Subject: Re: Info
To: None <>
From: Jonathan Stone <jonathan@DSG.Stanford.EDU>
List: port-i386
Date: 05/11/1998 15:47:20
Ted Lemon writes:
[David Maxwell wrote]

>> If Mark wants to state that he has better luck with FreeBSD on notebooks, I
>> don't want to see messages that say 'Don't talk about FreeBSD here, this
>> is a NetBSD mailing list'. I WANT to see 'In my experience, that's not true,
>> I have NetBSD running on lots of notebooks without trouble...'

>I disagree.  If Mark wants to say "FreeBSD does the following specific
>thing better in the following specific way," or "FreeBSD has a feature
>NetBSD doesn't have", then that's fine.  But a blanket statement like
>"FreeBSD has better PCMCIA support" is virtually content-free - what
>does that really tell us?   In what way is it better?   Messages like
>that really don't belong on NetBSD mailing lists, any more than a
>message on a FreeBSD mailing list saying "NetBSD does FOO better than
>FreeBSD" has any legitimate place there.

It tells us that Mark thinks it's better. It doesn't say why.

>Content-free feedback is not useful.

Here's some (spurious?) examples of useful feedback (I don't
know if any of them are true, and I'm not saying they are.
Personally, I dont know.)

 * FreeBSD has better, easier, installation for PCMCIA-based
   machines (PCMCIA scsi or network card) than NetBSD. 
  (OK, this one might well be true).

* FreeBSD has support for card XYZ which NetBSD doesn't yet support.

 * FreeBSD has support for PCMCIA host chipset ABC which NetBSD 
   doesn't yet support.

 * FreeBSD version X works out of the box on machine X with card Y,
   and NetBSD doesn't work with card Y (but does with other cards)

 * FreeBSD version X works out-of-the-box on machine X, and no
   PCMCIA cards seem to work.

 * FreeBSD version X has support for hot-swapping network cards, NetBSD
   doesn't (or has inferior or incomplete support).

Comments like those (wehre true!) might be more useful feedback.
And I think "machine" should include a specific model number. Just saying
"ThinkPad" doesn't help much at all, since there's a very wide range
of chipsets, address-decode "features", and IRQ "features" in a given
vendor's product line.