Daniel Robbins, founder and “Chief Architect” of the Gentoo Linux distribution, has decided to call it quits in terms of being associated with Gentoo. This was met with quite a bit of shock from the Gentoo community and developers alike, as this move was quite unexpected. Daniel Robbins also proposed the setting up of Non-Profit Organization to handle future development. Initially, he wanted to serve in the board of this organization, but he later changed his mind.
Daniel Robbins Leaves Gentoo; Sets up Non-profit Foundation
Submitted by Jacon 2004-04-27 Gentoo 21 Comments
Did he say why? Was it personal (must have been)? Was it because he thought he needed an extended vacation? Was it because he needed something a bit more financially rewarding?
I read the page the link goes to and in there he just says he’s resigning… will he still be an active developer? Way too many questions here. And did I read that right — someone under 18 was being considered for ‘The Board’? What the hell was the criteria for this? Were there bylaws already in place? Will the board be responsible for formulating policy?
More questions, there are, at this point. . .
but gentoo seems to lack direction. For a while it was “we make a source distro that j00 can use to learn the ins and outs of linux.” Then it became “we’ll make a distro for other companies to put bootable games on, so the computer can be used like a console gaming system (e.g. Playstation.)” Then it was “let’s go non-profit.” Seems like they were trying to do too much. Maybe Danny-o got burnt out. Oh well, I wish the future of the project good luck.
Rotsa ruck, guys!
“And did I read that right — someone under 18 was being
considered for ‘The Board’?”
I am really sad to see Daniel leave. I think the Gentoo community is stronger than ever right now, and I don’t think this will be a major set-back for the time being, but I wonder how/if portage-ng will ever see the light of day. Portage is great, but it has some big holes (removing dependencies being the one I can think of right now). Hopefully someone can step up and have the technical vision that Daniel had so that the tools do not fall into simply bug-fix/maintain status. The timed releases should help in keeping Gentoo focused, and if 2004.1 fulfills its feature list, it will be a great release to start getting out into other user’s hands (GLSA advisories integrated into portage, and prebuilt GRP packages even for security updates, etc.).
There is no hype, buddy. Despite long compile times, Gentoo is the most complete and flexible distro/OS that I have ever used. Keeping a system on the cutting edge or on which ever edge you please is extraordinarily easy. It puts you in control of your computer again.
It is a good thing in this case will not depend only on one person all destribution it will depend on the all community. Board must be more organised and more focus on the development and good quality mentenance portage, it is too many projects and not so many developers.
Still hoping that they make an easier installer for this distro. I wonder if that is going to happen now or ever.
Gentoo has too much momentum at this time for this to be a setback. The forums are world-class(nice, helpful people). 800+ people at any one time on #gentoo on irc.freenode.net. The docs are great. A whole bunch of packages. I still think slack is the best for a no-hassle setup, but my gentoo setup works great too.
The only thing about gentoo is that some gentoo people tend to have too much time on their hands and tend to muck around with their system to the point of severe breakage and then come back to the forums and whine and cry how gentoo is now broke.
Moral of the story. Don’t try 50 bizarro CFLAGS along with -O999 and not expect things to break.
An installer is being worked on -> http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/releng/installer/index.xml
GLSA is great, this was a much needed function. But do you know any more about prebuild GRP packages, will they be provided for all ebuilds Gentoo has?
It would be awesome if Gentoo could let me choose if I wanted something to be compiled from source or just use a precompiled GRP package with portage grabbing the binary for me. Compiling every minor version of glibc,gcc,etc is no fun on multiple boxes…
According to this: http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/releng/release/2004.1/releng/2004.1.x…
2004.1 should have GRP packages online for a working environment, not all ebuilds, but at least the huge ones.
“Internet based GRP for Portage’s binary download and install functionality.”
“Still hoping that they make an easier installer for this distro. I wonder if that is going to happen now or ever”
1) There is a porting project underway to move Red Hat’s Anaconda installer over to Gentoo. I believe I saw it here (somwhere) in http://www.osnews.com.
2) Whould would anyone report his statment as being abusive is beyond me.
I’m slightly concerned at all these sudden dramatic departures, which seem to come with no warning. Did anyone else notice that Seemant Kulleen (another senior Gentoo guy) quietly left the development team the other week too? It just worries me that there might be something strange going on that we don’t know about.
