Subject: Miscellaneous OS features
To: None <>
From: Bruce J.A. Nourish <>
List: current-users
Date: 08/03/2003 02:14:14
Hey everyone,

I've been reading lots of stuff in the mailing list archives, and came
up with a few related questions, which I'd like to ask here.

Basically, each question is about a certain feature NetBSD could have;
I'd like to know if a) it's already done and I've missed it, b) it's
been excluded deliberately or c) it would be welcomed, but nobody has
done it yet.

Note that this is not a "NetBSD sux 'cos it doesn't have X" troll, I'm
just trying to get information I couldn't get from Google. I'm 
particularly interested to hear about things done in other OSs that
have purposely not been done here for design reasons.

* Generic parallel bus archetecture

  Factoring out the code to drive the parallel port from the code to
  manage a printer seems to be the right thing to do. On a practical
  note, it would alow people to use Parallel ZIP drives/IDE drives,
  PLIP, and bi-di printer support.
* Kernel managed screen blanking

  Linux and FreeBSD both manage screen blanking in-kernel, where the
  terminal emulation code can easily see how long a terminal has been
  idle. In NetBSD, we use a user-space system that frankly doesn't
  work (I forget the pr number).

* VESA 2.0 framebuffer on i386

* Cute console screensavers :-)

  A la FreeBSD.

* FreeBSD's jail(2) feature

  This seems to be a useful tool in the wild: a recent Netcraft survey
  made the point that an increasing number of websites are served by
  shared hosting, and that FreeBSD was notably popular in this regard.

Bruce J.A. Nourish <>