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Re: Desktop NetBSD needs your help

der Mouse <mouse%Rodents-Montreal.ORG@localhost> writes:

>> 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.

In my opinion there're enough user level things to clean up without
entering "catch-up play:"
1. I'd like to have FreeBSD rc.conf "local_startup" feature.
2. It would be nice to have w3m in base system, so that user could read
the Guide without reboot or resorting to another machine.
3. It would be nice to have customizable installation CD: all my systems
use the same time zone, similar package setup. Custom installation CD
creator would be very nice feature.
4. Custom live CD (DVD, CF, &c, &c) creation could be improved and could
be merged into base system. I understand that we have Jibbed, but I have
a bit different goals than original Jibbed, thus I need another "Jibbed".
5. Having the way to install reasonable quality desktop system is a big
plus anyway, you can't do that with NetBSD right now. Last time I ran
into the need of setting up such system, I spent unreasonably long (by
modern standards) time on it.
6. Installation is still pretty hard, especially at fdisk/disklabel step,
the whole concept of BSD label is hard enough to novice users,
and non-resizable partitions make it pain even after years of experience.
7. You don't have your Guide handy at installation step, unless you've
printed it out (what a waste of paper!) or you're using another machine
(which may be impossible). w3m and the Guide on installation media would
be really nice, even if it would be special edition of installation CD.
(See also 3.)
8. Internationalization is almost absent, last time I tried it, I couldn't
safely load and unload fonts in text console, I couldn't switch keyboard
layouts, not easily. You don't have easy ways to customize it either.
9. Sane desktop defaults.
9.1. Why our modular X.org listens for TCP connections?
Where has "-nolisten tcp" gone to?
9.2. In too many cases pkgsrc installs unusable configuration files,
forcing novice user into excessive reading and tweaking. Scenario:
"I just want to listen for the music and don't care of backend! Why should I?"
9.3. Sharing files. How to set up ftpd anyway?
Scenario: "I just want to share this directory with read-only anonymous access."
Another scenario: "I just want to receive files into this directory with
anonymous access."
Documentation is pretty hard to grok.

9 items. Isn't the list long enough?


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