Subject: Re: rename list?
To: Frederick Bruckman <>
From: Don Yuniskis <>
List: tech-install
Date: 12/31/2001 20:40:20
>Frederick Bruckman <> claimed:

>On Mon, 31 Dec 2001, Don Yuniskis wrote:
>> Though, this discussion *does* bring up a valid point;
>> should there be a forum for newbie "help me install this"
>> questions or should they fend for themselves?  I would
>> argue that -users is probably the most appropriate
>> place since YAML will just get folks crossposting to
>> -users, -bob (!!  :>) *and* -newbie ...
>I seem to remember that the whole purpose for netbsd-help was for
>"help installing and setting up NetBSD", that it's birth was triggered
>by the same sort of question that triggered this discussion. What's on
>the MailingLists page now, "This list provides a general help forum
>where users can ask questions.", is actually broader than that, and
>still there isn't too much traffic on that list.

Well, there isn't much traffic on *any* of the NetBSD lists that
I watch -- quite unlike the FreeBSD counterparts  :-/  Perhaps
a different size user base or different level of sophistication,
etc.  <shrug>

>I think a better solution to the problem at hand, how to get newbies
>to post questions to the correct list, would be to add a pre-amble to
>the MailingLists page. Like a big heading "Problems Installing",
>followed by a pointer to the FAQS and then to netbsd-help; "Problems
>Building From Source", FAQS and a pointer to current-users, and so on.

A problem NBSD will face when trying to "lump" all (fill in the blank)
cross-platform issues into a single mailing list (e.g. "install") is
ensuring that enough "insiders" monitor and participate in that
list to cover that (fill in the blank) topic on *all* platforms.
I.e., how many folks run *all* "ports" of NetBSD actively?  (I
have trouble getting my hands on a wide enough variety of hardware 
to support more than SPARC, i386 and mac68k -- though I have been
looking for some NeXT and SGI boxes...).  I know that trying to
accurately document the different flavors of NetBSD in the
"guides" I have been writing has been time consuming.  So much
so that I have opted to just avoid anything that is platform
(i.e. "port") specific...

Given the relatively low volume of traffic on the lists, I would
almost (*gasp*!) suggest folks post all mac68k questions (i.e. including
install, X, etc.) to port-mac68k, all SPARC questions (ditto) to
port-sparc, etc.  Maybe adding an appropriate subject line to
let folks easily filter out the stuff they don't want to be
bothered with...

Adding another list is, of course, relatively trivial.  But,
there's already a plethora (that's french for "sh*tload"  :>)
of NetBSD-* lists and this would just dillute traffic
even more *or* just cause crosspostings to increase.

Has anyone assumed responsibility for actively supporting
newbies like this?  E.g., Joerg Wunsch -- a member of FreeBSD's
core team -- had taken on that (thankless?) task for quite some
time over there... (suspect he may be preoccupied with more
"domestic" issues nowadays... :> )  Or, isn't there an aggressive
advocacy program for NetBSD?  "Laissez-faire BSD"?

Best wishes for a Happy New Year,