Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sun 16th Dec 2007 00:04 UTC, submitted by obsethryl
Gentoo A relatively lengthy Q&A with Ciaran McCreesh about Paludis, the Portage alternative for Gentoo.
Thread beginning with comment 291219
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: was a long time gentoo fan...
by butters on Sun 16th Dec 2007 06:08 UTC in reply to "was a long time gentoo fan..."
butters
Member since:
2005-07-08

I had a 5-year Gentoo phase, starting toward the very beginning, in late 2001, before the 1.0 release.

I wasn't drawn by the source-based aspects, but rather the meta-distribution aspects. I thought that Gentoo was the heir-apparent mother distribution to succeed Debian and become the technical underpinning of myriad binary distributions--the standard make-you-own distribution toolkit.

The Gentoo Forums were legendary. The community was vibrant, full of knowledgable and helpful people. The project had a unique vision and direction. Then Daniel Robbins decided to cut the project loose to fly on its own. It was a slow, painful decline from that point on.

The binary distributions based on Gentoo never materialized until Sabayon, which isn't really a binary distribution of Gentoo so much as a Stage 4. Portage wasn't scaling well with the explosive growth of the tree, and although its performance improved, progress was sporadic and transistions were often complicated.

It was death by growing pains, predominantly because Gentoo didn't offer a binary derivative to appeal to the crowd that thinks they're hobbyists but really just wants a distribution that makes a bit more sense under the covers. Gentoo attracted a userbase it didn't want and couldn't satisfy.

Gentoo is a great idea that never really fulfilled its promising potential, and the Debian/Ubuntu ecosystem has really picked up the slack. I wish my Ubuntu systems were really Gentoo under the covers. I wish I had emerge and rc-update. But it's not worth the effort anymore to deal with Gentoo. Ubuntu is "good enough".

Reply Parent Score: 8

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Ubuntu is "good enough".


And the gentoo view is that Ubuntu is an african word meaning 'Gentoo is too hard' ;)

gentoo is still among the biggest distributions and is still moving forward. But the distribution and the userbase have matured and become boring in the eyes of the "leet" persons. But the rest of us just want something that works and does what we want it to, when we want it to. And gentoo does that.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Snifflez Member since:
2005-11-15

"It was death by growing pains, predominantly because Gentoo didn't offer a binary derivative to appeal to the crowd that thinks they're hobbyists but really just wants a distribution that makes a bit more sense under the covers."

This just doesn't make any sense: why would Gentoo need to offer a binary distro based on itself? That's like saying that Microsoft failed because they never opened up their source code. Microsoft isn't about opening up its code and Gentoo isn't about being a binary distro.

Reply Parent Score: 2

butters Member since:
2005-07-08

why would Gentoo need to offer a binary distro based on itself?


Because there's an obvious demand for a binary distro based on Gentoo. The Gentoo Project doesn't necessarily need to be the steward of such a derivative. Think more along the lines of the Debian/Ubuntu relationship. Genbuntoo, if you will.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Snifflez Member since:
2005-11-15

"Because there's an obvious demand for a binary distro based on Gentoo."

Umm... But Gentoo isn't a binary distro. To take full advantage of Gentoo's features, the derived distro would _absolutely_ have to be source-based. How can you have the awesomeness that is conditional compilation in a binary distro? I mean, think about this -- the package in question has about 50 use flags, which means, that there are (2 to the power of 50) ways to compile it, right? A binary package maintainer for such distro would have to maintain an insane amount of package variations -- like a quadrillion or so.

My point is: what exactly do you mean by "Gentoo-based binary distro"? Optimizations? Gentoo isn't about CFLAGS, really. USE flags? Fine, but how can one implement every possible USE flag configuration for a given package?

Reply Parent Score: 1