Subject: Re: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
To: matthew green <>
From: Curt Sampson <>
List: current-users
Date: 05/25/1997 11:29:14
On Sun, 25 May 1997, matthew green wrote:

> David Jones <> wrote:
>    I don't see what's so bad about it.  Martin's pretty truthful here.
> has it been updated?  that document was written some time ago.

It does seem, for the most part, up to date. I give him some
extensive comments on it a few months ago, and I've just sent him
a note that the bounce-buffer thing will be solved in the next
release, and in -current in a couple of weeks.

>    As for using vi over NFS, I've done that and haven't lost.
> our vi has mmap() turned off.

Ah, I'll drop him a note about that. Was it off in 1.2, as well?

>    A lot of the source changes are cosmetic, and don't add functionality.
> i'm not trying to start a flame war with any freebsd people here but
> from what i've seen, freebsd have been -at least- as ``bad'' as netbsd
> in this...  either way, i think it's fairly insignificant.

Well, it can be significant in some instances. There was some talk
a while back about how the ARP changes that annoyed someone pretty
badly in terms of porting some kernel-related stuff into NetBSD.

But in the long run, of course, when you inherit something, such
as an interface, and it becomes apparent that the design is flawed
in some not insignificant way, you can change it or try to work
around the flaws as best you can. Which way you go is a philosophical
descision, and the NetBSD choice on that matter is that we generally
fix the inherited thing at the cost of some compatability. The
end-user examining the systems has to figure out if that's better
or worse for him, and weigh that in his choice of OS.

>    If I was running 1.2-release and had to upgrade a C file because of a bug
>    I reported, fixed in -current, then would I have to upgrade to -current?
>    Maybe.
> hopefully, it was fixed in 1.2.1 ... :-)  but what does this have to
> do with netbsd/freebsd?  this problem will exist in *any* operating
> system ... be it free or commercial, that you are building from
> sources with ...

Well, it tends to exist more in NetBSD than in other systems because
NetBSD is more inclined to fix, rather than preserve, internal
interfaces. This is made more difficult for users by the slow
release schedule of NetBSD.

It would certainly be nice if someone were back-porting useful
fixes and perhaps a bit of new functionality from current to 1.2
on a constant basis, and making this easily available. But that's
a fair amount of work, and so far nobody has stepped up to do it.
(The sheer number of platforms NetBSD supports makes it all the
more difficult.)

Curt Sampson		Info at
Internet Portal Services, Inc.		`And malt does more than Milton can
Vancouver, BC   (604) 257-9400		 To justify God's ways to man.'