FreeBSD Delay & Mac OS X: TMO Speaks With Jordan K. Hubbard

Earlier this month, Slashdot [link corrected] noted a public announcement from the FreeBSD organization on August 30th stating that their next release, version 5.0 is being delayed by one year. Originally scheduled for release this November, itis now scheduled for November of 2002. From that announcement:

A lot of this is undoubtedly due to the economic down-turn and the decline in resources which various companies have had available to donate to such efforts, but we still have to take this into account in our project planning and thatis why the shipping date is going to be pushed ahead as far as it is. This is not a resource problem weire going to overcome in the next couple of months, and slipping just a little bit wonit accomplish our goals, it will merely set us up for another slip when the time comes.

The announcement was made by core team member, release coordinator, public relations and corporate liaison, Jordan K Hubbard. Mr. Hubbard also works for Apple; on June 25th of this year, Mr. Hubbard announced that he was going to work for Apple, assisting in its open-source efforts such as Darwin, the core of Mac OS X. From that letter:

FreeBSD doesnit compete with Appleis product offerings in any way and provides an excellent source of technology for them. Darwin is substantially based on FreeBSD 3.2 and Apple certainly doesnit want the technology transfer to end there or to be strictly one-way. Part of my mandate will in fact be helping Apple to be an even better Open Source citizen, increasing collaboration and strengthening relationships with FreeBSD and other Open Source projects.

With Mac OS Xis Darwin kernel being based on FreeBSD, there has been some question as to whether or not the announcement from the FreeBSD project would in any way impact ongoing development of Mac OS X. The short answer to that question is "no." While many developers, members of the open source community, and other gearheads may have an intuitive understanding of these events, to the average user, the relationship between the two projects may not be clear. The Mac Observer (TMO) approached Mr. Hubbard to help explain the issues. Understandably, he admitted his employment at Apple makes commenting difficult, but he was willing to help further clarify things for The Mac Observer:

TMO: Does the delay of the FreeBSD release affect Darwin or Mac OS X?

Jordan K. Hubbard: It doesnit affect Darwin at all since Darwin is on a rather different release schedule and would tend to track code from FreeBSD 4.x rather than the "experimental" branch, especially one which will be in flux for another year.

TMO: Has Appleis effort with Darwin had an effect on FreeBSD development at all? Has it lured developers away from FreeBSD?

Jordan K. Hubbard: I havenit seen any effects like this, no. As to why not, one might assume itis because FreeBSDis users are interested in that OS for different reasons than the Darwin developers are interested in theirs. If anything, thereis a lot of room for people to do a bit of both.