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I missed the WIP sessions at BSDCan 2005 as I instead attended Bob Beck’s talk on spamd. However, I had a chance to followup with George Neville-Neil who gave the WIP introducing the FreeBSD Marketing effort. Here is what George had to say:
“The email@example.com folks are trying to drum up white papers so that we can get our software into more places. One of the basic issues around getting FreeBSD into more locations is the lack of less technical, but nevertheless well written, information on our system. There are lots of people who want to use FreeBSD in their projects but they know that handing over a large book, or a dense technical paper, is going to make peoples’ eyes glaze over.
Right know we’re trying to find authors to write about applying FreeBSD for use in a set of white papers to be published by us and to provide ammunition to those who want to use FreeBSD at work. As I said in the WIP today you do NOT need to be a technical writer to get this stuff out there. There is a volunteer collector/editor/publisher of this material (published at the very least through freebsd.org) and that would be me.
Some ideas that a few of us have had are:
Using BSD in Data Centers
There are several companies that use FreeBSD to run their datacenters. How do they do this? What are the high level things to know before doing this? What are the problems? What are the solutions?
Switching from Solaris
Solaris is an expensive solution to many problems due to the cost of hardware, at the very least. There are probably other costs as well with respect to managing the systems. If someone wants to sell FreeBSD as a replacement for Solaris then they have to be able to say how that transition would work, and what pieces need to be found or built and how to build a system that completely replaces the Solaris system.
Switching from Linux
Switching from Windows
Building products with Netgraph
People have already built products out of Netgraph, not the least of which were the original authors of netgraph itself. We need to explain how to use this technology well enough for others to at least see how they could build products with it.
Building embedded networking devices
While the Netgraph white paper focusses very tightly on a specific sub-system there are plenty of groups/companies that would like to build an embedded networking device with FreeBSD. An example of this is monowall, the firewall product. This paper will show the pieces that are there and that are not there for building an embedded network device, such as an edge router, DSL box, wireles router etc.
Many people run benchmarks but few understand what they’re running or the results. This would be a base paper on which to build other discussions of benchmarking with respect to FreeBSD and other systems.”
If you have any experience in the above scenarios or can think of other scenarios that should be written up, drop either George or myself an email. Again, you don’t have to be a good writer; we can take your ideas and work with you to create a publishable white paper.
Send ideas to either “gnn at freebsd dot org” or to “dru at isecom dot org”.