Subject: Volunteer efforts on floppy controller tape devices...
To: Gerald C. Simmons <>
From: Ted Lemon <>
List: current-users
Date: 11/23/1997 16:41:30
> > > I have just got a similar response a long time ago when I asked for
> > > something that some NetBSD developers didn't see as important as I did.
> > 
> > I think one thing that many people here forget is that this is mostly
> > volunteer work.  Most don't get paid for what work they put into
> > NetBSD, so whatever goes in is what they are interested in working on.
> > 
> Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought both the Linux and Free-BSD
> projects were also volunteer work. Why does that give us the right to NOT
> support something and call it CRAP!

A couple of points: first, Linux actually has a fairly large paid
support community.   NetBSD does not - most paid NetBSD hackers are
paid to do specific things for specific projects, not to do general
support for a broad user community.   Unless somebody feels like
stepping up to the plate and going into competition with BSDI and
RedHat, I don't think this is going to change.   So the nature of the
effort _is_ different.

Secondly, if you want something to work well, you have one very
important option: make it work well yourself.   Invest the effort to
understand how it works.   Get your hands dirty.   That's what NetBSD
is all about.   Don't flame NetBSD maintainers as a class because none
of them are interested in supporting your particular device.

The reason some devices are better supported under NetBSD than others
is because particular NetBSD developers care about those devices, use
them frequently, and thus hone the drivers to perfection over time.
This won't happen to a device for which nobody cares enough to do the
work.   That may suck, but it's a fact of life.

And when you have a choice between spending $200 on a new piece of
hardware that's well supported and spending a couple of weeks learning
about a piece of hardware that's not well supported and hacking it,
it's not too surprising if you spend the bucks rather than doing the
hacking.   The obscure hardware that's going to have the best support
is the hardware for which there is no alternative.   Like it or not,
floppy controller tape devices do not fall into this category.