Please create a -current forum

sidetone

Daemon

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The Howtos/FAQ section has its additional rules in a sticky thread.

I'm very interested in CURRENT for features. However, I don't use CURRENT, and I won't use it, unless I had additional computers lying around, and physical space to hold them.
 

Zirias

Daemon

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My opinion: People who run CURRENT are alpha testers. They are volunteers, unpaid testers, willing to invest their time into making FreeBSD better. They should not be using support, meaning participating in a support forum makes no sense. They should give feedbook to developers through formal channels. Anyone who uses CURRENT for reasons other than being a volunteer tester is making a big mistake, and that should not be encouraged.
I don't fully agree, although I agree with parts. Especially, any feedback should be directed to mailing lists, cause only there, it would be helpful.

Still, there are other usecases for running -CURRENT, which should of course be an informed decision, being well aware that this is unsupported and potentially unstable:
  • Sometimes (especially with desktops I guess), you'll get hardware support only in -CURRENT. This happened to me when first trying to use FreeBSD on my desktop, I had to run 11-CURRENT back then.
  • If you're working on ports (which seems on-topic here), there's sometimes the need to fully test the builds on your own infrastructure. To do this, you should have -CURRENT (probably just in a virtual machine).
I don't suggest these are reasons for actually giving support here – they aren't, you should be able to solve some problems yourself and shouldn't be afraid of bug trackers and mailing lists when running -CURRENT, that always holds. My point is just that some discussions might still be on-topic here sometimes.
 

forquare

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  • Sometimes (especially with desktops I guess), you'll get hardware support only in -CURRENT. This happened to me when first trying to use FreeBSD on my desktop, I had to run 11-CURRENT back then.
  • If you're working on ports (which seems on-topic here), there's sometimes the need to fully test the builds on your own infrastructure. To do this, you should have -CURRENT (probably just in a virtual machine).
I don't suggest these are reasons for actually giving support here – they aren't, you should be able to solve some problems yourself and shouldn't be afraid of bug trackers and mailing lists when running -CURRENT, that always holds. My point is just that some discussions might still be on-topic here sometimes.
This has been my experience too, and I agree very much with the above.

I never saw these forums purely as a support forum, but also a place for people to discuss around and enthuse about FreeBSD. We do have plenty of discussion that I don't think falls into a "support" capacity.

I don't get to run FreeBSD professionally, just on a bunch of personal servers plus a -CURRENT VM I use for the ports I maintain. I'm very much a FreeBSD enthusiast.
Although I am quite comfortable with Bugzilla, I do find the mailing lists a daunting place, mainly because the discussion is heads above where I am technically but mostly because the format is so unfamiliar to me.

I think if a -CURRENT forum was added, it should be stressed that it is intended for discussion/porting/personal sacrifice/curiosity/etc and while fellow users may offer unaccountable help it is not a substitute for the mailing lists and bug tracker - indeed I think the biggest "support" such a forum could provide is helping users become comfortable with them, and so I think it could become a gateway for some people to the mailing lists and bug tracker.
 

msplsh

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For example, listing not only the mailing list, but also other appropriate places to discuss things about -CURRENT etc, where a more chatty conversation than in mailing lists is accepted.
Developers don't seem to want this, so why would they encourage it?

intended for discussion/porting/personal sacrifice/curiosity/etc and while fellow users may offer unaccountable help it is not a substitute for the mailing lists and bug tracker
If you're going to bother putting in the work to debug problems, why put it in on the forums and then have to put it in on the bug tracker. Why not just learn to put it in on the bugtracker. Sanctioning discussion on the forums means there's an additional sanctioned discussion area for -CURRENT and now developers, trying to solve problems, now have to check it along with mailing lists and bugtrackers and sift through unsorted chatter instead of structured systems designed to help them. It's like trying to get work done when people want to just chat. People leave work and go to the bar (reddit?) to chat about work.

It seems to boil down to these forums being under the freebsd.org domain.
 

forquare

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If you're going to bother putting in the work to debug problems, why put it in on the forums and then have to put it in on the bug tracker. Why not just learn to put it in on the bugtracker. Sanctioning discussion on the forums means there's an additional sanctioned discussion area for -CURRENT and now developers, trying to solve problems, now have to check it along with mailing lists and bugtrackers and sift through unsorted chatter instead of structured systems designed to help them. It's like trying to get work done when people want to just chat. People leave work and go to the bar (reddit?) to chat about work.
I can certainly see where you're coming from. I think this could be extended a little further to argue that actually we should remove the FreeBSD Forums altogether - it would be much more useful to have all of the support discussions in one place, and if the same topics keep coming up in an area where developers reside then they can begin to see that documentation or usability needs improving.

Below I've quoted something that comes up a lot on the forums:
FreeBSD is a professional system for professionals and serious computer enthusiasts
If this is the case, then people can use the mailing lists and bug trackers for support and don't need to the forums. We can leave all of the extraneous discussion about why the latest release got delayed, desktop FreeBSD, why someone might choose UFS today, or whatever to places like Reddit.

