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Re: Desktop NetBSD needs your help
On Sat, Feb 7, 2009 at 5:49 AM, der Mouse
>> This sounds like an excellent idea.
> I disagree, actually. It strikes me as trying to turn NetBSD into yet
> another mass-market "desktop experience" operating system - trying to
> beat Linux at their own game. I believe NetBSD doesn't have the
> resources to do more than be stuck forever playing catch-up at that;
> we're already constantly playing catch-up for lack of resources on many
> more fundamental questions, such as hardware support. I also can't see
> that we either have or will have anything to distinguish us from them,
> no answers to the "so why should I install yours rather than theirs?"
> question. I think we'd be better off focusing on what we do
> differently and well than on trying to join the UI monoculture of
> Windows clones. The user experience ad writes of actually isn't
> "poor", except to the extent that different is poor; we aren't a
> Windows/Mac/Linux clone and I think it's a mistake to try to even look
> like one, much less turn into one.
> But, of course, it's a volunteer project, and ad specifically said he
> wasn't interested in debating the "whether" of it, so dissuading him
> from haring off after this would be wasting both his time and mine.
I used to generally share your thoughts, but I'm coming around to one
of the points that Andrew said which is, it does take a long time to
get the system to where you want it, and the barrier to entry to a new
user is high. Why does it have to be?
Why not get these new users to a clean, sparse system (well, maybe not
sparse anymore) so they can see the brilliance of pkgsrc and build.sh
in less time?
I'm not sure if this is a good example, but I'm playing with a cheap
NAS box that has been hacked to run Gentoo. I've spent days off and on
just trying to figure out how to properly install Gentoo, and I don't
consider NetBSD to be particularly better than Gentoo in this regard.
And I've been doing this stuff for over 10 years... It's really
reminding me of my early NetBSD days.
The fear for me is that there is already too many slick graphical
operating systems, but maybe these philosophies we've been holding
onto about cleanliness and portability are just what will make this
work where others get stagnant.
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