Annotation of wikisrc/users/jdf.mdwn, revision 1.32

1.10      wiki        1: **Contents**
                      2: 
1.8       jdf         3: [[!toc levels=2 ]]
1.1       wiki        4: 
                      5: # jdf's wiki page
1.2       wiki        6: 
1.7       jdf         7: Note: This is not what I'm really working on, it's just a place to gather some 
                      8: notes I took about some topics.
1.2       wiki        9: 
1.23      jdf        10: ## The new NetBSD guide
                     11: 
                     12: The NetBSD guide, as well as its contents, is outdated. Of course there's 
                     13: current documentation as well in it, but many parts of it are outdated.
                     14: The question is: What is the future of the NetBSD guide?
                     15: 
                     16: Should we continue having something ordered by *book chapters*? Or should we 
                     17: make it completely unordered with many howtos inside a wiki, which is also 
                     18: printable, but not in a useful order?
                     19: 
                     20: In my opinion, we should continue having a set of articles where the basic 
                     21: subsystems of NetBSD are explained, but in the wiki. It shouldn't be too 
                     22: difficult to create a book from that if you want to.
                     23: From all these subsystems, imho, the following topics should be covered:
                     24: 
                     25: System basics:
                     26: 
                     27:  * Installation
                     28:  * Security (CGD, PGP, veriexec, PAM)
                     29:  * Disk handling (GPT, disklabel, MBR), creating filesystems, handling USB 
                     30:    flashdrives, automounting, CDs
                     31:  * RAIDs with raidframe
                     32:  * LVM
                     33:  * Audio setup
                     34:  * Keeping a NetBSD installation up-to-date
                     35:  * The rc system, as compared to systemd and SysV
                     36:  * Editing with vi
                     37:  * X setup, graphics drivers, console drivers
                     38:  * Backups with dump/restore and other options
                     39:  * Printing (with cups?)
                     40: 
                     41: Networking:
                     42: 
                     43:  * Basic network setup
                     44:  * inetd setup
                     45:  * Bluetooth
                     46:  * DNS server setup and related issues
                     47:  * Firewalling (describing *all* or linking guide of others)
                     48: 
                     49: Building NetBSD:
                     50: 
                     51:  * Building the system with `build.sh`
                     52:  * Configuring the kernel
                     53:  * Fetching sources, staying -current
                     54: 
                     55: Using extra packages:
                     56: 
                     57:  * Emulating Linux
                     58:  * Using pkgsrc
                     59:  * Using binary packages, using pkgin
                     60:  * Installing a desktop environment
                     61:  * Things to remember (e.g., no mplayer)
                     62: 
1.7       jdf        63: ## NetBSD flavoured
1.2       wiki       64: 
1.7       jdf        65: Currently, NetBSD is a very generic operating system, leaving almost all
                     66: choices up to the user. While some consider this a strength, and it
1.13      jdf        67: definitely is for people who know what they're doing, it's an obstacle for
1.7       jdf        68: people who then have to setup *everything* by hand.
                     69: 
                     70: Creating a *NetBSD flavoured* distribution shouldn't be much work, and require 
                     71: just minor sysinst modifications.
                     72: It shouldn't be much work to just package distribution sets that already
                     73: include a list of packages it installs and several preconfigured configuration
                     74: files, maybe also some additional wrapper scripts.
                     75: On the other hand, you could also add some package calls to sysinst and just 
                     76: provide a list of packages you consider necessary.
                     77: 
                     78: My original attempt was to create a range of distributions for different 
                     79: purposes, i.e. one for developers, one for graphic designers, one for servers, 
                     80: etc. I don't know if this is the right way, esp. since some of the applications 
                     81: are *very* specific. You cannot really provide a sane server default 
                     82: installation except for some basic things like installing a vim, but that's all.
                     83: My current idea is to provide just one, maybe named *NetBSD flavoured*, with at 
                     84: least the following tools on board:
1.9       jdf        85: 
1.7       jdf        86:  * vim
                     87:  * pkgin
                     88:  * git
                     89:  * fossil
                     90:  * subversion
                     91:  * some other important VCSes
                     92:  * light-desktop (i.e., LXDE)
                     93:  * screen (tmux is in base)
                     94:  * some sane X terminal emulators
                     95:  * a browser (Firefox?!)
