Talk:Theo de Raadt

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Resources for improving this article[edit]

Resources to make use of in improving the article:

A funny quote[edit]

I added this one to the Wikiquote.

In an e-mail conversation with John R. Moser:

John: So on a system with proper ASLR, proper data/code separation, proper stack smash protection, and a secure heap manager, do you feel that CGI scripts written in perl, PHP, tcl, python, ASP, or any other interpreted script language pose a significant security risk over a straight C program using a CGI library to generate proper headers?
Theo: I just build things. I don't make assesments and promises.

Is it just me, or did he just say, "I don't really know how to analyze security threats"? It's funny as all hell to think about; but I'd really prefer not to trust someone who is inable to give some kind of commentary of consideration (there's no simple yes or no to the question I posed) on such a straight forward question.

MY analysis of this topic is that cross site scripting is a fancy term for "shellcode injection with CGI scripts," as you're essentially introducing external script as opposed to external program bytecode. The protections in OpenBSD and hardened Linux distributions like Adamantix or Hardened Gentoo prevent memory corruptions from altering the program code itself; aside from this, attacks like plain old bad logic (ask for a password, get a password?) and SQL injection attacks are results of logic errors, not broken program code or buffer overflows or whatnot, so affect C binaries and PHP scripts and the like all the same. I was just looking for the opinions of others with more experience than me ;) The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

Most likely the man just doesn't have time to answer "straightforward", if vague, questions like this. In my experience Theo doesn't generally see answering questions as his job (especially ones that may be figured out for oneself). If you want answers to this kind of stuff, this might be the place for you. NicM 09:07, 16 January 2006 (UTC).Reply[reply]

I read it as "this question is rather stupid" 2001:A60:1629:B201:7A24:AFFF:FE42:3EA5 (talk) 16:44, 19 January 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Photo Requested[edit]

I have requested use of a photo on his website under BSD terms. We'll see... ~Linuxerist L / T 23:30, 10 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Update:I have added one, a better resolution one possibly on the way. ~Linuxerist L / T 01:07, 11 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I had forgotten about this! Anyways, a picture is up now. ~LinuxeristTux.svgNuvola apps emacs.png E/L/T 16:55, 20 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Still a horrible picture. Any chance we can use another? --Tylerdmace (talk) 03:54, 16 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

cool shirt[edit]

sweet, not so bad either and okey. 20:59, 26 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • I just returned this to the talk page, since these are all Theoisms and could be used in a trivia section or just added to something mentioning de Raadt's effect on Internet culture or what have you. Janizary 01:52, 11 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Alphabetical sort order[edit]

Hi there,

When Theo de Raadt's name must be sorted alphabetically, does it come under D or under R? --Amir E. Aharoni 08:30, 22 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

R. NicM 12:57, 22 August 2006 (UTC).Reply[reply]

Alphabetical sort order 2[edit]

Hi all,

A few days a go i changed the sort order in categories from "Deraadt, Theo" to "Raadt, Theo de", according to NicM's reply on this talk page. At the same time, a discussion was going on at Template talk:FOSS celeb about sorting Dutch names in general. This discussion was inconclusive. Wikipedia policy on Dutch names is inconclusive either.

Neverthelss, Janizary reverted my edit back to Deraadt, citing the FOSS celeb discussion.

I am not an expert on Dutch language, but i've never seen de Raadt's name written as Deraadt, even if many other Dutch people do write their names like that.

Any comments? --Amir E. Aharoni 07:02, 26 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't really care which way it is done, but I don't find citing the Dutch language or Dutch alphabetical rules convincing. Many languages have varied rules regarding names, but this is the English Wikipedia, so English language sorting rules should be followed regardless of the name's origin. My experience has always been than surnames such as de Raadt should be sorted under R, but if there is evidence that putting it under D is a valid alternative in English, then I am quite happy with it that way. NicM 13:01, 26 August 2006 (UTC).Reply[reply]
The use of "Deraadt" rather than "De Raadt" where it is is irrelevent at the moment since it is merely used to sort, not displayed. NicM 13:04, 26 August 2006 (UTC).Reply[reply]
In any sense, 'prefixed' Dutch family names start with a capital when there is no given name before them. This is comparable to how it works with most proper nouns in English, c.f. 'Arthur the Brave' but 'The Brave', 'de' means 'the' and the last name originated from a similar nickname made an official family name from Napoleonic times. So 'Theo de Raadt' but 'De Raadt' without the given name before it is standard Dutch practice and well extendible to English capitalisation rules as per argued afore. Writing 'de Raadt' as 'Deraadt' would only be done as an Anglicization if one expects problems with the prefix, as his family has not officially done so. 'Deraadt' is as incorrect as writing 'Monalisa' instead of 'Mona Lisa', the 'de' part is not really perceived as part of the name in Dutch, though this does not extend to a Canadian citizen of Dutch origin. Rajakhr (talk) 10:09, 28 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Request: More info on de Raadt's work in NetBSD[edit]

As it stands, the section titled NetBSD is mostly a list of NetBSD releases. Because this is an article about Theo de Raadt, I would ask anybody who knows to add information about what exactly did he contribute to the project (besides the name). Thanks.

