Charles Hannum, one of the four originators of the operating system, sent a blistering email this week to the NetBSD mailing list.
"The NetBSD Project has stagnated to the point of irrelevance. It has got to the point that being associated with the project is often more of a liability than an asset," he wrote.
Hannum takes care in the email not to point the finger, and shoulders his share of the blame.
"We have seen over the years that one of the great successes of Linux was that it had a strong leader who set goals and directions, and was able to get people to do what he wanted, or find someone else to do it," he said. "NetBSD did not have this."
Partly due to a lack of people, and partly to a more corporate mentality, Hannum acknowledges that NetBSD projects were often "locked".
One person would say they were working on a project, and everyone else would be told to refer to that person. Often these projects stagnated, or never progressed at all.
"Unfortunately, these problems still exist in the NetBSD project today, and nothing is being done to fix them," wrote Hannum.
The NetBSD creator has now offered a plan to resurrect the project. "The existing NetBSD Foundation must be disbanded, and replaced with an organisation that fulfils its original purpose," said Hannum.
In fear of future shortage - or in preparation for its own electric car project?
New Spectre microcode patches released by Intel to fix security flaws in Skylake, Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake CPUs
But if you're running anything older you'll have to wait
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