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Re: Desktop NetBSD needs your help

On Sat, 7 Feb 2009, der Mouse wrote:

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.

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I mostly agreed.

I know NetBSD is free software and people do whatever they want with the code, especially BSD-licensed code. However, I think NetBSD has too many _important_ priorities. As mentioned, hardware support. The "lack of resources" make me think this shouldn't be a NetBSD official project priority rather than some developers and contributors project.

What I like most in NetBSD (and OpenBSD) is its integrity. Projects devoted to the UNIX* philosophy, devoted to the simplicity. This simplicity made these projects remain relevant even all over the years, a modern OS with most of the features other OSs have even with the lack of resources. It's a base to do almost anything with a computer system. NetBSD can't lose this.

I'm a KISS [1] fellow and why not "Worse is Better" [2] too, two concepts that made UNIX* what it is. I know too that things change and I'm not saying we should remain the rest of the days using console apps, rejecting everything new. I do use GUI apps. I just think it's not the way to go for NetBSD.

However, I do believe that something like the OpenBSD approach [3] to the problem raised in the list, e.g. the time to configure a NetBSD system, can be done.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KISS_principle
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Jersey_style
[3] http://www.openbsd.org/faq/faq4.html#site


(Sorry for the bad english.)

Daniel Bolgheroni <me%dbolgheroni.eng.br@localhost>
FEI - Faculdade de Engenharia Industrial

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