Subject: Re: Desktop application agenda
To: =?UTF-8?Q?Przemys=C5=82aw_Pawe=C5=82czyk?= <>
From: David Brownlee <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 04/14/2007 00:07:39
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On Fri, 13 Apr 2007, Przemys=C5=82aw Pawe=C5=82czyk wrote:

> On Fri, 13 Apr 2007 05:01:03 -0700
> "Andy Ruhl" <> wrote:
>> On 4/13/07, Przemys=C5=82aw Pawe=C5=82czyk <> wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> I'd like to know if a few desktop flavors of NetBSD were
>>> debated during "setting future development" session of some sort.
>>> What "policy" in this matter, if ever, emerged from the talks or
>>> discussions.
>> NetBSD is an operating system with a rather minimal set of
>> applications that allow it to function in some sort of way. You're
>> talking about application stuff. This is within the realm of pkgsrc,
>> not NetBSD. It's got nothing to do with the base NetBSD system. NetBSD
>> doesn't have to "decide" any of this stuff about desktops and
>> applications. If you want them, add them yourself. If they aren't in
>> pkgsrc, then work on getting them in there. Period.
> Right to the point. Thanks. Perhaps I'm too young, so tell me please,
> have you ever found operating system useful without any applications?

 =09Useful is in the eye of the beholder - if I wanted to setup
 =09a simple 'pf' firewall box then a standard NetBSD distribution
 =09is just fine, the same applies if I wanted to build a NetBSD
 =09release for a different system, or build 4000 packages from

 =09If I wanted a box to connect up to my TV to run freevo,
 =09kde and suchlike for my partner then I need a whole bunch
 =09of other applications on that box, if I want something for
 =09a sparc5 or a small disk old laptop... if need a different
 =09set of apps.

 =09So, what does NetBSD try to do:

 =09i) Provide a base system which is capable of rebuilding itself
 =09   and anything else via pkgsrc. It historically came with basic
 =09   admin, server and network tools.

 =09ii) Make it easy to add a large number of additional applications
 =09    via pkgsrc

 =09So, in what areas can this be improved

 =09a) Adding more applications/features to the base NetBSD system
 =09   This is one tricky, as the question is what. Hardware support
 =09   is generally a good case, as is protocol support, and security
 =09   features, but above that you end up in a battle between people
 =09   with different priorities.

 =09b) Adding more applications to pkgrsc. If people use it, and its
 =09   not a completely hopeless, fast moving, bug ridden loss or
 =09   has an unworkable licence, then it should probably be in pkgsrc

 =09c) Improving the pkgsrc infrastructure, in particular having an
 =09   option for a standard NetBSD install to automatically pull
 =09   in packages from pkgsrc, via binary packages initially and
 =09   later via filling in the holes via src where needed.
 =09   _This_ is where I think the real win would be

 =09d) Having more choice of NetBSD installations which come
 =09   preconfigured with useful applications.
 =09   While I think 'c)' is more useful, this is also a win.
 =09   Interestingly we have pkgsrc/sysutils/mklivecd which allows
 =09   custom live cds to be built. I think having an option to
 =09   put an installer on that would be very interesting,
 =09   particularly when combined with c).

 =09   Note d) is a _perfect_ area where someone can experiment
 =09   and when they have something which works for them and
 =09   others they can come back and say "look at this, would
 =09   it not be good if we could add this as an option to the
 =09   official NetBSD releases"

>> I hate to say it, but I've been reading a lot of your emails and in
>> many of them you make assertions about how things should be, but you
>> lack a fundamental understanding of what the project really is.
> Maybe I didn't do my homework or voluminous NetBSD WWW lost a view
> what important information or system features "should" be conveyed to
> users first. Or to emphasize them. For the next time you seem to
> distract everybody from the true subject or discourage me from asking
> questions. No wonder NetBSD is slowly dying...
> I want to do something. But I want to do with you (plural) and according
> to some rules. So I ask. Why there is so many "hate" on your side? Why
> do you twist letters' subjects driving them to personal paths? Why do
> you think that only your view on NetBSD is correct and mine bad? Have
> you been touched by God?

 =09People want different things from NetBSD. We need to try to pick
 =09directions which can give the most people "what they want", and
 =09I think c) and d) from the above are two options in that.

>> of some group of software. If that's what you want it to be, you can
>> make it that way yourself. NetBSD should remain mostly how it is, in
>> my opinion.
> Perhaps your "hate" makes you "blind" and you didn't notice what
> I really said. _That I'm not using NetBSD. I'm using applications
> running under control of operating system, here NetBSD._

 =09I think your phrasing may be offputting to some. hate is quite
 =09a strong word, and people are likely to focus on that word and
 =09your message may be lost.

 =09Another way of phrase it might have been:

 =09"Perhaps your strong views against the idea of "bloating"
 =09NetBSD meant you missed my main point. _That I'm not using
 =09NetBSD. I'm using applications running under control of
 =09operating system, here NetBSD._"

 =09=09David/absolute       -- No hype required --