Subject: Re: Community Issues ** LONG **
To: Trouble Free RecepPFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF <>
From: Mason Loring Bliss <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 02/21/1999 21:26:55
On Sun, Feb 21, 1999 at 10:51:59AM -0800, Trouble Free RecepPFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF wrote:

> Mason Loring Bliss writes:
> [something about IRC:#netbsd not being accessible, "besides, it's IRC".
>  (whatever that means).
> 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.

Um... ircII is fine, and it's in our package system. The idea wasn't that that
the IRC channel isn't accessible. The idea is that it's always dead. Very
rarely have I popped in to find *anyone* active in there. Whenever I want to
chat with like-minded people, I go to #freebsd, simply because there are
people in there.

I mentioned this not because I want to see the EFnet #netbsd channel prosper,
but because I want to see NetBSD as a community prosper. I want to interact
more with those who share my enjoyment of NetBSD, rather than always being
the odd man out and having to explain just what NetBSD is and how it differs
from FreeBSD.

> I, too, would like to see NetBSD have a direction, but quite frankly, I
> think that socially we've already lost the war.

No one else supports as many platforms, and this is important, at least to
some folks. At the time I started with it, it was because it supported the
mac68k platform. Nothing else did at the time, as I remember - if the Linux
68k project existed, it was in its infancy.

Our strengths are machine independence and technical neatness, but I see us
losing some of this technical edge. We're not having neat new projects started
on NetBSD - we're mostly porting projects from other platforms to NetBSD. I'd
love to see stuff like soft updates, IPsec support, and SMP support in NetBSD.
These things are happening in other projects, but they're not happening in
NetBSD that I can see. Maybe stuff is happening behind the scenes, as I've
been told in two of those three cases, but that's not the same as having a
deployed solution. (Solutions, not hacks. I know. It's just unfortunate that
I could get any of that functionality by switching platforms. The point there,
of course, is that I don't want to switch platforms.)

> 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.

Interoperability is certainly important, but I'd also like to swell the ranks
by attracting people to our friendly, technically savvy community. I don't
think NetBSD has the (in practise worthless, IMHO) reputation or legitimacy
to be snagging lots of users, even if we're technically more than competitive.

> One critical thing is obvious, and this is that the bickering needs to
> stop.

Being more familiar with each other in a non-technical arena would aid this
greatly, IMHO. Hence, the suggestion for netbsd-chat and real-world gatherings.

> 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.

Hm. I assume that isn't a comment on what I've been writing, as I really don't
feel aligned in any particular direction, other than through my wish for
NetBSD to become better known and more widely used and respected.

> ...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?

Current-users is for folks tracking -current. The netbsd-users list is
supposed to be for issues that affect the community as a whole in some sense.
Neither of these are intended for random friendly semi-public chatter between
NetBSD users.

Mason Loring Bliss             ((  "In the drowsy dark cave of the mind dreams  ))  build  their nest  with fragments  dropped ((   from day's caravan." - Rabindranath Tagore