File:  [NetBSD Developer Wiki] / wikisrc / users / jdf.mdwn
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Sat Dec 22 13:18:43 2012 UTC (5 years, 10 months ago) by jdf
Branches: MAIN
CVS tags: HEAD
Cosmetics.

    1: [[!toc levels=2 ]]
    2: 
    3: # jdf's wiki page
    4: 
    5: Note: This is not what I'm really working on, it's just a place to gather some 
    6: notes I took about some topics.
    7: 
    8: ## NetBSD flavoured
    9: 
   10: Currently, NetBSD is a very generic operating system, leaving almost all
   11: choices up to the user. While some consider this a strength, and it
   12: definetly is for people who know what they're doing, it's an obstacle for
   13: people who then have to setup *everything* by hand.
   14: 
   15: Creating a *NetBSD flavoured* distribution shouldn't be much work, and require 
   16: just minor sysinst modifications.
   17: It shouldn't be much work to just package distribution sets that already
   18: include a list of packages it installs and several preconfigured configuration
   19: files, maybe also some additional wrapper scripts.
   20: On the other hand, you could also add some package calls to sysinst and just 
   21: provide a list of packages you consider necessary.
   22: 
   23: My original attempt was to create a range of distributions for different 
   24: purposes, i.e. one for developers, one for graphic designers, one for servers, 
   25: etc. I don't know if this is the right way, esp. since some of the applications 
   26: are *very* specific. You cannot really provide a sane server default 
   27: installation except for some basic things like installing a vim, but that's all.
   28: My current idea is to provide just one, maybe named *NetBSD flavoured*, with at 
   29: least the following tools on board:
   30:  * vim
   31:  * pkgin
   32:  * git
   33:  * fossil
   34:  * subversion
   35:  * some other important VCSes
   36:  * light-desktop (i.e., LXDE)
   37:  * screen (tmux is in base)
   38:  * some sane X terminal emulators
   39:  * a browser (Firefox?!)
   40:  * a mailer (Thunderbird? Claws-mail?)
   41:  * emacs (maybe too large?)
   42:  * perl
   43:  * python
   44:  * mplayer (when it's possible to pack it up)
   45:  * pdf viewer
   46:  * preconfigured bozohttpd running on localhost showing documentation
   47: 
   48: ## NetBSD documentation
   49: 
   50: In [this 
   51: post](http://mail-index.netbsd.org/netbsd-docs/2012/09/20/msg000295.html)
   52: I shared some ideas about what to do with documentation. Though much of it 
   53: was proven not practical by the replies, I still have one idea: Unify 
   54: documentation of NetBSD, and provide it all on a NetBSD system.
   55: 
   56: The first step is to merge as much content as possible into the NetBSD wiki. 
   57: Currently, the NetBSD documentation is very diverse in its distribution form.
   58: 
   59: Then, the Google Code-In produced some nice results, including a CGI for a small 
   60: markdown wiki to browse the wiki (if it was offline), and maybe even a terminal 
   61: markdown browser.
   62: 
   63: Finally, ship these two in a pkgsrc package or even with base, and provide a 
   64: small script which regularly updates the documentation.
   65: 
   66: ## NetBSD website
   67: 
   68: Currently, the NetBSD website is written in HTML and Docbook and requires many 
   69: tools to be edited and committed. The final goal should be to have just a small 
   70: homepage with a bit important information, but all the essential technical 
   71: information should be in the wiki. There's also a separate page for this: 
   72: [[htdocs_migration]].
   73: 
   74: Though the plan is currently to migrate *all* contents to the wiki, I don't 
   75: think this is the way to go. A wiki just doesn't leave a good impression.
   76: 
   77: ## NetBSD community and marketing
   78: 
   79: Just some thoughts... I think NetBSD has a very bad way of making technical 
   80: ecisions which are counterproductive from a marketing point of view, or just are 
   81: not used for marketing purposes.
   82: 
   83: The world has changed; nowadays, there's a growing *hacker community* which 
   84: consists of many people with an age below 30. They're just not used to the 
   85: flexibility of the old tools Unix provides, and to the flexibility you have 
   86: with a modern Linux.
   87: 
   88: There are repeating questions why NetBSD doesn't use git as its primary VCS, but 
   89: rather CVS. CVS *is* indeed a very mighty tool, but many people don't know. They 
   90: like git more because they can explicitly `push` with it (and don't know about 
   91: hooks in CVS or Subversion).
   92: The same holds for many other decisions.
   93: 
   94: NetBSD has a very... oldish view of how a community should be organised. On the 
   95: one hand, there are the developers, which are coding the project, maintaining 
   96: the website, maintaining packages, maintaining documentation, organising events, 
   97: organising NetBSD itself... and on the other hand, there are the users. They're 
   98: rather consumers than contributors.
   99: 
  100: The few ones which want to contribute are doing so, and after some time becoming 
  101: developers with the right and possibility to do everything, but there's nothing
  102: in between. There's only few community involvement overall, though there are
  103: many topics which don't require a developer status.
  104: I think breaking with the old habits and providing more community involvement 
  105: and community support is the way to go, but except for starting with a 
  106: user-editable wiki, I don't have many ideas how to do so.
  107: 
  108: ## NetBSD current
  109: 
  110: The same problem exists imho with the release cycle. The standard release cycle 
  111: of NetBSD is too slow for many people who use it privately (just see how 
  112: wide-distributed Arch Linux got), and tracking current is a rather obscure thing 
  113: with compiling things on your own, etc. ...
  114: And it's not well-documented. There *are* changes, but who knows them? Which was 
  115: the current version where tmux was imported? Etc.
  116: 
  117: Tracking these changes more centrally, and providing a nice way to install and 
  118: track a current installation would be a great benefit for NetBSD.

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