Subject: Re: tga graphic cards
To: None <>
From: Chris G. Demetriou <>
List: port-alpha
Date: 10/15/1999 21:53:17
Berndt Josef Wulf <> writes:
> Personally, I would rather have a working kludge than nothing at all.
> I fail to see why NetBSD-alpha takes a special status when compared with 
> Linux, FreeBSD or Digital Unix, all platforms which support standard
> pci-vga. I installed RH-Linux und DEC Tru64 Unix just to verify
> that it actually runs on my system with a Diamond Stealth 64.

Will Tru64 actually work with "any" random VGA card in high-res mode?
Can it run XF86?  I don't know.

But if those aren't the case, then you indeed _are_ asking for
something that XF86 can't do.  Last I saw, Digital UNIX used a sane
framebuffer model, and that pretty much precludes using XF86 + random
VGA cards in high-res modes.

> Why not seperating the servers into X-alpha for the purists 
> and X-alpha-kludge for those with standard VGA graphic cards? With
> this it should be possible to keep everyone concerned happy. 

No, no, why don't _you_ do it.  You want it implemented, please,
implement it.

Indeed, for our information, both of the alphas that I own are on
serial consoles.  Why?  Because they're servers.  And it's both
wasteful and less useful to put a monitor on a server.

> I am willing to spend time and effort in supporting this project to
> the best of my ability and there must be others who think on the
> same wavelength. Perhaps we can find one or two knowlegdeable guru's
> who can take the bull by the horns making this project a success.
> cheerio Berndt
> -- 
> Name    : Berndt Josef Wulf            | +++ With BSD on Packet Radio +++
> E-Mail  :             |    tfkiss, tnt, dpbox, wampes
> ICQ     : 18196098                     |  VK5ABN, Nairne, South Australia 
> URL     : | MBOX :
> Sysinfo : DEC AXPpci33+, NetBSD-1.4    | BBS  : vk5abn.#lmr.#sa.aus.oc 

> > NetBSD is a user-supported system.  That means that if people want the
> > feature, they should work on it...
> ...the same holds true for FreeBSD and Linux. The problem with 
> user-supported systems is that the majority of users don't have the
> required skill level to take on such a project and this includes me
> too.

If they don't have the required skill, they should develop said skill.
If they can't do that, then they can pay or convince somebody with the
required skill to do it.

If they can't do any of those things, and they expect and/or require
that the features will magically appear, then they're not living on
the same planet that I am.  8-)

You will note that there are a large number of both FreeBSD and Linux
users who've paid some amount of money, to buy products such as
CD-ROMs, to enjoy the use of those systems.  Similarly for the GNU

With all such systems, in fact, your choices are basically:

	* do it yourself.
	* pay somebody to do it for you.
	* convince somebody that it's in their best interest to do it
	  for you.
	* wait until somebody does it.

> Considering that even the most skillful of system administrators
> and software developers in our group make a big circle around this
> issue, how can it be possible for someone with limited skills to
> be expected to take on a project of this magnitude?

I'm not telling anybody they can't do it.  I'm telling you that I
_won't_ do it, unless i have bloody good reasons to do it.

I have no such reasons, and, unfortunately these days I for one don't
have enough time to do it just for the warm fuzzies, even if making
the horrible kludge work _would_ give me warm fuzzies.  (it wouldn't.)

How could someone with "limited skills" be expected to take it on?
Well, there are two answers that I see to this:

	* i believe it's been previously pointed out that porting the
	  FreeBSD code probably wouldn't actually be that hard.

	* If someone with limited skills can't be expected to take it
	  on, why should someone with "more" skills be forced to take
	  it on if they're interested in working on other things?
	  It makes sense if somebody's paying them to do it, but
	  that's not the situation here.  Neither Ross nor I are
	  paid to work on NetBSD of any sort, that I'm aware.

> I am willing to spend time and effort in supporting this project to
> the best of my ability and there must be others who think on the
> same wavelength. Perhaps we can find one or two knowlegdeable guru's
> [...]

I think if you actually sat down and started porting the code, you'd
find it easier than you think.

I also think that if you wait for somebody to step up and do it for
you, you may be waiting a long time...

So, in the spirit of this being a user-supported system, why not get
to it?

Chris Demetriou - -
Disclaimer: Not speaking for NetBSD, just expressing my own opinion.