Subject: Re: Documentation
To: Eric Delcamp <>
From: fission <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 04/13/2000 21:34:35
On Fri, 14 Apr 2000, Eric Delcamp wrote:

> From: "fission" <>
> > > I'm angry about NetBSD.
> > > We need to STOP all current projects, and go to write DOCUMENTATIONS.
> >
> > <sarcasm>
> > Heh, yes!  Let's get behind every other free OS on support for new
> > architectures and drivers!
> > </sarcasm>
> Great ! Then, if I understand well, we are in a race with other free os, and
> the goal is to have the largest amount of drivers in the world. That a
> different point of view. Noted.

"Getting behind" another OS in driver development and racing to only
develop drivers for an OS to try and "beat the others" are quite different
things.  Suppose someone comes up with a new hard drive controller and
every PC manufacturer switches to it but we're too busy writing
documentation for IDE?  What happens then?

> > > But the first writers of documentation should be the programmers. So,
> > > CODING, MAKE DOCUMENTATIONS ! Oh yes, the subject is sooo vast, the
> amount
> > > of work is sooo important. But we need to begin the work.
> > In all seriousness, I've never found the documentation so lacking that I
> > coudn't get done what I wanted to do.  Most of the time it just meant I
> > had to do some exploring on my own.  If I was really stumped, I would
> > email the list and better than 90% of the time I would get an answer that
> > satisfactorily explained my problem and showed the answer.
> Yes, because YOU (only YOU) have a certain knowledge of what NetBSD do and
> how it do. But lots of people don't have this knowledge. Are they exclude of
> using it or developping for it ? I don't think it will coherent with even
> YOUR goal (you know, the biggest number of drivers in the World).

When you write in anger, it shows.  (Really.)

Let me tell you something: I am (relatively) new to NetBSD.  Nobody
within an estimated 400 square kilometres of me has used this before.
Whatever I learned, I learned by reading the mailing lists and reading the
documentation.  Yet I have enough knowledge to do everything that I used
to do with Windows and Linux in NetBSD.

I haven't used NetBSD for maybe more than a few weeks (and then, not very
often; perhaps a few nights a week if I'm lucky).

> > > tree (it's just an idea, it seems too drastic ;-)
> > > I'm sure we have plenty of ideas about this, and I'm ok to talk about
> this.
> > I am in favor of a "unified NetBSD guide" but I don't think we need to do
> > the Linux thing and develop HOWTOs for every single aspect of the system.
> > A certain level of "playing around with the system" should still be
> > maintained (IMHO).
> Yes, keeping a "certain level of playing around with the system" is the most
> brain-damaged idea never seen on theses mailng-lists. Keep going....

Usually it is a custom to provide support for an opinion.  Just a thought.

My reason for saying this is that I don't want another Windows where I
double-click on the Installer and it just installs (except on NetBSD it
wouldn't crash during the install).  Or other similar examples, I'm sure
you could imagine...

> > But I don't think we need documentation so bad that it's killing us -
> > these mailing lists are great! =)
> And if I don't have internet access, or your wonderfull T1 drop, what did
> you do ?

Heh, if you didn't have Internet access, where would you have heard of
NetBSD?  Or obtained it, for that matter?  Last time I checked, I couldn't
walk down to the computer shack in town and buy NetBSD.  All I have is a
28.8 modem, not a T1 drop.  And some people would've used UUCP to get
NetBSD because they didn't have PPP access.  I've never heard of NetBSD
outside of on the Internet before.  Ever.

In all the time I have been on the NetBSD mailing lists, you are
definately sharing the award of "Most Angry Person Who Lets Others Know
About It."  I've only ever seen one other person on here who was like this
and guess what they were talking about.  Documentation.

Calm down, take a breath, count to ten, whatever it takes.  There's no
need for insults to my intelligence, etc. ("most drivers in the world")
I'm sure you have a valid point, but I think we need to look carefully at
this before proceeding (as NetBSD does with other things).

Tyler Mitchell