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Re: hmm...

Michael Goetze <mgoetze5@yahoo.com> writes:
> And, looking at it from the other side, if all of the NetBSD core team
> jumped up today and said, "we want our entire distribution packaged
> Debian-style, and we want to make it our official distribution
> tomorrow," I would applaud them for their wise decision. Mind you, they
> wouldn't notice... my applause would be drowned in the tidal wave of
> flames sent over by the OpenBSD and FreeBSD folks...

The NetBSD project has had issues with packaging of the base system
for a long time. Right now, we basically just have tools that unpack a
set of tgz files for the user on initial install. This is clearly not
adequate even for simple needs.

We also have some serious deficiencies in our third party package
tools. This is not to say that the people doing the work are not first
class -- they are -- but the tools they are working with have some
serious deficiencies.

However, at the same time, it isn't clear that we'd want to re-do
things like our file hierarchy or replacing our existing userland
programs with someone else's. An ideal result would end up
re-packaging the existing NetBSD system using far superior tools and
would move our third party tools under this improved regime, along
with radically improved install tools and similar work.

I realize that this is not necessarily what the Debian BSD people
would like. They'd like a Debian BSD that looks just like NetBSD but
for the kernel. However, that isn't necessarily compatible with the
NetBSD project's goals. The obvious compromise, however, would be to
make it reasonable to use the tools and most of the packages with
either way of living, thus making it possible for both groups to
largely cooperate but for a few percent of things that will require
differences in approach.

This shouldn't be such a horrid thing, of course.

Meanwhile, API differences between NetBSD and Linux are things we
probably should work on correcting. If there are Debian packages that
have difficulty under NetBSD, for instance, it may be reasonable to
work on adding things to the NetBSD libc and kernel (the other
direction may be more difficult...)

> What we really need here is a contact person... someone willing to go
> to the NetBSD folks, explain to them what it is we want and how it can
> halp what they want. We also need a contact person to organize
> webspace, etc., from the Debian project.

I think that Matt Green and I might both be willing to help out with
trying to play liaison to the NetBSD side. Understand, however, that
you're not likely to get universal acclaim from the NetBSD
side. Diplomacy is going to be very difficult here, and people are
going to have to restrain their impulses to beat "the other" to death
for not fully agreeing with them at all times.

Perry E. Metzger		perry@wasabisystems.com
NetBSD Development, Support & CDs. http://www.wasabisystems.com/

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