Subject: Re: Community Issues ** LONG **
To: Mason Loring Bliss <>
From: Trouble Free RecepPFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 02/21/1999 10:51:59
Mason Loring Bliss writes:
[something about IRC:#netbsd not being accessible, "besides, it's IRC".
 (whatever that means).  Also something about lack of direction, bickering
 and a netbsd-chat list (or was that Hubert Feyrer?).]

Perhaps if we adopted a standard bare-bones irc program?  I've been wanting
to get onto the irc for ages now and finally broke down and loaded BitchX.
But it's cumbersome, there's no man page for it (it's all in a doc section
somewhere), and the title is less than appealing in a household that
has pre-school toys present.

I, too, would like to see NetBSD have a direction, but quite frankly, I
think that socially we've already lost the war.  The key to our success is
our interoperability with other systems -- if we're to have a chance in hell,
we have got to push that point.  Linux and FreeBSD have the roost right now;
if FreeBSD were to have divested to multiple platforms as NetBSD has done,
NetBSD would no longer exist.  We need to focus on what might appeal not
so much _in place of_ <X>, but _adjunct to_ <X>, where <X> would be
"The New Preferred Operating Environment", and we need to appeal to it in
a big enough way that we can earn the same commercial support that Linux
has won.  If we don't support the apps ("compatibility mode" doesn't really
count as it takes a significant performance hit -- not large, but it's
there), we are destined to have nothing more than a random user base.
Sure, I use it, we all use it -- I'd put it up on mission critical stuff
in a heartbeat given that choice.  But we're nowhere near the spotlight
on this.

One critical thing is obvious, and this is that the bickering needs to
stop.  Some people would prefer us to do things in a way that's not
historically Berkeley, nor would it resemble Berkeley going forward
(I thought that was what the 'B' in "NetBSD" stood for -- PLEASE correct
me if I'm wrong).  If that's what the individuals want, Solaris and Linux
are both feasible solutions.  We might make such features available as
options, but I don't see anywhere it's written that we are required to
be The Ship To Tow Around All Other Ships (nor do I see that it would be
beneficial to our direction, wherever it may be).

So is this fodder for netbsd-chat?  I'd hate to think so, because to separate
out discussions like this from current-users means there's YAML to which
to subscribe.  My mailbox is full enough as it is.  I'd think that people
are posting here -- mostly -- because a) they think it's a sufficiently
important issue for discussion within the community at large, b) it's a
technical issue to cover all platforms, or c) they're raving gits who
either don't know or don't care that this is not the proper place to air
grievances against others.  If there are grievances, folks, I don't think
it's in the interest of the NetBSD user community at large to be smelling
the dirty laundry on the winds of your frustrations.  Take it off line,
keep it quiet; if you have to leave, do it quietly.  Preferably,
*resolve the issue*.  Somehow.  But this mentality of attempting to create
alliances in a certain direction or another is like grade school kids
claiming turf on a playground during recess.  Recess is over.  Get on
with it.  We don't have time to sit around doing this.  Coding, stability,
releases, projects are all much more important.

That might sound like a bicker or a bitch, but it's certainly not meant as
such -- more food for thought.  If I've offended anyone, I apologise.
I'm good at that :-).
...and I notice there's a netbsd-users list AND a current-users list.
I assume the former is comprised of those who run releases only, while the
latter is those who wish to run the up-to-date code?

# " raise a signal means to turn the light on; ... Responding to a
#  signal means turning the light off (and, under System V, hoping the bulb
#  won't blow when it's next turned on)..." -- Dan Bernstein