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Context English State
To develop a high-quality operating system for popular computer hardware, and,
To make our work available to all under a liberal license.
FreeBSD enjoys an open and transparent working culture. Nearly all discussion in the project happens by email, on <link xlink:href="">public mailing lists</link> that are also archived for posterity. The project's policies are <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/internal/policies.html">documented</link> and maintained under revision control. Participation in the project is open to all.
Understanding FreeBSD culture
To be able to work effectively with the FreeBSD project, you need to understand the project's culture.
Volunteer driven projects operate under different rules than for-profit corporates. A common mistake that companies make when venturing into the open-source world is that of underplaying these differences.
Most contributions to FreeBSD are done voluntarily without monetary rewards entering the picture. The factors that motivate individuals are complex, ranging from altruism, to an interest in solving the kinds of problems that FreeBSD attempts to solve. In this environment, <quote>elegance is never optional</quote> <citation>Nor1993</citation>.
The Long Term View
FreeBSD's <link xlink:href="">source repository</link> contains a history of the project since its inception, and there are <link xlink:href="">CDROMs available</link> that contain earlier code from the CSRG.
FreeBSD traces its roots back nearly twenty years to the work of the Computer Science Research Group at the University of California Berkeley.<_:footnote-1/> A number of the original CSRG developers remain associated with the project.
The project values long-term perspectives <citation>Nor2001</citation>. A frequent acronym encountered in the project is <acronym>DTRT</acronym>, which stands for <quote>Do The Right Thing</quote>.
Development Processes
Computer programs are tools for communication: at one level programmers communicate their intentions using a precise notation to a tool (a compiler) that translates their instructions to executable code. At another level, the same notation is used for communication of intent between two programmers.
Formal specifications and design documents are seldom used in the project. Clear and well-written code and well-written change logs (<xref linkend="fig-change-log"/>) are used in their place. FreeBSD development happens by <quote>rough consensus and running code</quote> <citation>Carp1996</citation>.
A sample change log entry

r151864 | bde | 2005-10-29 09:34:50 -0700 (Sat, 29 Oct 2005) | 13 lines
Changed paths:
M /head/lib/msun/src/e_rem_pio2f.c

Use double precision to simplify and optimize arg reduction for small
and medium size args too: instead of conditionally subtracting a float
17+24, 17+17+24 or 17+17+17+24 bit approximation to pi/2, always
subtract a double 33+53 bit one. The float version is now closer to
the double version than to old versions of itself -- it uses the same
33+53 bit approximation as the simplest cases in the double version,
and where the float version had to switch to the slow general case at
|x| == 2^7*pi/2, it now switches at |x| == 2^19*pi/2 the same as the
double version.

This speeds up arg reduction by a factor of 2 for |x| between 3*pi/4 and
2^7*pi/4, and by a factor of 7 for |x| between 2^7*pi/4 and 2^19*pi/4.
Communication between programmers is enhanced by the use of a common coding standard <citerefentry><refentrytitle>style</refentrytitle><manvolnum>9</manvolnum></citerefentry>.
Communication Channels
FreeBSD's contributors are spread across the world. Email (and to a lesser extent, IRC) is the preferred means of communication in the project.
Best Practices for collaborating with the FreeBSD project
We now look at a few best practices for making the best use of FreeBSD in product development.
Plan for the long term
Setup processes that help in tracking the development of FreeBSD. For example:
Track FreeBSD source code
The project makes it easy to mirror its SVN repository using <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/committers-guide/article.html#svn-advanced-use-setting-up-svnsync"><application>svnsync</application></link>. Having the complete history of the source is useful when debugging complex problems and offers valuable insight into the intentions of the original developers. Use a capable source control system that allows you to easily merge changes between the upstream FreeBSD code base and your own in-house code.
<xref linkend="fig-svn-blame"/> shows a portion of an annotated listing of the file referenced by the change log in <xref linkend="fig-change-log"/>. The ancestry of each line of the source is clearly visible. Annotated listings showing the history of every file that is part of FreeBSD are <link xlink:href="">available on the web</link>.
An annotated source listing generated using <command>svn blame</command>


176410 bde 2008-02-19 07:42:46 -0800 (Tue, 19 Feb 2008) #include &lt;sys/cdefs.h&gt;
176410 bde 2008-02-19 07:42:46 -0800 (Tue, 19 Feb 2008) __FBSDID("$FreeBSD: head/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/building-products/article.xml 54253 2020-06-14 08:10:06Z carlavilla $");
2116 jkh 1994-08-19 02:40:01 -0700 (Fri, 19 Aug 1994)
2116 jkh 1994-08-19 02:40:01 -0700 (Fri, 19 Aug 1994) /* __ieee754_rem_pio2f(x,y)
8870 rgrimes 1995-05-29 22:51:47 -0700 (Mon, 29 May 1995) *
176552 bde 2008-02-25 05:33:20 -0800 (Mon, 25 Feb 2008) * return the remainder of x rem pi/2 in *y
176552 bde 2008-02-25 05:33:20 -0800 (Mon, 25 Feb 2008) * use double precision for everything except passing x
152535 bde 2005-11-16 18:20:04 -0800 (Wed, 16 Nov 2005) * use __kernel_rem_pio2() for large x
2116 jkh 1994-08-19 02:40:01 -0700 (Fri, 19 Aug 1994) */
2116 jkh 1994-08-19 02:40:01 -0700 (Fri, 19 Aug 1994)
176465 bde 2008-02-22 07:55:14 -0800 (Fri, 22 Feb 2008) #include &lt;float.h&gt;
176465 bde 2008-02-22 07:55:14 -0800 (Fri, 22 Feb 2008)
2116 jkh 1994-08-19 02:40:01 -0700 (Fri, 19 Aug 1994) #include "math.h"

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(itstool) path: figure/title
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String age
a year ago
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a year ago
Translation file
articles/building-products.pot, string 109