File:  [NetBSD Developer Wiki] / wikisrc / users / jdf.mdwn
Revision 1.32: download - view: text, annotated - select for diffs
Thu Mar 14 23:20:58 2013 UTC (6 years, 11 months ago) by jdf
Branches: MAIN
CVS tags: HEAD
Remove section about moving the guide.

    1: **Contents**
    2: 
    3: [[!toc levels=2 ]]
    4: 
    5: # jdf's wiki page
    6: 
    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.
    9: 
   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   12: The NetBSD guide, as well as its contents, is outdated.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   13: current documentation as well in it, but many parts of it are outdated.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: 
   63: ## NetBSD flavoured
   64: 
   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
   67: definitely is for people who know what they're doing, it's an obstacle for
   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:
   85: 
   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: 
  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 
  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.
  172: 
  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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