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Sony's PlayStation 4 Is Running Modified FreeBSD 9

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  • tux9656
    I think Sony made a good choice with using FreeBSD. The FreeBSD kernel is lean and efficient and FreeBSD's UFS2 filesystem offers great responsiveness . I have tried wine gaming under FreeBSD and it was every bit as good as Linux, even running on ZFS (which is much faster than btrfs).

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  • mrugiero
    Originally posted by shadowriver View Post
    Playstation 3 and Vita use libgcm not OpenGL and PS4 is expected to have same APIs. There no really need for Direct3D, MS marketing made people think that is something that makes things better and everything using it.... where only Windows and Xbox using it
    It doesn't make things better, but a lot of graphics developers think it makes life easier for them. And that always reflects as better support for users. Of course, I think it wouldn't be wise to use it as the main graphics API on Linux, since it's directly controlled by MS, but I'm far from opposing its very use.

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  • shadowriver
    Originally posted by elanthis View Post
    A combination of the BSD POSIX-like APIs for basic OS/hardware services, some superior games-centric APIs (a port of the Direct3D 11 graphics API rather than the CAD-oriented OpenGL mess as one example), plus the console-specific Sony PSN/chat/profile/video/controller APIs.
    Playstation 3 and Vita use libgcm not OpenGL and PS4 is expected to have same APIs. There no really need for Direct3D, MS marketing made people think that is something that makes things better and everything using it.... where only Windows and Xbox using it
    Last edited by shadowriver; 19 July 2013, 11:43 AM.

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  • intellivision
    Originally posted by tron_ston
    OxBADCODE's comments are really insightful
    Anyone can write a post with ad hominem attacks against *BSD, that doesn't make it insightful or even correct.

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  • Ibidem
    Originally posted by chrisb View Post
    So they produced a silly comic strip that undermines the appearance of professionalism and maturity of the entire project, just because they got trolled by one person on a mailing list?
    No. That's the illustrations for one of their release songs, and you need to read the notes to understand it. There's more provocation from rms than "trolled by one person on a mailing list".

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  • mazenmardini
    FreeBSD, x86 CPU architecture, non-exotic GPU.. PlayStation 4 on VMWare...

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  • spacetoilet
    Btw good job of making into Tomshardware new's,23254.html

