Subject: GNOME on NetBSD needs YOU!
To: None <,>
From: Julio M. Merino Vidal <>
List: pkgsrc-users
Date: 09/02/2006 08:11:26

[ I thought I could repost this here from my blog in an aim to get to
more people :-) ]

A few pkgsrc developers and I have been working hard for years to
bring the GNOME Desktop to this packaging system and make it work
under NetBSD.  We are quite happy with the current results because the
packages are updated very frequently and everything works.  Well,
almost.  There are still several missing details that really hurt the
end user experience and need fixing.

If things continue as have gone until now, we will always be one step
(or more!) behind other operating systems such as Linux and FreeBSD.
Linux, of course, gets full support from the GNOME developers because
they do their daily work on it.  FreeBSD, on the other hand, has more
people working on the port and therefore have more manpower to resolve
all the portability problems; they are doing a nice work.

In our case, it is clear that we do not have enough manpower to keep
up with the huge task that porting GNOME is -- we are very few people
working on it.  Just consider that GNOME is composed of around 100
packages and that there are new major releases every 6 months (minor
ones coming much faster).  This updating task imposes a lot of stress
on us that prevents us from working on the remaining pending items.

If we were able to work on all these issues, we could have a
fully-functional GNOME Desktop on top of NetBSD.  I belive this is a
key area to improve NetBSD's visibility: if we had a complete desktop
evnrionment, more users could come and use NetBSD for their daily
tasks.  Eventually, this could attract more developers who would start
contributing to the system itself.

So... I've prepared a list of GNOME-related projects that details the
major items that need to be addressed to have a complete GNOME Desktop
installation on top of NetBSD and pkgsrc.  I've tried to detail each
project as much as possible, explaining the current problem, why
solving it could benefit NetBSD and how to get started.  See:

Should you need more information, I've also written some generic
guidelines about GNOME packaging and porting.  And, of course, you can
contact me to get more details and take one of the projects! I'm
willing to mentor you to make them success.  You can certainly make a
difference to the current status of things.  For the former, see:

Let me add that I've have learned a lot about many different areas
from my contributions to pkgsrc and NetBSD.  You can seize the
opportunity to learn new exciting stuff too; don't be shy!  Oh... and
if GNOME on NetBSD is not of your preference, please see our complete
list of proposed projects; I bet you will find something of your

Thank you!

Julio M. Merino Vidal <>
The Julipedia -