Subject: Re: Community Issues ** LONG **
To: Erik E. Fair <>
From: Jonathan Stone <jonathan@DSG.Stanford.EDU>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 02/22/1999 13:48:39
In message <v04020a08b2f75eabad58@[]>,
"Erik E. Fair" writes:

>If we want to play in this arena, we need not only to package our software
>a little better than we do (and include things in the basic package that an
>ISP would want - think "solutions marketing"), 

Do you have concrete examples?
>we need to better document
>not only what hardware we run on and what peripherals we have drivers for,
>we need to document which hardware performs the best, which peripherals are
>better designed and/or less trouble-prone, and where to buy!


>In short, we need people for this who are committed to doing it and
>maintaining it, and we need support from the code hackers and driver
>writers who can say "this hardware is great; the driver was easy to write
>and it performs to the limits of the interfaces" or "this hardware sucks,
>it was designed by a brain-damaged mental patient, and no one in his right
>mind would buy one."
>This information is absolutely required by anyone who wants to run NetBSD,
>but has no idea what to buy. They need to know what works, what doesn't,
>and where they can get it.

I dont know who would even have that information. Even for commodity
(x86) hardware.  What should we document? SCSI cards, UDMA
motherboards/chips, 100Mbit NICs. How about serial hardware?

Maybe the netbsd "build lab" could test some of this stuff?  Maybe we
could/should have a Web page listing the info?  As it is, the closest
we have is the release notes. And with the rate of change from
hardware vendors, those are frequently out of date -- look at the aic
driver mess, for example.

>Ideas? I got some. How about starting with the obsolete equipment vendors
>who handle things like old Suns, HP's, 68k-Macs, etc. Particularly for the
>really old gear, wouldn't it be nice for them to know that a modern UNIX
>can run on that old stuff? They might be able to move out some of their
>dusty inventory...

If we had foolproof install CDs for them to sell with it, maybe.  How
easily do NetBSD distributions install on bare machines of that vintage?