But I think the forums provide a good balance of support and discussion and accessibility. I don't want to suggest that the forums become some other place for developers to check, but rather if a less than experienced user has come across an issue they could be given help to put together a good bug report which would be of more help to a developer or be shown that the issue is already known about and how to see if that's the case for any future problems <- this kind of thing wouldn't happen on day one, but as knowledge is built up by forum goers would increase over time.
 

Snurg

Daemon

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Maybe developers could be alerted about Google Alert.
So they can see when their work is being mentioned elsewhere.
 

msplsh

Well-Known Member

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I think this could be extended a little further to argue that actually we should remove the FreeBSD Forums altogether - it would be much more useful to have all of the support discussions in one place, and if the same topics keep coming up in an area where developers reside then they can begin to see that documentation or usability needs improving

I believe the reason this doesn't apply is because 1. this is a user support forum and 2. supported releases are ok to discuss here. -CURRENT is not supported. You "shouldn't" be running it unless you "know what you're doing", and if you "know" then you should "know" that the support avenue for it is not here.

No watercooler chat in the srs bzns of making releases! ;)
 

scottro

Daemon

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Like most bikeshed threads on the forum, this one got completely out of hand. Some people post questions about CURRENT. A few users immediately point them to the post forbidding such discussions, I often post something snarky about you have to pretend it's an I Hate Linux thread, and so on. I don't think we get into discussions about something that appeared in CURRENT that's terrible. The more experienced people here who use CURRENT, understand its limitations, and either disguise a question by not mentioning it's CURRENT, or realize it is CURRENT, maybe mention why they are using it, (usually because of hardware), and those who don't know better, quickly see the post directing them to the don't post abou CURRENT thread, and, if it's a legit FreeBSD question, usually get some answers. (see my post above, such as an inexperienced user, who puts it on because they think it is better, then asks a question that is legitimate for 12.x and 13.x as well).

If a CURRENT section did devolve into more discussion about they should do this, they shouldn't do this, then I don't think it's a good idea. Perhaps the way it is is better. I only decided that after viewing the directions this thread is going. As it stands, if you ask a question about CURRENT, you're directed to the post about not posting about it--if you're a newcomer, someone will usually nicely tell you why you shouldn't be using CURRENT at this time, and if you're experienced, you're usually either sharing information, like that wireless card doesn't work, but does work for me on CURRENT, or have a more general FreeBSD question, where the fact that you're using CURRENT isn't relevant.

If they're legitimate questions and the answer isn't, the next update will probably fix it, though there will be a link to that don't post about CURRENT post, you also usually get some answers.
 

Snurg

Daemon

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I think scottro is right...
There is an unwritten rule: if you use -CURRENT, don't mention this.
Sort of newbie trap.
 
OP
J

Jose

Aspiring Daemon

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There is indeed a culture within open-source* to always be running the absolute latest and greatest.
This is a very good point. Gentoo suffered badly from this to the point where there was an ethnic slur used to describe the "ooh shiny!" tribe.

It was even worse in Funtoo. I felt like I was the only person that used Funtoo stable at times. There was this priority inversion where I would sometimes find bugs that only arose in stable and hadn't been reported yet because there were so few of us running that code.

It may very well be that this is a terrible idea. I hate the thought that there may be people with good questions about -CURRENT and whose only outlet is Reddit, but the alternative of inviting hordes of shiniers here is probably worse.
 

kpedersen

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I think scottro is right...
There is an unwritten rule: if you use -CURRENT, don't mention this.
Sort of newbie trap.
In some ways this kind of works though. Those that are technical enough to be using -CURRENT can likely abstract the differences and don't need to mention it.


I hate the thought that there may be people with good questions about -CURRENT and whose only outlet is Reddit, but the alternative of inviting hordes of shiniers here is probably worse.
Yeah, its a hard balance. It could be worthwhile checking out what the reddit group is like for us to answer this. Hopefully it isn't hordes of shiniers generating too much noise for legitimate -CURRENT questions.
 

grahamperrin

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… there is also daemonforums.org, …

Undiscovered, maybe because the FreeBSD website sidebar link for news misdirects readers to news flashes instead of the main news page.

… I'm very interested in CURRENT for features. However, I don't use CURRENT, and I won't use it, unless I had additional computers lying around, and physical space to hold them. …

Would you consider VirtualBox?

My opinion: People who run CURRENT are alpha testers. They are volunteers, unpaid testers, willing to invest their time into making FreeBSD better.

+1

… alpha, beta, and more. CURRENT has been my everyday system for years.

They should not be using support, …

-1

however please note that I never saw these forums purely as a support forum.

I never saw these forums purely as a support forum, but also a place for people to discuss around and enthuse about FreeBSD. …

+1

There are very few developers on the forums, …

Partly because there's no place for CURRENT.

