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Re: Competition

On Wed, 24 Aug 2011, Scrap Happy wrote:

So why does this community seem to think that it's somehow a bad thing trying to increase the pool of users and potential developers?

I think you (we) have to decide what you (we) want in terms of users.
Sure, more users *can* be better.  But, what do they bring to the
table -- besides their chair (seat)?

I don't think I get this line of reasoning at all...

My view is that more users will mean more future developers, more feedback, more community. Not everyone will be interested in getting involved of course, but all things being equal, more means more in the long run.

just going with what people around you are using, and being nudged by the occasional "hey, this stuff is really cool".

So lets talk to people about the stuff that is cool once in a while.

But "cool" means different things to different people.

I'm not saying we should have to agree about the definition of "cool", just that it won't kill you/us to occasionally say that "my NetBSD box does X, which is cool". (Which might influence others who share the same view of cool.)

Secondly, they like to *play* with their computer.  They don't mind
spending a week/weekend setting up MythTV

I believe you're describing tinkering, not playing. (Which I agree can be fun, though, as long as things keep working...)

To these folks "cool" is synonymous with "toy".  And, we all know
how quickly children outgrow toys... :>

I guess we're from different planets. What is working on an open-source operating system, if not exactly tinkering, for fun? It just happens to be a kind of tinkering that (I'm guessing) both of us approve of.

I point this out because you spend your (limited) efforts where it
will give you the most return for the type of users you want to

So what type of users *do* you want to attract then? Me, I want all kinds.

E.g., I use very few of the multitude of packages available.  I
don't care if GIMP runs well or if the latest version is
supported on NetBSD -- I'll drag out Photoshop and be done
with my work before the package installs itself and all its
dependencies.  Likewise, OO is more investment than I would
care to make -- FrameMaker handles my DTP needs quite well.

OTOH, every hour put into tweeking and improving the kernel
itself rewards me directly.  Folks don't care if I was able to
prepare my images (Gimp), documents (OO), etc. on the system;
what they want is a system that *runs*... *my* code.

I don't quite follow. So if you actually want stuff done, you don't use NetBSD at all, but kernel work somehow still benefits you? (What is "my code"?)

On the other hand, if I was picking an OS specifically for, say, embedded use, I wouldn't necessarily want to restructure my life around using it for absolutely everything either. Is that what you mean?

OTOH, there *is* some value to what ELSE runs on those platforms.
I.e., if all you end up with is an OS,  you might *admire* it but
not be able to *do* anything with it!

True. At least pkgsrc fills that gap pretty well, and I'm glad that it's been adopted by others too.

Again, I think it depends on what audience/user base you want to target
and what you want *from* them (since you are investing something to
support that group).  You have to consider the costs and their
potential benefits.

I'm getting this weird elitist sense from your mail. Something like; people that want to use NetBSD for the right reasons are welcome, but lusers who just want "that other stuff" (MythTV, a desktop box, ...) should go elsewhere. Is that close?

Apologies if I've misrepresented you.


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