Annotation of wikisrc/users/asau/desktop.mdwn, revision 1.1
1.1 ! asau 1: # Notes on Desktop Project
! 3: ## Some links on Desktop Project
! 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
! 9: Wiki page with project ideas vanished. Someone has to dig it out.
! 12: ## Opinions
! 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.
! 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.
! 23: ### Binary packages
! 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.
! 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.
! 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.
! 51: ### X11
! 53: Tobias Nygren (tnn) suggested idea that removing X.org from base
! 54: can free human resources and help development of more coherent system.
! 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.
! 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.
! 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.
! 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.
! 87: ### Applications
! 89: #### Priorities
! 91: It would be nice to have a list of important packages.
! 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.
! 99: An approximation of it could be a list of packages most used by users.
! 101: Each quarter we ask users to provide information on installed packages:
! 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."
! 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.
! 115: Perhaps we should publish it or start publishing it in future.
! 117: #### Release cycle
! 119: We need someone running pkgsrc bulk builds from current tree before freeze.
! 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.)
! 129: We need pkgsrc bulk builds with modular X.org.
! 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.
! 135: ### Organisation
! 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.
! 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.
! 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.
! 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.
! 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.
! 158: ### Unsorted/unprocessed
! 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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