--Sami M. J. Nieminen

The sparc port, Chuck Cranor and himself were instrumental in it's being what it is today. It has been said that for a time he was the biggest single code producer in NetBSD, but that is long ago and something that if you want, you'd have to find verifyable sources to cite. I don't have such sources lying around begging to be cited here, however, you're welcome to find them. Janizary 22:54, 10 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Picture[edit] would probably be a better source for an image, since it's bigger, but that would require running it by de Raadt for permission to use a crop of the picture, so as to remove the woman. 21:58, 4 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Could someone please confirm this change? ( I find it very suspicious that this occurred so close to the news. ( —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 04:30, 7 April 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]

Seems like the issue has been resolved by reverting.

Support Taiwan![edit]

This comment at the end of the page can be further justified by referring to the OpenBSD 3.7 cover insert (this one's on the Wonderful Wizard of OS) - where the Good Witch of the Great White North signs all his comments with "And remember, easy devices first, hard devices later, and support Taiwan..." --Jashank 04:00, 8 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Further justified?" It doesn't seem to be cited at all at the moment... NicM 07:24, 8 April 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]

dutch? or south african?[edit]

what is "ethnicity" anyway? Peterhoneyman 20:21, 23 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The ethnic group one comes from, now adays it's actually the one a person comes from the most. For example, the Welsh are a ethnic group, as are the Irish and the Scots, there is also the Roma and others in the United Kingdom. They all have different genetic and cultural backgrounds, and while all being from the same nation, are different peoples. 20:45, 23 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's silly. The man is Canadian and was born in South Africa, this is already covered in the article and infobox, and is quite sufficient, we don't need anything else. He's a computer programmer, a detailed ethnic background is not relevant or important. NicM 20:49, 23 August 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]
Sure, it's not particularly important, but nor really is the existance of any siblings, or even where he was born or where he lives, but it is information about the man, and this is a biographical article, so such information fits in well. If this were not a biographical article, I don't think it would be proper to put it everywhere, like, OpenSSH's article, I'd not go saying it was made by Theo de Raadt, a Canadian programmer of Dutch decent, but he is ethnically Dutch and thus it does suite his biography to mention it, just as it would be good to mention his eye colour or the places he went to school. 21:55, 23 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We don't know which ethnicity he identifies himself with (Dutch? South African? Dutch South African? Something else? White South Africans aren't all Dutch no matter what their name sounds like...). And even if we did, it's useless and uninteresting information, same as eye colour - it tells us nothing relevant about him. Even school is pretty useless, but it still tells us more than this. WP:NOT an indiscriminate collection of information, even for biographies. NicM 23:15, 23 August 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply] and mention him being decent of Dutch peoples, that makes him Dutch, regardless of if he identifies himself as such. I am German of decent, and thus am Germanic, that doesn't make me less Canadian, and does reflect who I am and what kind of a person I am. Being white is not particularly detailed, and even that isn't mentioned. Its much the same as being dark skinned, be you Tutsi, Koori, Taino, Maori, or Tswana, each have a different culture, appearance and this is reflected in their behaviour. It is an identifying characteristic which I think matters, perhaps it is because I am a German in the middle of a region filled with English, Irish and Scots. 23:31, 23 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm going to skip over the nature vs nurture debate and just say that it is still useless and uninteresting. If Theo was a spokesman and representative for the South African peoples of Dutch descent, or something else where it actually made a difference and meant something to the reader, then it would matter. But he isn't, he's a Canadian programmer, born in South Africa. This is sufficient detail, we don't need to bog the article down with more and more details of his background. He's not a gay campaigner/anti-campaigner or commentator on sexuality, so we don't mention whether he is gay or straight. Birth, death, nationality, and a few lines about family history and education—that is enough. The article should be largely about his computer/OSS work, that is what he is known for, endless trivial facts are just a distraction. NicM 19:14, 24 August 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]
furthemore, it is, like, obvious that he is of dutch descent from his name alone. Peterhoneyman 21:57, 24 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Name pronounciation[edit]

De Raadt is a Dutch name and as such it should be represented as [də raːt] with a long a

Ripat 17:47, 9 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

He pronounces it de wrought, so no, it shouldn't. Janizary 00:19, 10 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Before this silly revert war carries on, someone please find where it says the Dutch style must be used by WP, because last time I checked it didn't, and I can't find it now. NicM 11:30, 2 September 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]

And it is policy not to change, please see Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style#National_varieties_of_English: "an article has evolved using predominantly one variety, the whole article should conform to that variety". NicM 11:33, 2 September 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]
The manual is ambiguous though, mainly because it covers English there but it's a proper name, the point is that the spelling of the proper name varies in Dutch depending on context. 'de' with a given name and 'De' without. However, it should be noted that the version with capitals is actually the standard version of the family name in Dutch and the version without it is a modification. Similar to 'The House of Representatives' and a film titled 'Inside the House of Representatives.' Rajakhr (talk) 10:08, 23 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Clash with Linux developers[edit]