Anyway, as the others have said, I think the Gentoo community is strong and it’s still the best operating system I’ve used, so I’m sticking with Gentoo and let’s hope a bright future awaits the Gentoo Foundation.
Was it democratically decided who’d run the non-profit organisation? How dynamic is the board?
OTOH, i think it is a Good Thing that a community-centralized distribution is non-profit.
you must be nuts thinking gentoo needs any easier installer, can’t you follow good clean straight forward documentation? hell gentoo is easier to install than its gui based redhat/suse counterparts!
I hope Daniel is not leaving due to conflicts at Gentoo, it would be sad to see this great distro go down (but I agree w/ Lumbergh, it seems to have enough momentum right now to survive the loss of any key member)
Although I am a Suse user, I installed Gentoo on a spare machine just to see how would it be, and I loved it. I wish every software manual were as clear as their install guide, I learned _a lot_ about Linux during that couple of days.
If I were a teacher on an IT-related course, I would probably take my students to a lab and go through a hands-on Gentoo install with them, I have a feeling it would be very interesting. The feeling of accomplishment at the end is great.
According to this email from Daniel, he’s leaving for economical reasons.
i agree, why do you need an inflexible gui installer to mask the flexibility of the current gentoo install. if you need a gui installer, then surely gentoo isn’t appropriate for your task? of course nice gui installed systems are needed, and mandrake does this very well, but flexible low-gumphf user-controlled installs are also required by those who need them.
sometimes a gui install is not an option – not all hardware of configurations allow it.
that Daniel isn’t really leaving for good. If I am reading the tea-leaves correctly on this one, Daniel is simply pulling back from his official responsibilities in order to make sure that he can make ends meet for his family and therein fulfill his family obligations(a wife and two children). Daniel has not had it that easy over the past couple of years-there was a time when he was unemployed and not getting any money at all-which is really, really hard-and almost unimaginable due to his incredible talent. The man has been a workaholic for a long time now -he has invested more in Gentoo, personally, than anyone else involved.
He probably is just now, like all of us, comming to terms with what the NFP Gentoo really means. His original goal was to continue to run the Gentoo store to pay for the NFP transitition-and to suppliment him and his family in dire need. It probably dawned on him-hey if the Gentoo store can pay for the NFP transition- then I can just let go now and pursue other work to improve me and families financial situation. He has been recieving some pay(obviously not enough) to work on Gentoo. I really doubt that he made this decison due to the antagonism of some posters in the mailings lists who constantly questioned his motives-even for mentioning his financial situation-ie. that being so deeply involved and comitted to Gentoo has hurt him and his family fnancially, repeatedly. I’m sure this did not help the situation-it probably felt like someone pouring salt over open wounds-but I doubt that this made him make his decision. At least I trully hope so- some people just don’t know when to quit probing.
Sometime ago I noticed that all sourceforge postings were acccompanied by a little advertisement from IBM(they help to underwrite sourceforge), and in this little blurd they refer to none other than Daniel Robbins. Wow-free advertising, at this point he probably has incredible passive name recognition -even though many do not know him as the Gentoo man, rather as a guy who has written great tutorials and articles for IBM’s developer network.
As for the future of Gentoo- it is now in the best state possible to continue in Daniel’s absence. Gentoo will be fine-it will continue, grow and evolve-and I am looking forard to these developments. My devotion to Gentoo would be cause for a long-winded adieu to the founder and chief developer of the best source-based distro which has probably ever existed-at any rate the far best supported and supportive source based community in existence. But I will refrain from such, simply wishing Daniel the best of luck and hope that he quickly finds people/companies which recognize the talent he has and pays him accordingly-and the best of luck to his family, their patience, understanding and perseverance pulling through tough, stressfull times…..
A simple installer without eye candy like Slackware’s installer has no negative sides. It’ll run on any pc , is straightforward, etc. It’s just faster to work with, not necesseraly easier.
A simple installer makes windows users at least try Linux. Many Windows users are ‘affraid’ of Linux because many still think it’s command line OS (I know, they must be living behind the moon). But that’s just what I saw and what kept me from installing Linux (first attempt was RedHat 5), got stuck at creating partitions! SuSE’s 8.0 GUI installer helped me a lot but not with fine tuning the system.
Gentoos installation handbook… I wish I had a how-to like that many years ago and for many other apps.