Linked by Steve Husted on Wed 5th Oct 2005 17:53 UTC
Gentoo I've been wanting to try Gentoo for some time, but always had to roll my eyes at the pages and pages of installation instructions. This time, however, I rolled up my sleeves and buckled down. Minutes later, I was on my way.
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RE[2]: all
by ralph on Wed 5th Oct 2005 20:15 UTC
ralph
Member since:
2005-07-10

"If you read the article, I *DID* RTFM - many of them - many times - I just didn't want to."

Again, your article shows that you clearly didn't. Or how else to explain your cluelessness?

And why on earth did you choose a distribution that requires reading documentation if you didn't want to? How stupid is that?

"Which is why Linux on the desktop isn't going to go mainstream (or the ubiquitous "ready for the desktop") in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, or probably even after, unless some attitudes change. And that saddens me."

Bohoh, that's so sad, but please don't cry honey.
So because there is a distribution that is clearly _not_ targeted at people who want something that works out of the box, Linux will not be a success on the desktop? Amazing logic, congratulations...

"But you condemn me for the same behavior with my OS?"

Yes, I do, because gentoo neither claims to be, nor is something that's supposed to work out of the box, but it's a meta-distribution that gives you a lot of control about your system and basically provides the tools to create your own system in the first place.
Now if you like me don't want or don't need this kind of control, but want something that simply works, simply use an other distribution, just like I do.

"Let's not all be a bunch of Luddites here and accept progress.

Point made?"
Yes, you clearly are an idiot! Gentoo has different goals and caters to a different crowed. Simply accept that there is no one size fits all solution and be done with it, fcs.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: all
by shuste73 on Wed 5th Oct 2005 20:57 in reply to "RE[2]: all"
shuste73 Member since:
2005-10-05

From the Gentoo site:
"If the power, flexibility and speed of Gentoo Linux appeals to you, then we encourage you to give it a try."

I didn't get that this precluded "just works."

Also:
The Gentoo philosophy is to allow this user to do what he or she wants to do, without getting in the way.

I didn't find this to be true at all. Gentoo did get in my way.

My final comment to this article, also from Gentoo's philosophy page, is sure to incite ire:
When a tool is doing its job perfectly, you might not even be very aware of its presence, because it does not interfere and make its presence known, nor does it force you to interact with it when you don't want it to.

Hey, wasn't that last part exactly my point about Firefox? Who was it that said this wasn't a valid comparison?

I didn't want to interact with Gentoo as much as I had to. I did expect to learn a bit about Gentoo - and I did; I said I left a lot out of the article - it WAS over the course of three days that I fiddled with the OS - but I DID manage to get a lot of "non-goals" working on Gentoo, and I DID manage to learn a lot about Gentoo. I completely understood that Gentoo would be different than other OSs I've used. However, at every turn, I had to go back to the documentation, and it wasn't always so easy to find what I was looking for in the documentation.

Gentoo has to be easier to use - because of its very own, self-proclaimed philosophy of not getting in the way, not because I'm a Slackware user and have different expectations/experiences. Which is a point that I think I failed to convey to my readers. I'll work on it.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: all
by on Wed 5th Oct 2005 21:26 in reply to "RE[3]: all"
Member since:

> Gentoo has to be easier to use

To spare you the trouble, here's an article you don't want to write: "A Slacker Tries His Hand At FreeBSD".

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[4]: all
by butters on Wed 5th Oct 2005 23:24 in reply to "RE[3]: all"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

As some of you might know, I'm a longtime Gentoo user who is starting to move on. The reason I dove into Gentoo so early (spring 2002) and continued for so long is that it appeals to my basic philosophy on software: I prefer a system that makes it as easy as possible to get things working exactly the way I want over a system that make it extremely easy to get things working the way someone else wants. At the time, there was no simpler way to get a completely custom Linux installation. Debian would get in my way and had way too many distro-specific tools, and Slackware didn't have dependency support. My choice was between Slack and Gentoo, and I chose waiting for things to compile (usually nice -n 19 while doing other things) over fighting dependencies and not getting exactly what I wanted.

