Annotation of wikisrc/users/asau/desktop.mdwn, revision 1.1

1.1     ! asau        1: # Notes on Desktop Project
        !             2: 
        !             3: ## Some links on Desktop Project
        !             4: 
        !             5: * <http://mail-index.netbsd.org/netbsd-desktop>
        !             6: * <http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,70037-0.html> - something to muse on
        !             7: * <http://wiki.netbsd.org/projects/code-in/> - parts of general plan
        !             8: 
        !             9: Wiki page with project ideas vanished. Someone has to dig it out.
        !            10: 
        !            11: 
        !            12: ## Opinions
        !            13: 
        !            14: I've discussed the state of Desktop NetBSD Project (DNP)
        !            15: with various developers on IRC and in mail,
        !            16: and I've received different opinions on how developers view it.
        !            17: 
        !            18: I shall not discuss problems arising from lack of hardware drivers,
        !            19: most notably network interfaces, wireless and "wireful," and
        !            20: graphical adapters.
        !            21: I'm concentrating on more general questions here.
        !            22: 
        !            23: ### Binary packages
        !            24: 
        !            25: One of perceived problems (mbalmer) is that we don't have
        !            26: any toolkit for graphical user interfaces in base, and thus
        !            27: we don't have any chance to write anything with GUI.
        !            28: It is opined that the lack of applications readily available
        !            29: (that use this toolkit) is less important; since there's no
        !            30: toolkit, no applications are available.
        !            31: 
        !            32: Another perceived problem is lack of binary package updates in pkgsrc.
        !            33: I still don't understand what exactly is the problem here,
        !            34: and nobody cared to provide elaborate explanation what it is.
        !            35: We have several different ways to manage software installations
        !            36: using binary packages.
        !            37: Besides using pkgsrc in a way to reuse binary packages
        !            38: ("bin-install" in DEPENDS_TARGET),
        !            39: there exist pkg_chk with support for binary updates,
        !            40: and there exists pkg_rolling-replace, which, I think,
        !            41: can be set up to reuse binary packages as well.
        !            42: 
        !            43: My perception of this "binary packages problem" is that it is imaginary.
        !            44: I've heard some loud praises of pkgin, but I haven't heard more than
        !            45: several voices. Thus I'd rather attribute this problem either
        !            46: to the lack of experience, or to the lack of documentation,
        !            47: or very scarce publicity rather than lack of support.
        !            48: I don't deny though, that there exist real problems
        !            49: which may prevent users from using pkgsrc effectively.
        !            50: 
        !            51: ### X11
        !            52: 
        !            53: Tobias Nygren (tnn) suggested idea that removing X.org from base
        !            54: can free human resources and help development of more coherent system.
        !            55: 
        !            56: Indeed, moving base X11 version into pkgsrc has brings at least one major benefit:
        !            57: it is much easier to update a package than part of base system.
        !            58: Also, pkgsrc has much shorter release cycle, a quarter rather than
        !            59: two or three years. This means that developers can spend their time
        !            60: more effectively, they can save time otherwise spent in adaptation
        !            61: of new packages to older X.org libraries, drivers, or applications
        !            62: as found in older NetBSD releases.
        !            63: 
        !            64: It was argued (joerg) that there're very few sensible reasons
        !            65: to continue development of base X.org, one of them is
        !            66: cross-compilation, another one is ease of development.
        !            67: pkgsrc provides some cross-compilation support for quite a long time;
        !            68: there exist documents describing how to utilise it, and one of them
        !            69: addresses cross-compilation of (modular) X.org specifically.
        !            70: Thus the only reason remains: ease of development.
        !            71: 
        !            72: I've heard two different opinions related to the ease of development.
        !            73: David Holland pointed out that we need topic-oriented patches in pkgsrc;
        !            74: this needs pkgsrc tools with functionality similar like quilt.
        !            75: Tobias Nygren expressed more radical view, that
        !            76: convenience of two or three developers shouldn't hold the whole project.
        !            77: 
        !            78: It should be possible to help the transition by using
        !            79: support for CVS-based packages from pkgsrc-WIP.