I note that this issue is entirely potrayed from de Raadt's perspective, using de Raadt's words. I believe this to be against Wikipedia's NPOV guidelines. 17:54, 23 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, it is. Feel free to fix it. Although keep in mind that this is an article about de Raadt himself, not about Linux or Linux developers or the licensing debate or even really about OpenBSD. NicM 18:43, 23 October 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]
It'd be worth shortening those quotes too, especially the first. A link to the full email can be put in the references section for anyone who wants to read more completely about that issue. --Gronky 21:41, 23 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Me thinks the same. The issue was completely biased in Raadt's favor. anone reading the thread would see the stupidity of de Raadt' arguments. ergo i feel this shud be changed to a more balanced perspective (talk) 20:20, 9 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Balanced perspective?" This article is interesting up to "Clash", the fact that the fights are highlighted and angry quotes are featured, just turns the bottom of the page into a bitter ad hominem attack! I'd never heard of this guy but now I feel like he's being wiki-bashed. "He's known for saying things that aren't politically correct." How is that not just cruel? --HobbesLeviathan (talk) 00:34, 6 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I've removed the following stuff from the OpenBSD article where it doesn't seem to belong. Perhaps some of the material could go into this article if it isn't already present:

De Raadt has been criticized for having a sometimes abrasive personality: in his book, Free For All, Peter Wayner claims that de Raadt "began to rub some people the wrong way" before the split from NetBSD;(ref name="free-for-all" ) Linus Torvalds has described him as "difficult";(ref name="linus-theo-difficult" ) and an interviewer admits to being "apprehensive" before meeting him.(ref name="deraadt-gives-it-all-to-openbsd" ) Many have different feelings: the same interviewer describes de Raadt's "transformation" on founding OpenBSD and his "desire to take care of his team," some find his straightforwardness refreshing, and few deny he is a talented coder(ref name="glass" ) and security "guru".(ref name="core2duo" )

ref name="linus-theo-difficult":

Lyons, Daniel (2005-06-16), "Is Linux For Losers?", Forbes, retrieved 2006-12-08

ref name="deraadt-gives-it-all-to-openbsd": Bresnick, Julie (2001-01-30), "Theo de Raadt gives it all to OpenBSD",, archived from the original on 2009-02-14

ref name="core2duo":

"Intel Core 2 Duo Vulnerabilities Serious say Theo de Raadt", Darknet, 2007-07-18, retrieved 2011-12-13

ref name="glass": Glass, Adam (1994-12-23). "Theo De Raadt". netbsd-users (Mailing list). {{cite mailing list}}: Unknown parameter |mailinglist= ignored (|mailing-list= suggested) (help)

ref name="free-for-all": Wayner, Peter (2000-07-13), "18.3 Flames, Fights, and the Birth of OpenBSD", Free For All: How Linux and the Free Software Movement Undercut the High Tech Titans (1st ed.), HarperBusiness, ISBN 978-0-06-662050-3, retrieved 2011-12-13

--TS 17:24, 10 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Original research[edit]

I think the section "Clash with Linux developers" is original research and should be removed. This section does not cite secondary references, all of the references are direct links to the mailing list threads (and they are primary sources). Footnote 10 (LXer) is the only exception, but IMHO, it is not a reliable source. -- Bkouhi (talk) 22:04, 5 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And is it notable? Rp (talk) 08:16, 21 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Darpa grant availability[edit]

The grant was announced here:

It is not conclusive that the grant was cancelled near the end of the grant period. It is more likely that it was cancelled months after it was instated, and even some of the reserved funds (hotel bookings) were taken back.

Most likely OpenBSD did not use much of this money at all?

Spelling of name[edit]

Recently the IP editor (talk · contribs) changed all instances of 'de Raadt' to 'De Raadt' on all WP articles in which it appears, in order to adhere to capitalization of Dutch names with prefixes. (This is the link the IP editor left on my talk page.) Does anyone know if Theo de Raadt follows this convention? On my talk page, I left the IP editor a reply (see thread) noting that a paper authored by Theo de Raadt (Cryptography As an Operating System Service: A Case Study) uses 'de Raadt', and not 'De Raadt'. I haven't found other instances in which his surname appears without the first name; there are few media articles, but the publishers follow their own convention so are not reliable sources in this case. Mindmatrix 20:25, 9 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Troubling/potentially biased wording, DARPA cancellation[edit]

The following statement is troubling to me from the perspective that it seems to state an unsourced and, in my opinion (not that that's necessarily editorially relevant) unfounded opinion.

"The grant termination was, however, not as bad a blow as some portrayed it. The project's supporters rallied to help and the hackathon went on almost as planned."

I do not know how to reword this statement to make it less so, or whether it should just be removed. My objection comes primarily from the fact that this is stated as 'not as bad a blow', which is a statement of opinion, not of fact, and the supporting evidence for this not-a-fact is that they were able to rescue the event regardless, which honestly seems somewhat on par with someone claiming that, for example, someone stealing your car was not a bad thing because you bought a new one. It is irrelevant, and seems an attempt to unfairly and without citation diminish the rest of the paragraph (talk) 09:27, 24 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]