Subject: Re: Miscellaneous OS features
To: Bruce J.A. Nourish <>
From: Gary Thorpe <>
List: current-users
Date: 08/03/2003 15:34:32
 --- "Bruce J.A. Nourish" <> wrote: > Hey
> 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.

Actually, I have been working on porting ppbus (in FreeBSD) to NetBSD
and I have printing working for standard modes and fast centronics mode
(this is all I can test because the printer I have cannot do EPP, ECP,
or byte mode, nibble mode seems to work). This (ppbus) has actually
been ported into NetBSD before, but it was either machine specific
(acorn and a pc-like architecture I think) or otherwise inappropriate.

I have no idea if it is welcomed or not but I would like to know
whether I should continue to work on it if it has a chance of being
integrated (ppbus in my port is MI and should work on anything that can
provide some interface to a parallel port).

This would be a very big change as there are a lot of ad hoc lpt
devices (ulpt, bpp on sparc, lpt on pucs/isa/miscellaneous buses) that
would need to be changed to use a ppbus framework. It would allow
modern printing support, IEEE 1284 support, and other miscellaneous
parallel devices like plip and zip/cdrom drives.

> * 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 <> 

Post your free ad now!