Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 12th Mar 2007 17:32 UTC, submitted by anonymous
Gentoo "Last week, the Gentoo project entered the lowest point of its 7-year old existence. The single most telling statement attesting to this fact is this brief excerpt from the current issue of Gentoo Weekly News. 'The following developers recently joined the Gentoo project: Daniel Robbins; the following developers recently left the Gentoo project: Daniel Robbins' Yes, this is the same Daniel Robbins who founded Gentoo Linux back in the year 2000 and who left the project in 2004 for personal reasons. He officially re-joined the Gentoo development team two weeks ago - only to resign a few days later. The reason? Strong personal attacks by some of the current developers of the project."
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I've used Gentoo in it's early days when emerge sync took about ten seconds. The day that I ditched Gentoo was when it took well over three minutes for the same command to finish. I was hoping and frankly expecting Gentoo developers to fix this but it became apparent that Gentoo developers didn't see this as problem. Debian's equivalent to emerge sync is apt-get update and that only takes couple of seconds at the most.

Gentoo is built on false assumption of a single system wide CFLAGS that would compile all application to an optimum speed. This simply isn't true. There are plenty of Gentoo users that have never written a program in their life but somehow they are expected to know how to tinker with gcc compiler flags is just unrealistic.

One of the most common advice to solve a broken package problem in x86 stable is to unmask and use the package in ~x86 unstable. Also there are lot of stale software in x86 so it's inevitable you end up trying to use some package in ~x86. Of course when it blows up developers will basically ignore you because you're using ~x86. You're basically damned if you do and damned if you don't.

I think the one "feature" of Gentoo is the root cause of many quality control issues. It's the lack of release cycles like Ubuntu, SUSE, or Fedora. Since Gentoo is really a meta distro, there is no firm deadline when an entire disto is frozen and shipped. Developers generally have an attide of let's release this ebuild and if it is still not fixed then it's not a problem since we'll release another ebuild tommorow. I think having a release cycle focuses the developer to produce better quality of software and promotes cooperation amongst developers to get it out the door in time. Gentoo just lacks this focus or a goal due to this not having release schedules that other distros have.

Edited 2007-03-12 21:51

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