Subject: Re: removing packages
To: Kevin P. Neal <>
From: NetBSD Bob <>
List: port-alpha
Date: 11/22/2000 19:15:18
> > what the others have! Let's keep BSD as BSD and stop trying to copy the 
> > wannabees! They dont even know what real UNIX is, and we _have_ it and 
> > are tryign to copy _them_? let's keep our priorities straight. BSD is 
> > _better_ and if we throw away the advantage, then sure we might win the 
> > favor of the wannabees, but weve ruined the whole point of maintaining 
> > Berkeley UNIX. It's NOT linux. It's NOT sysV. It's BSD. 
> Has anybody ever written up a comprehensive definition of what the
> meaning of "BSD" is? I mean, from time to time someone wants something and
> someone else uses a counterargument of "but that isn't BSD!". What is
> BSD then?

Interesting thought.....

(Now donning anciente musty rusty dusty Inet Flak Suit....[remember those?}):

As a somewhat newbie type, only having been playing UNIX for some 12
years, and not even anywhere near guru, but maybe journeyman status, 
I think such a document, of say 30-50 pages length, would be a good
learning tool for newbies.

I would like to see in one document, something like a ``BSD Standard''
or BSD Manifesto or BSD description that includes, for example:

1.  Definition of a BSD system. (a short 1 paragraph thing)

2.  Historical derivation of current BSD implementations.
    (family history through 4.4BSD through current systems)

3.  Structural layout of a minimal BSD system.
    (what goes where officially)
    (a list of file systems and what they contain and how they
     are linked together)
    (list differences from offical rubber stamped UNIX maybe?)

4.  Functional description of a minimal BSD system.
    (what system features, calls, etc, are official)
    (how the kernel/system/etc all interact offically)
    (list differences from offical rubber stamped UNIX maybe?)

5.  Addin features characteristic of BSD systems.
    (accepted addin things like mailers, readers, print stuff,
     webstuff, generic addins that all sysadmins carry along,
     and that sort of thing, to include a bit about package
     delivery systems)
    (this is were each system tends to go their own way)
    (list differences from offical rubber stamped UNIX maybe?)

6.  Current BSD systems (FreeBSD/NetBSD/OpenBSD) description.
    (we really need to tie all the all the bastard brothers
     together in a this is me and this is brother A and this
     is brother B kind of thing....failure to do that will
     slight the whole family and is unacceptable)

7.  Administrative operation of a BSD system.
    (a bit of sysadmin responsibilities --- generic and detailed
     for each system if necessary --- what the minimal sysadmin
     should know about)

8.  User operation of a BSD system.
    (the usual login/logout/profiles/mailers/vi kind of junk)
    (this is what the newbie user should know)

9.  Reference materials (urls, on-line docs, books, etc.).
    (more than just the available on-line docs pointers)
    (an annotated bibliography would be nice)

There are faqs and handbooks that cover bits and pieces of this,
but nothing really in one place, sufficient for a newbie or for use
as a reference standard, that I can find (point me to urls if they

Some of these things are covered in the old UNIX books in their
Berkeleyisms chapters, and there are one or two BSD books out there
but not many still in print.

A lot is covered in the FreeBSD handbook, but that is a bit of
overkill for use as a reference standard, but it has a lot of
useful info.

The cannonical 4.4BSD books are good, but getting more and more
out of date, and hard to find.  The cannonical on-line docs,
where not copyrighted, are good, but too detailed for a basic
description or reference standard doc.  Some could be used
for bits and pieces, though.

Some things are covered in the detailed readmes of each release
and architecture and system, but it still does not cover a lot
of reference standard kind of things adequately.

This kind of document should not be a FAQ, or ``how-to'' but
a reference standard kind of thing to level the playing field
across all the BSD brethren.  Maybe it should be chapter 0 of
everyone's release handbooks?

> > anythign changed. What's so bad about having a simple rc script that 
> > runs, and maybe runs rc.local for some local-specific stuff? how was that 
> > too complicated? Now, certainly, if things are fragemnted into a million 
> > pieces, then maybe it's easier to be modified by some dumb system 
> > administration -tool- but i do NOT advocate dumbing BSD down to appeal to 
> What's your opinion of the package system, both as a concept and the
> NetBSD implementation of same?

Mine is that it is good, but, I get a bit leery of everyone's packaging
system.  I date from the old school where every sysadmin has his tarball
of addins that fleshed out the basic system into a well-tailored system.
I still carry that tarball around for a lot of my different machines.
Packaging systems do a lot of that, but then again, they leave some
holes here and there, and try to do some things in ``their own way''
formats that IMHO are not standardized yet (maybe there is no workable
standardization of packages addins).  Building from sources is the
best way, and IMHO the most standardized way.  Binaries are not
the best way, IMHO.

So, where is this magick BSD Standard or whateveryawannacallit?

The Official Rubber Stamped UNIX crowd has one.  We should, too.
I don't think we should pattern ours after theirs, though.

(now buckling up flak suit and reaching for the flak helmet.....(:+}}...)


(should this be in a generic BSD group or newsfeed?)