Annotation of wikisrc/users/asau/desktop.mdwn, revision 1.2
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
1.2 ! asau 111:
1.1 asau 112: * why the information is kept secret;
113: * if there's enough statistics being gathered;
114: * if this information is used at all.
116: Perhaps we should publish it or start publishing it in future.
118: #### Release cycle
120: We need someone running pkgsrc bulk builds from current tree before freeze.
122: We don't even see build problems before first bulk build results,
123: which appear closer to planned end of freeze.
124: Sure, knowing of problem existance doesn't automatically entail quick fix.
125: But we don't even know that the problem is there at the first place.
126: (E.g. in 2010Q4 freeze the problem with renderproto package
127: was discovered 3 days before the freeze ended.)
130: We need pkgsrc bulk builds with modular X.org.
132: In many cases base X.org is too old to provide necessary hardware support,
133: significant number of users are forced to use pkgsrc X.org.
136: ### Organisation
138: It is obvious from above, that many problems need organised effort to be solved.
139: Some of them are rather large to be worked on singlehandedly,
140: others require cooperation of some other developers or even users.
142: It isn't clear if we can get X.org out of base in realistic future,
143: since it requires cooperation of unnamed X.org hackers and, perhaps
144: and most possibly, some other developers.
146: It isn't clear if we can get realistic picture of pkgsrc usage at all,
147: since it requires cooperation of users, at the very least.
149: It isn't yet clear if we can get realistic description of use cases
150: of binary packages let alone improve anything in this area.
151: This requires rather long period of maintaining different systems
152: in different ways and by different people.
154: What is clear, in my opinion, is that we have organisational problems
155: and very passive community. There's very strong faction of developers
156: and users who want Unix as it was decades ago.
159: ### Unsorted/unprocessed
161: * lack of interactivity support in pkgsrc tools
162: * NetBSD-specific problems in X.org (possibly connected to 64-bit time_t):
163: touchscreen looses ButtonRelease events,
164: problems with X_GetImage (in Xnest and other applications, e.g. FriCAS)
165: * touchscreen calibration support
166: * X server which doesn't need configuration file
167: * "Distribuition" based on NetBSD?
170: X Error of failed request: BadMatch (invalid parameter attributes)
171: Major opcode of failed request: 73 (X_GetImage)
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