        !            80: In my opinion, this could be used to help X.org hackers
        !            81: working with CVS X.org version (xsrc module) during development cycle.
        !            82: NetBSD could distribute its own X.org version for some time,
        !            83: which could co-exist with pkgsrc's version for some time.
        !            84: This idea met rather strong opposition,
        !            85: but I don't really insist on performing transition exactly this way.
        !            86: 
        !            87: ### Applications
        !            88: 
        !            89: #### Priorities
        !            90: 
        !            91: It would be nice to have a list of important packages.
        !            92: 
        !            93: While sometimes it may be hard to come to consensus,
        !            94: there exist packages which are unique (Firefox, OpenOffice)
        !            95: or where there're few important alternatives.
        !            96: A (prioritized) list of them would be nice to have.
        !            97: 
        !            98: 
        !            99: An approximation of it could be a list of packages most used by users.
        !           100: 
        !           101: Each quarter we ask users to provide information on installed packages:
        !           102: 
        !           103: "We'd also really appreciate it if people would install the
        !           104: pkgsrc/pkgtools/pkgsurvey package, and then run the pkgsurvey script for us.
        !           105: This will forward us a list of the packages installed on that machine,
        !           106: and the operating system and release level of the operating system.
        !           107: The results will be kept confidential, but the output will help us analyse
        !           108: the packages that are most used."
        !           109: 
        !           110: It is not clear
        !           111: * why the information is kept secret;
        !           112: * if there's enough statistics being gathered;
        !           113: * if this information is used at all.
        !           114: 
        !           115: Perhaps we should publish it or start publishing it in future.
        !           116: 
        !           117: #### Release cycle
        !           118: 
        !           119: We need someone running pkgsrc bulk builds from current tree before freeze.
        !           120: 
        !           121: We don't even see build problems before first bulk build results,
        !           122: which appear closer to planned end of freeze.
        !           123: Sure, knowing of problem existance doesn't automatically entail quick fix.
        !           124: But we don't even know that the problem is there at the first place.
        !           125: (E.g. in 2010Q4 freeze the problem with renderproto package
        !           126: was discovered 3 days before the freeze ended.)
        !           127: 
        !           128: 
        !           129: We need pkgsrc bulk builds with modular X.org.
        !           130: 
        !           131: In many cases base X.org is too old to provide necessary hardware support,
        !           132: significant number of users are forced to use pkgsrc X.org.
        !           133: 
        !           134: 
        !           135: ### Organisation
        !           136: 
        !           137: It is obvious from above, that many problems need organised effort to be solved.
        !           138: Some of them are rather large to be worked on singlehandedly,
        !           139: others require cooperation of some other developers or even users.
        !           140: 
        !           141: It isn't clear if we can get X.org out of base in realistic future,
        !           142: since it requires cooperation of unnamed X.org hackers and, perhaps
        !           143: and most possibly, some other developers.
        !           144: 
        !           145: It isn't clear if we can get realistic picture of pkgsrc usage at all,
        !           146: since it requires cooperation of users, at the very least.
        !           147: 
        !           148: It isn't yet clear if we can get realistic description of use cases
        !           149: of binary packages let alone improve anything in this area.
        !           150: This requires rather long period of maintaining different systems
        !           151: in different ways and by different people.
        !           152: 
        !           153: What is clear, in my opinion, is that we have organisational problems
        !           154: and very passive community. There's very strong faction of developers
        !           155: and users who want Unix as it was decades ago.
        !           156: 
        !           157: 
        !           158: ### Unsorted/unprocessed
        !           159: 
        !           160: * lack of interactivity support in pkgsrc tools
        !           161: * NetBSD-specific problems in X.org (possibly connected to 64-bit time_t):
        !           162: touchscreen looses ButtonRelease events,
        !           163: problems with X_GetImage (in Xnest and other applications, e.g. FriCAS)
        !           164: * touchscreen calibration support
        !           165: * X server which doesn't need configuration file
        !           166: * "Distribuition" based on NetBSD?
        !           167: *
        !           168: <pre>
        !           169: X Error of failed request:  BadMatch (invalid parameter attributes)
        !           170:   Major opcode of failed request:  73 (X_GetImage)
        !           171: </pre>

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