Subject: Re: /etc/daily and /scratch
To: der Mouse <mouse@Collatz.McRCIM.McGill.EDU>
From: Chris G Demetriou <Chris_G_Demetriou@UX2.SP.CS.CMU.EDU>
Date: 03/29/1996 11:24:33
> Do we want to be a research system, one aimed at people who don't mind,
> nay, even enjoy, getting their hands dirty grubbing around inside
> kernels and compilers and such? Do we want to be a "solution", an OS
> aimed at people who have trouble telling the mouse from the keyboard
> and are lucky not to stuff the cdrom into the floppy drive? Just whom
> _do_ we want to be for?
I hate to say this but, "Come over and visit the real world some time."
If NetBSD wants to be a "research system," i.e. used by researchers,
then it _HAS_ to support "point-and-drool" operation. Researchers
don't want to "get their hands dirty grubbing around ..." they want to
get their hands dirty GETTING THEIR RESEARCH DONE, and any other
grubbing around they have to do is simply time-wasted overhead.
That means they want:
(1) all of their hardware supported, and they don't typically
_care_ what the internals look like,
(2) easy install and upgrades,
(3) good performance.
Probably in that order. (and yes, i know i'm missing some.)
If NetBSD wants to be a "hacker's OS," then it already is.
However, there's a very small base of people who will actually use it,
and the number of researchers without their own dedicated "systems
hacker" who'll use it is ... rather small.
Note that previous things i've said might indicate that i think it
should be a "hacker's OS." This isn't true. I think there are a lot
of usability problems in the current system (and the /scratch cleaning
thing was one of them), but if you claim to be a 'hacker' -- and people
following -current sometimes do -- then you know what's going on in
the system you're hacking on, and that includes things like reading
the default /etc/ scripts, and maybe rewriting them to suit.