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  • mrugiero
    Originally posted by 0xBADCODE View Post
    To my taste I qualify what happens to BSDs a "project management FAIL". Basically BSD guys are utterly bad whem it comes to project management. They usually have no clear goals and do not care about actual outcome. So while they had 10 years more than penguins had, they were outrun anyway. And license selection was is a part of project management failures. Not first and not last, sure.
    Yes, if what you aim is a top quality product that license is a bad choice, since it doesn't push it to its maximum potential.
    A gift to parasite who never or almost never does something like that in return is a fairly wothless and dumb action. It could even be somewhat harmful if this encourages parasitism further. Spreading parasites is not a good deed.
    Here I agree only partially. I don't think it specially encourages that. It just does nothing to prevent that, but there might (I don't know if there is indeed) a partial retribution. For example, one might provide the non-DRM bits to upstream.
    Right. But it only works well for very specific cases. In many other cases it plays a really bad joke. Ha-ha, some BSD devs are using proprietary OSes on their desktops. I don't know how OS developer could EPIC FAIL anyhow harder than that. If OS can't serve even developer's own needs so dev resorts to proprietary system, it's a clear indication of toy OS and EPIC FAIL of such project. They were outperformed by others really hard.
    Here, I agree for the cases where the dev is not being paid (thus, working because in some way it fits him/her). If it's a paid dev, then he/she is probably following guidelines from whoever pays, even when the result might not be what he/she wants from an OS.
    I'm not sure if it's true, but I think I heard Linus uses Windows some time, and that doesn't make that OS any less worthy for me.
    It is not very smart to gift your house just to figure out now you don't have place to live. That's what happened to BSD guys. I've seen at least some of BSD devs who resorted to MacOS or Windows. Some also use Linux, but it seems to cause them too much pain to recognize that some "similar" system performs orders of magnitude better than their design. So they usually stick to previous two. I don't know how devs can EPIC FAIL harder when it comes to writing OS. If OS is not good enough to serve even its developers, this sail is set for epic fail.
    Pretty much the same as the previous point.
    Well, as I told, BSDs are known to have very bad project management. They run into dumb issues here and there. And they always did it this way. OTOH Torvalds was somehow smart enough to avoid major pitfalls, ranging from dumb licensing choice up to reusing copyrighted code and getting sued. In fact, successful project needs a good project manager. Torvalds managed to become a really epic PM, avoiding common pitfalls and building strong team.
    I mostly agree with this, provided they wanted BSD to be top quality. It was for some time, but this politic on not requiring retributions is showing. There's also the possibility a company willing to give back to the community doesn't want its code as BSD. Releasing open source code is in part a PR movement, and using GPL saves them the chance of the competition using it in closed source (i.e., most of the commercial ones) products. This might have been part of their problem, specially when it comes to open source drivers and fancy features.
    It does not works this way. If you tell "you should not shot people" but will not provide actual retribution, some people will shot, "just because they can" and "because there was no retribution". And greedy corporate managers are exactly of this type when it comes to giving anything back. So either they "must" or "it's not going to work". That's what played really bad joke on BSDs. In ideal world where everyone is "good" it could work. In real world it's not a case. By default corporation only care about profit, as long as this does not leads to serious retribution.
    Of course, I didn't try to state otherwise. As I already said, I don't think a smart person would use the BSD license if he/she really expect something back. Anyway, *I* think if someone uses it, the polite thing to do is to retribute.
    In the corporate world, you will not give back the top bits if your business is selling them, because that would be a bad move. Specially if you give it back with a permissive license that makes your competition able to use it.
    Also, in the ideal world where everyone is 'good', no license should be needed.
    As for me there is nothing bold and brave in supporting parasitism. It's could be just dumb/careless or even harmful. There could be some exceptions where parasites are tricked to eat your "super-free" BSD-licensed bait and then starting to use free data formats in their software, even if it's proprietary one. This could improve data format adoption. But for other cases it could just screw up project without any good outcome like it happened to BSD OSes.
    Well, you just provided a case where this model is actually good to the community. Think of CAD, which is currently one of the big "sorry, I can't help you" points of free software. If there were a BSD, more basic, CAD utility before AutoCAD, we might be in the door of binary compatibility with their file formats.
    As I already stated, I don't find that license suitable either if the target is a top quality OS.
    You see, Sony could use heavily customized internals and AMD haves no good reasons to maintain extra code for driver for OS barely used by <0.01% of users. Wasting time to make happy literally some hundreds (or several thousands at very best) of people isn't a rewarding task. OTOH, making driver for PS4 is one-shot work. Only one type of hardware for a while. And only one subflavor of OS. Not a case with PC - completely different approaches.
    Of course, that's why the 'if'. If the customized internals leave mostly intact the driver level, AMD might not need to support an extra driver, but only PS4's one, and that could be enough, as long as they release it. If not, well, they're not any worse than they are now.
    The point about a single piece of hardware is completely valid, though.
    And last but not least: I think Linux is better also because there is strong traction not to depend on any dumb close-source blobs. So no proprietary heads can dictate how to write Linux, leaving devs freedom to choose their ways. In particular, Linux KMS and DRI subsystems are really noteworthy. Guys are really up to building some powerful opensource graphic back-end which does not really needs proprietary drivers and encourages open ones while providing a number of really powerful and interesting features. OTOH BSD guys are such a losers they have to "hope" that some proprietary stuff will be adopted for them (which could never happen in worst case). To my taste it's a really pathetic way to lose control on OS development.
    I agree on the praise to Linux, but you should take into account there's lots of work on the graphics stack actually coming from companies, not from independent devs. BSD side, on the contrary, has almost no company support on the open graphics stack, that's why they 'hope' for the blobs: because companies work on the blob to give support. Look at Linux drivers for unsupported hardware (I'm not considering the deprecated hardware as unsupported, because maintaining seems to be much easier than implementing) and you'll see it's not much better than BSD support. VIA IGPs still have no mainstream KMS, for example, and I think it has a lot to do with them not investing devs while the major companies did. Of course, there's also the scratching of own needs, which lead to a decent nVidia driver without the company giving support (and for a long time not even docs, I'm not sure if that changed).

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    Originally posted by Sergio View Post
    Yes, the pattern you claim is undeniable. Yet, obviously, it remains a question whether this tendency of what we call civilized people really pursues 'freedom'; maybe for these civilized people, security is far more important than true freedom. In any case, controversy prevails.
    You're wrong. In fact it's just some form of consensus. So even if it could be not the best possible option for particular individual, it's the best acceptable solution for whole group of individuals. That's how it works. Should consensus be something else, laws will be reshaped match it more or less. Otherwise huge churn follows - nothing good will happen.

