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Re: Firefox 31: problems with yahoo and gmail

At date and time Mon, 11 Aug 2014 11:36:53 -0500, J. Lewis Muir wrote:

> On 8/11/14, 10:50 AM, Gerard Lally wrote:
> > At date and time Mon, 11 Aug 2014 11:23:26 +0200, Ottavio Caruso
> > wrote:
> >
> >> I also wonder if I am the only one using Firefox on Netbsd, because
> >> the only questions about FF are mine.
> >
> > Many users, myself included, prefer not to use X on NetBSD, never mind
> > Firefox, so we're not in a position to answer your questions about
> > NetBSD as a desktop. For us, there are many alternatives if we want a
> > full-fat desktop, indeed too many if you ask me. NetBSD is one of very
> > few genuinely lightweight Unix-like operating systems still available.
> > Please don't assume yours is the only, or even predominant, NetBSD
> > usage scenario, by constantly expressing surprise that nobody has
> > answered your various Firefox questions. Some if not most of us have
> > absolutely no interest in polluting our NetBSD boxes with heavyweight
> > desktop environments and browsers, and thus we're in no position to
> > help you on that score. Needless to say that does not mean we are
> > "lesser" users of NetBSD.
> Hi, Gerard.
> I certainly appreciate the clean secure portable small footprint of
> NetBSD, but NetBSD does not bill itself as a non-desktop OS.  I really
> like it that I can run the same OS on an embedded device, a server, and
> a desktop!  That makes things way easier for me by reducing the number
> of systems I have to know how to administer.  I think a reasonable
> expectation is that a desktop would have a modern web browser, and so I
> think Ottavio is justified in being surprised that Firefox (or whatever
> modern browser is supported) does not just work out of the box.
> Granted, the impression I get is that all modern web browsers are just
> beasts in terms of complexity and getting them to build correctly.
> That's a shame, and I wish there was something better.  But if there is
> no modern browser that just works on NetBSD, then I don't think NetBSD
> can really be considered viable as a desktop OS.  Happily, I don't
> think that's the case since some people are using Firefox without any
> problems.  But it still remains that having a working modern web browser
> is, I think, very important for NetBSD as a desktop OS.

Hi Lewis,

I agree with what you say, and I don't mean to be heavy-handed, but the
NetBSD and pkgsrc developer pool is limited, so I don't think people
should make a habit of expressing mild annoyance or surprise as a way of
putting pressure on developers and other users to solve their particular

We all have problems with NetBSD, and it is often tempting to post here
asking why more people have not solved the problems that concern just us,
but this attitude is wholly lacking in respect towards the limited pool
of developers, and towards those users who have different priorities. I
certainly don't have a problem with users trying to get their problems
solved here, for desktop or server use; what I do have a problem with is
some users trying to expedite the process for their own benefit, to the
detriment of other users, and in a way which only adds to developer
frustration and burnout. It should be remembered browsers are a moving
target these days and it is not easy to keep up with them. It should
also be remembered that NetBSD 7 was branched today and I'm sure
developers were preoccupied with getting other affairs in order, even
though one of the regular committers was still kind enough to reply to
Ottavio's question.

Gerard Lally

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