There were always three aspects of Gentoo I wasn't thrilled with: 1) lack of binary packages except in a few cases, 2) installing custom packages or unstable packages is complicated due to portage overlays and package.mask/unmask/keywords/provided being persistent, and 3) I could never figure out how to write ebuilds that work properly.

But lately, I've added a fourth gripe: that none of these issues are going to get any better. It's only downhill from here. Daniel Robbins' original vision, expressed in the unchanged philosophy page you quoted, has been largely ignored by the community in favor of this developing "Gentoo way." A commitment to supporting binary packages has somehow morphed into, we'll only support binary packages if they're provided by the upstream developers. A community with a great balance of gurus and newbies devolved into a cespool of "problems while trying to emerge -uavD world."

A distribution that, three years ago, I thought would evolve into a mother distribution to rival Debian, has produces a mere two commercial derivatives, both of which are rather anemic. It is and will always be a hobbyist distribution for people who crave control and have a bit of patience. It didn't have to be pigeon-holed into this niche, but the Gentoo community took pride in their elitism and ran with it.

Until recently, I hadn't found an exit strategy for leaving Gentoo. In fact, I'm writing this on a Gentoo laptop, and I have another Gentoo laptop at home. But I found what I'd been missing in Arch Linux. As others have mentioned in this thread and elsewhere, If you like aspects of Gentoo, Debian, and/or Slackware but neither is a perfect fit for you, then read this document:

http://www.archlinux.org/docs/en/guide/install/arch-install-guide.h...

The first part is an install guide, and the second part discusses how to configure, administer, and build packages for Arch Linux. Basically, it has the binary package management of Debian, with the simplicity and configurability of Slackware, and the source-based package customization of Gentoo rolled into one distribution. Arch can be summed up in one word: simple. It is simple regardless of how little or how much you wish to tinker or contribute.

Especially for the Slackers who don't take fondly to the "Gentoo Way," you might want to consider Arch, or possibly Rubix (which is another Pacman distribution with more of an explicit Slackware heritage). They might not have every package you need in the repositories, but there's a growing community repository, and it's incredibly easy to create and contribute your own package. It took me three years to understand how to write ebuilds that sort of work on my computer and no one else's, and under an hour to learn how to write a PKGBUILD that works perfectly.

If you don't want to write "A Slacker Tries His Hand at FreeBSD," then consider writing "A Slacker Tries His Hand at Arch."

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: all
by on Sun 9th Oct 2005 03:44 in reply to "RE[3]: all"
Member since:

I didn't want to interact with Gentoo as much as I had to. I did expect to learn a bit about Gentoo - and I did; I said I left a lot out of the article - it WAS over the course of three days that I fiddled with the OS - but I DID manage to get a lot of "non-goals" working on Gentoo, and I DID manage to learn a lot about Gentoo. I completely understood that Gentoo would be different than other OSs I've used. However, at every turn, I had to go back to the documentation, and it wasn't always so easy to find what I was looking for in the documentation.

Gentoo has to be easier to use - because of its very own, self-proclaimed philosophy of not getting in the way, not because I'm a Slackware user and have different expectations/experiences. Which is a point that I think I failed to convey to my readers. I'll work on it.


And now, THIS one is a rational, easy to understood argument. As a Gentoo user and not a zealot, I completely agree with you, as the very similar experience happened to me and sometimes happens to other Gentoo users as well.

Should your article end with such a point, you'd get A LOT MORE positive feedback. Insulting people is never considered nice, and to be honest, that's exactly what you did. So, my first reply was also not as nice as it could be. But after reading the above comment of yours I think I'll give you a +1 ;-)

Gentoo user,
Sir No

Reply Parent Score: 0