    Of course it is valid. I don't agree, however, with Stallman's view of proprietary software: "Writing non-free software is not an ethically legitimate activity".
    As for me, I would rather agree with his point of view. Because denial of freedom to learn and change world (and some program in particular) is basically evil thing which harms humankind as a whole. It makes more consumers and less creators and authors. Kinda shameful activity. Stallman probably was just smart enough to overcome his ego/greed and recognize this fact. Pursue of some local gains can lead to large loss in future. Even for whole humankind. DRM f...ks like sony just don't care about this - they're making money. Here and now. They really dont care what will happen "tomorrow" due to their activity. That's what makes them "problematic entity". At least potentially.

    However, the question is whether or not the GNU approach really represents freedom.
    GNU approach is just a mere compensation for real world differences from ideal world required to make things actually working. In ideal world where everyone is "good" and cares about ALL consequences of their actions including global impact, this should not be needed. Unfortunately it's still needed to compensate differences.

    Of course some people might argue that something that is imposed, or severly restricted, can hardly be considered a representation of freedom (Cuba?). Others might think that, in order to achieve true freedom, these restrictions are necessary.
    It's a matter of balance and consensus. Let's look on GPLv3. Looks more restrictive than GPLv2, right? But why? Because some proprietary buts figured out "workaround" aka tivoization. So you can have source but your changed version will not work. While formally everything is okay, goal is not achieved. That's what required fixing. GPLv3 appeared and took problem into account.

    Similar process happens with laws. Should you find some 100% legal way to cause enough harm, there will be strong demand to potect others from such kinds of activity - laws are likely to be reshaped so you will face retribution in future. This is what discourages people from doing harmful actions. And that's how decisions are made by large groups.

    GPL isn't anyhow different in all this - they applied fairly common and widely used principles to achieve their goals. I generally tend to like their goals and don't see why it's wrong to do so. Though I could be disagree about some particular shortcomings (like GPLv2 and v3 compatibility issues, etc - it could be silly in some cases).

    In general I think that communism severly restricts people's freedom (although we haven't actually defined 'freedom', it just 'feels' that way).
    You see, if it feels too restrictive - it just happens in wrong place and at wrong time. I don't see how it could "restrict" anyone in the world where anyone can create any material object at their will. Some core ideas could map really good to such "converged technologies" scenario, once certain endpoints reached. But as long as technology does not allows to create arbitrary physical objects with programed properties at (almost) zero cost, it's not going to work properly on it's own. And too artificial/enforced things tend to perform poorly and crash at some point. This is to be expected. Probably that's why known implementations sucked so hard. However, communism isn't pure evil. It haves advantages and disadvantages. Just as capitalism and anything else. And it's highly debatable what haves more advantages and less disadvantages. Poorly implemented communism will restrict individuals too much so advanced technologies will suffer. Progress is getting stuck. Bad? Sure. On other hand pure unregulated capitalism is bad either as it allows to individual or a groups to inflict serious harm, even up to global scale where humankind as whole could suffer. This also could be very bad. In fact that's what worries me about DRM f...ks. They really don't care about long-term results of their activity. This approach could cause a great harm.

    As said before, maybe 'true freedom' actually need these restrictions, in which case maybe communism does in fact represent true freedom. Obviously, I don't have the answer; at most I can say what personally most approaches that ideal of freedom.
    I think it's generally about consensus. Though there is no exact definitions for sure. But basically since most people would agree that "shooting other people is bad", we have laws which impose serious retribution if you shot someone without really strong reasons to do so. This does not means that "professional killers" group of humans is too happy. This means churn is minimized this way so "professional killers" would face more opression than others. It's okay in consensus way of making decisions.

    Well, the question is not whether we are willing to give up secutiry for some freedom; the question is just what freedom is. I never said such a thing as 'absolute freedom'; in my universe such a use of nanobots would be illegal, just as in this universe.
    But you see, if you forbid to use nanobots this way, you limit my freedom. So I have reasons to be unhappy about that - I haven't got my absolute freedom. But I think you got my point. "Perfect" freedom to do "anything" could be a relly bad thing sometimes. At least as long as this world is not ideal and needs laws enforcement, same goes for licensing. From my standpoint GPL just meant to address differences of this world from ideal model. In ideal world we don't need licenses at all and everyone understands that collaboration is the best way to go (except some special rare cases maybe). In real world humans greed and/or lack of far sight could prevail over any other reasoning up to degree where things would get dumb and counterproductive. GPL attempts to address this problem. Maybe not in perfect ways. But seems to work. To my taste it's counts.

