Subject: Re: NetBSD master CVS tree commits
To: Matthias Drochner <>
From: Chris G. Demetriou <>
List: port-i386
Date: 12/12/1997 18:16:35
> Is "wscons" a candidate?

Hopefully not the existing NetBSD/alpha wscons.  There's a new
version, rewritten almost from the ground up (I reused some of the
pieces).  I made available to certain developers (ones who expressed
interest and who i remembered at the time), with a standard BSDish
license, a month or so ago.  If you or other developers are
interested, ask me and I'll point you to it.  I have no more time or
desire to work on it, and it has areas which need much work.

> Btw, are there copyright issues or why is it only used in
> the alpha port? It is quite mi, and it is actually working
> on one of my i386 boxes where I'm trying to get rid of
> "BROKEN_INDIRECT_CONFIG" and non-bus.h
> drivers.

The existing version is fairly MI, but it's also fairly broken.  The
new version is more MI, and less broken, but still is a bit broken.

In particular, with the existing NetBSD/alpha code, I know of at least
the following problems:

	(1) keyboard handling is a big mess, key repeat doesn't
	    work like it should.

	(2) no keymap support, etc.

	(3) the 'sun' console emulation is pretty hokey (read:

	(4) it's really N different interfaces thrown together at
	    high speed with little effort made to make them sane.

In the new version, i fixed at least (3) and (4) (or at least improved
them 8-), but the real barriers to making it MI and using it
everywhere are (1)+(2), and the fact that X needs to be made to use it
on other architectures.  Jason Thorpe has (or should have 8-) the
changes to the NetBSD/alpha X server to make the new code (at least
almost) work there, but it's never been done on the x86.  (I looked
into it, but there was too much pain involved.)

In the distribution i tarred up for the "interested developers"
mentioned previously, I actually did a quick and dirty hack to make it
work on NetBSD/i386 (nothing painful, just gluing it in as quickly as
possible), so that I could re-do the 'sun' emulation from the ground

Again: if you or other developers are interested, get in touch.