                     96:  * a mailer (Thunderbird? Claws-mail?)
                     97:  * emacs (maybe too large?)
                     98:  * perl
                     99:  * python
                    100:  * mplayer (when it's possible to pack it up)
                    101:  * pdf viewer
                    102:  * preconfigured bozohttpd running on localhost showing documentation
                    103: 
                    104: ## NetBSD documentation
                    105: 
1.8       jdf       106: In [this 
                    107: post](http://mail-index.netbsd.org/netbsd-docs/2012/09/20/msg000295.html)
                    108: I shared some ideas about what to do with documentation. Though much of it 
1.7       jdf       109: was proven not practical by the replies, I still have one idea: Unify 
                    110: documentation of NetBSD, and provide it all on a NetBSD system.
                    111: 
                    112: The first step is to merge as much content as possible into the NetBSD wiki. 
                    113: Currently, the NetBSD documentation is very diverse in its distribution form.
                    114: 
                    115: Then, the Google Code-In produced some nice results, including a CGI for a small 
                    116: markdown wiki to browse the wiki (if it was offline), and maybe even a terminal 
                    117: markdown browser.
                    118: 
                    119: Finally, ship these two in a pkgsrc package or even with base, and provide a 
                    120: small script which regularly updates the documentation.
                    121: 
                    122: ## NetBSD website
                    123: 
                    124: Currently, the NetBSD website is written in HTML and Docbook and requires many 
                    125: tools to be edited and committed. The final goal should be to have just a small 
                    126: homepage with a bit important information, but all the essential technical 
                    127: information should be in the wiki. There's also a separate page for this: 
                    128: [[htdocs_migration]].
                    129: 
                    130: Though the plan is currently to migrate *all* contents to the wiki, I don't 
                    131: think this is the way to go. A wiki just doesn't leave a good impression.
                    132: 
                    133: ## NetBSD community and marketing
                    134: 
                    135: Just some thoughts... I think NetBSD has a very bad way of making technical 
                    136: ecisions which are counterproductive from a marketing point of view, or just are 
                    137: not used for marketing purposes.
                    138: 
                    139: The world has changed; nowadays, there's a growing *hacker community* which 
                    140: consists of many people with an age below 30. They're just not used to the 
                    141: flexibility of the old tools Unix provides, and to the flexibility you have 
                    142: with a modern Linux.
                    143: 
                    144: There are repeating questions why NetBSD doesn't use git as its primary VCS, but 
                    145: rather CVS. CVS *is* indeed a very mighty tool, but many people don't know. They 
                    146: like git more because they can explicitly `push` with it (and don't know about 
                    147: hooks in CVS or Subversion).
                    148: The same holds for many other decisions.
                    149: 
                    150: NetBSD has a very... oldish view of how a community should be organised. On the 
                    151: one hand, there are the developers, which are coding the project, maintaining 
                    152: the website, maintaining packages, maintaining documentation, organising events, 
                    153: organising NetBSD itself... and on the other hand, there are the users. They're 
                    154: rather consumers than contributors.
                    155: 
                    156: The few ones which want to contribute are doing so, and after some time becoming 
                    157: developers with the right and possibility to do everything, but there's nothing
                    158: in between. There's only few community involvement overall, though there are
                    159: many topics which don't require a developer status.
                    160: I think breaking with the old habits and providing more community involvement 
                    161: and community support is the way to go, but except for starting with a 
                    162: user-editable wiki, I don't have many ideas how to do so.
                    163: 
                    164: ## NetBSD current
                    165: 
                    166: The same problem exists imho with the release cycle. The standard release cycle 
                    167: of NetBSD is too slow for many people who use it privately (just see how 
                    168: wide-distributed Arch Linux got), and tracking current is a rather obscure thing 
                    169: with compiling things on your own, etc. ...
                    170: And it's not well-documented. There *are* changes, but who knows them? Which was 
                    171: the current version where tmux was imported? Etc.
1.2       wiki      172: 
1.7       jdf       173: Tracking these changes more centrally, and providing a nice way to install and 
                    174: track a current installation would be a great benefit for NetBSD.

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