    I do not accept what you say; it is incoherent having to give up freedom in order to have freedom. That is not to say that I have a definition of my own, however.
    In fact while it could sound strange, it have to be this way. Just because there are no better ways. I shown you example how I can use my freedom in very abusive and unpleasant way. Then you immediately proposed restriction of my freedom to do so, isn't it? That was the only way

    I have some definition. It's not mine though. And it's not exact. But anyway, "treat others in ways you want to be treated". And that's what DRM f...ks like sony always fail to do. There is strong bias. That what makes it wrong approach.

    I don't think the BSD guys are harmed when Sony, Apple or Juniper use their OS, even if they do not give back anything. So, if there is no harm, it can be considered free, and because BSD does not harm anyone, then BSD is free?
    In the GNU case, apparantely nobody is being harmed either, so it would also be free.
    There is no "direct" or "immediately visible" harm. However there are long term consequences which are hard to disregard and they're not so good. In case of BSD systems we can see one of result exposed in very distinct ways: project development suffers and it's turned out there were better ways of doing things.

    BSD provides a selfless approach: "Here you have this wonderful piece of code, we hope you can make the best of it and, of course, follow the same selfless approach. However, we do not force you so; it is your choice, your FREEDOM".
    These academic guys are always living in some abstract perfect world. Unfortunately they forgot to take a look around to make sure real world somehow differs from abstract model and these differences could be quite unpleasant. Basically GPL attempts to address this, nothing more, nothing less. Stallman did a great trick on defeating excessive greed and counterproductive approaches. To my taste it's a really epic lifehack.

    It is a valid point of view. It is also possible that we cannot live with TRUE freedom, an hence need all sorts of restrictions (i.e. we are not free).
    I shown you that I can imagine really unpleasant ways of using unrestricted freedom and it has been so unpleasant that you immediately suggested this use of freedom should be forbidden (hence no perfect freedom for me, huh). I bet you will have no trouble to have consensus on such topic - most humans would recognize such way of using freedom as "evil". Even if there is no clear definition of "evil" either. "It just feels this way".

    What I say is that the matter is EXTREMELY controversial. In fact, over the time, it has been a deep intellectual activity to reflect about freedom. The way I see it, the ideals of freedom belongs to pure philosophy, and people have abused its use all throughout history. I have tendency for the BSD philosophy, yes, but I do not claim that it represents the "one and only true freedom". Being so radical makes you an arrogant, because you are actually implicitly claiming to hold the truth and, as we have seen, the truth is something far from being known.
    To my taste things should be balanced. When software had no obvious value, it worked without licenses at all. Then it started to have some commercial value and finally greed prevailed over anything else. Stallman recognized this fact and took really impressive approach to try to fix this issue. While it looked strange, it worked. I can just applaud to such an epic lifehack and admit it has worked much better than I could expect it.

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    Originally posted by GreatEmerald View Post
    Yeap, and they recognise that the GPL is not the best solution to everything as well. That's why they also created LGPL and maintain a list of GPL-compatible licenses.
    Right. And even BSD could actually do in some special cases.

    [QUOTE]You seem to like the word "parasite" a lot. But in truth, the relationship between BSD developers and Sony is commensalism.
    Well, they're "parasites" because
    1) Someone took their resources to do the job but they're utterly unwilling to reward it.
    2) They also would not commit back.
    3) They produce DRM-crippled things and making it hard for consumers to become creators and authors. Hence some harm is done.

    So in overall for external observer (like me) they just consume something without return and causing harm. Hence more resembling a parasites if we'll try to evaluate whole picture of such activity.

    It may not be as good as mutualism, but it's not bad either.
    I've attempted to estimate overall outcome of all this activity and I really don't like it. World could be a better place without such entities. Provoking consumption and killing creativity with DRM and closed source just to get some bucks is really nasty and harmful approach to my taste.

    And both DRM and closed source are utterly bad since we can also lose our heritage. Imagine it now: 100 years later humans could fail to view old video. Because DRM scheme was not documented, no sources left to parse data format, etc. It's a really crapy and irresponsible approach to my taste.

    It's called a replicator. But funny how you mention that, because replicating items is also a form of commensalism. You get an item, the designers of it don't get anything and don't lose anything.
    Sure, it have to be someting similar in spirit. I can already see about half dozen of approaches which will create someting like that at point of convergence. Though some of these approaches (or even all) could be quite dangerous. So in fact either humans will learn that power comes with responsibility and world will become close to ideal, so "everyone is good" or it would cause some catastrophic failure upon attempt to use powerful technology in self-defeating ways. Should humans pass this test rather than self destruct, it will be exactly like you told. At this point there is simply no need to have any rewards. If you can create everything, you'll hardly need any reward. The only reward author can have at this point is fame and recognition. The only thing author can't create on his/her own

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