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Re: hmm...

Michael Goetze <mgoetze5@yahoo.com> writes:
> To summarize, our goal is to create a BSD system with a mostly-GNU
> userland which complies to Debian Policy (e.g. Packaging Standards,
> FHS, etc.). In the universe of our dreams, anyone tired of Linux would
> just execute dselect, select a NetBSD/FreeBSD/OpenBSD kernel, unselect
> the Linux kernel, fix some dependencies, and have apt do all the work.
> Naturally, that universe is still a loooooong way off. For now, we're
> just trying to get the Debian base packages ported to NetBSD (that's
> the majority choice anyways, due to portability - some people are
> working on the FreeBSD equivalent) so that we have a basic Debian/BSD
> system from which to launch our other porting efforts.


Well, let me note this: the NetBSD project consists of people who are
far better at managing a base Unix and its kernel than at handling
certain kinds of day to day usability. We've got crappy install tools
and such, and we're well aware of it. Closer cooperation with people
who've got a significant amount of clue in terms of end user usability
would be a great thing.

At the same time, however, we have a very large number of very smart
systems hackers, and a huge legion of people who've already ported a
large chunk of the software you're looking at to NetBSD before and
therefore have serious experience doing it. There are a bunch of good
people who've been working on pkgsrc forever and are very enthusiastic
-- that's why we have about 2000 packages in pkgsrc even though we
have a much smaller userbase than Debian.

If you were clever enough about how you did this and willing to be a
bit flexible about the goals, you might actually be able to get very
active cooperation from the NetBSD folks -- VERY active
cooperation. That could mean a much better sort of success scenario
for all concerned.

You'd have to be pretty flexible about how the goals were stated,
however. NetBSD people are by and large going to be uninterested in
your goals -- they're interested in their own -- but there is no
reason that the two can't overlap in interesting ways. This is, of
course, only to be expected -- whenever any two people or groups work
together each has their own goals, and cooperation is based on
recognizing how to work on the overlapping parts and how not to fight
about others.

I have now looked over a bunch of the older mail in the archive and
there seems to be a perception of hostility by the BSD people. Well,
in almost every open source community I've worked in, people in
general seem to have a lack of needed diplomacy skills, and that goes
for the Linux universe as well as the BSD universe. Make no mistake --
you'd need to be a bit more flexible than you're perhaps used to and
try pretty hard not to be offended by a minority that got angry

However, the benefits might be very large for all concerned. It might
be worth discussing.

Speaking purely for myself and in no way as part of the NetBSD Project.
Perry E. Metzger		perry@wasabisystems.com
NetBSD Development, Support & CDs. http://www.wasabisystems.com/

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