[Toybox] Toybox relaunch.

Rob Landley rob at landley.net
Sat Nov 19 17:06:37 PST 2011

I'm getting several questions about the toybox relaunch.  I guess I
haven't properly explained myself, so here's a cut and paste of an email
I sent somebody:


The website is http://landley.net/toybox and the repository is
http://landley.net/hg/toybox .

When I handed off BusyBox maintainership in 2006 I started over from
scratch with a complete redesign, trying to figure out what the common
infrastructure _should_ look like.


Busybox was never properly _designed_, it just sort of accumulated and
got retroactively cleaned up.  For example, adding a command in toybox
means adding a file to the "toys" directory: you don't have to touch any
other files, it detects what's there and uses it.  Adding a command to
busybox involved touching five different files.  The help infrastructure
was nuts, the option parsing infrastructure was nuts... lots of things
needed a rethink.

I spent a year and change working out the interesting design issues:


and then got busy with other things.  Around 2009 I mothballed the project:


Last week Tim Bird (of the Consumer Electronic Linux Forum) poked me and

1) how deeply pathetic Android's toolbox is (I was unaware of the sheer
scale of the sadness)

2) how various corporations were looking around for a BSD-licensed
alternative to busybox.  (He thought I was still a consultant and asked
if I was interested in being hired ot fix this. I reminded him about
toybox, and how I owned the copyright to that and could license it
however I wanted to...)

So over the weekend did a triage pass on my code to contact third party
contributors and rip out the code of people I didn't have current
contact info for, and relicensed it 2-clause BSD:


And now I'm going through my old todo lists and collating them...


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