… if you use -CURRENT, don't mention this.

Exactly :)

… the only reason to run -CURRENT is to debug things for -RELEASE …

That's not the sole reason.

… the rules for Apple's Beta program direct you to not discuss the Beta on any public forums and only provide feedback through their Feedback Assistant, …

Trivia: years before public betas became a thing, I was AppleSeed member 405 (that's the 405 in my avatar here); and part of a much smaller group (membership unknown) that tested builds of Feedback Assistant before the Assistant was made available to other members of AppleSeed.
 

drhowarddrfine

Son of Beastie

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I would be concerned with duplication or fragmentation with the mailing lists. One group here and one group there with missed help and communication. Now that there's discord, that's a third option so putting something here would be a fourth and that's what I call a mess.
 

sidetone

Daemon

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I can do a lot from a production release. I used to achieve more. It's partly because there was low hanging fruit to be improved that no one caught for years, but a larger part of it is, because I don't have as much energy and focus.

If and when I learn Python and C, then it would be worth working on CURRENT. Having a system in virtualization for CURRENT would complicated for me as well. I would stick with a production release anyway. I would be on STABLE, but I don't have the energy to be compiling STABLE for every update that comes along.

Documenting on the forums may seem like little, but I learn a lot when writing about it, and it helps others see how things work more clearly. As for CUPS, I used to think it was a mess based on what others said, until I wrote about it, I see how it's very practical, and just needs cleaning up on the side. Actually, a lot around CUPS is a tangled mess, when I tried to print a while ago. It pulled in over 50 dependencies that broke functionality of other ports on my system. However, that mess is the ports tree, not CUPS itself. I thought about how the ports tree could be cleaned up around CUPS and SANE before researching and writing that.

I tried documenting on the Handbook, but it's not practical at all. It's difficult to do yourself. Also, it can change, when each line is referenced from the beginning of the book. I can write improvements to it, but using that system is difficult. When wanting help for getting improvements in, it has happened, that no one is ready at the same time.


The major way a lot of CURRENT users would be on the forum, is for those who use the Desktop. Desktop's problems are largely in ports, rather than in the base system. Still, CURRENT uses the ports tree. What relates to the base system has to do with video drivers. What gets cleaned up for ports in a production release will carry on into CURRENT's use of ports anyway.

All I'm interested in CURRENT is very few things. Video graphics are good enough. Bluetooth or any substitute that allows a usb stick to work with multiple outputs, which is an over all lack from all Opensource desktops, not only FreeBSD. Any capability like this will come from ports first anyway. The only thing, is for HID in base to either take the abilities of uhidd or iichid in ports, or for the ones in ports to be compatible with HID in base. There's not much in CURRENT that I'm interested in anyway. The base has already caught up with a lot of technology.

I'm 50/50 on if CURRENT would be good for here. In a way, it seems like it belongs, even if I won't use it or hardly be able to comment on it. Others on here and I couldn't bring value to a CURRENT section. There could be a lot of people asking about it, and a few people getting frustrated with everyone asking so much. While it seems like it belongs, there could be downsides to having a CURRENT section in the forum. There could be upsides that we haven't realized as well.

Really, there needs to be more people on the mailing lists and on Bugzilla. Going on there, I have to do research before posting. The ports tree has been discouraging for me, when I suggest something that keeps getting ignored, such as to label Doxygen as Doxygen and not as simply Docs, because they have different dependencies. I make up for this in my make.conf for exceptions on those ports. Most of the time, maintainers are responsive, as a month is a good time to get back, and they appreciate suggestions that work.
 

Hakaba

Active Member

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For the FreeBSD project, what is worst ?
  • Having 'bug report' in the forum that Dev could not see ?
  • Having people that playing with bleeding edge version without 'warranty' ?
  • Publish new (still bugged) feature too early in an unofficial support ?
  • ...
My opinion as an user have no importance here. I have to install FreeBSD 13 for hardware support, but I go back in 12.2 to have support here (my hardware issue was solved in the new release).
This is exactly like the 'zfs / openZFD' thread.
A LOT of fake news, cry and alert about 'linuxisation'...
Finally the impact as user is transparent. (Maybe 'SVN to GIT' create this kind of post ?).
Maybe for this kind of subject, the FreeBSD Dev need a place to post an official position before a feature or change became in Release.
If this is a case, a subforum where the a thread is created only for "incoming feature" and only by a Dev or moderator that said 'ok, now we can discuss about this subject' let the project decide how and when the debate can be public.
 

msplsh

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I have to install FreeBSD 13 for hardware support, but I go back in 12.2 to have support here (my hardware issue was solved in the new release).

Consider that when 13 was not current, you had zero support for the hardware. FreeBSD's release pace is much faster than it used to be, so it's not a terribly long wait in the in-between zero and forum "support." Is the "cost" of being impatient not worth the requirement to maintain highly structured interactions with developers to help improve the experience for people who can wait?
 
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