friday July 17, 2009 @02:47AM (#28726889)
    Being pedantic?

    In that case, you'd better specify to WHICH average you are referring and your exact definition of "most", because, mathematically, there are three averages which can be taken from the data given:

    MEAN: sum the data and divide by the number: 30 / 8 = 3.75
    MEDIAN: write in order, the one in the middle (or mean average of middle two if number of data is even): (3 + 4) / 2 = 3.5
    MODE: the data item which appears the most often (has the highest frequency count): 1

    [The last average is often stated as "the data item that appears the most", with "most" meaning "highest frequency count".]

    So the error in the GP's post is to say that "'most of those numbers are 1' even though the numbers are not 1 on average" when in fact, using the MODAL average, the numbers ARE 1 on average!

    In fact, using the data given, it is perfectly true to say that most[1] of the numbers are above average (when the average used is the MODAL average as 5 numbers are greater than 1, giving 62.5% greater than average).

    [1]most here being defined by taking the numbers and dividing them into two sets: those larger than the modal average, and those not larger, and "most" being the size of the set with the larger number of elements.
  • by fialar (1545) on Friday July 17, 2009 @05:29AM (#28727519)

    As someone who had used Linux quite extensively for the past 11 years, I recently started rolling out OpenBSD servers at my job. Two OpenBSD firewalls power our production network (using CARP/pfsync) and they do it flawlessly.

    In our office, an OpenBSD firewall connected to two DSL modems is able to load balance traffic out, and do proper asymmetric routing. All this thanks to the developers who make a lot of great, innovative code for pf, CARP, pfsync, etc..

    I couldn't do any of this properly with Linux, especially not the asymmetric routing.

    I've worked on OpenBSD ports to make them better. I've found the developers friendly and helpful. The code is quite solid.

  • Re:Summary? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Friday July 17, 2009 @08:39AM (#28728875)

    If it's not a human testing, it's already wrong.

    You do both. Automated testing is only as good as the people who write the tests. If you make assumptions in the code, and also in the tests, you won't find bugs until users actually use it.

    I know all about how you can rearrange responsibilities and someone other than the developer writes the tests blah blah whatever, it never works 100%. After I get done with all of my testing I have a human try it and about a third of the time that user will try to do something that wasn't in the requirements and did not get tested because it wasn't expected. Maybe a bug comes out of that, maybe it's just documentation that needs updated, but you have to have people using it in real life situations to be called a true test. I've seen automated testing pass things and then users, because they operate more slowly, expose timing or deadlock problems. Real people are needed.

The meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. -- Lew Mammel, Jr.

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