[linux-elitists] Gentoo Linux Releases 2004.3 (fwd from brian-slashdotnews@hyperreal.org)

Eugen Leitl eugen@leitl.org
Wed Nov 17 06:35:13 PST 2004

On Wed, Nov 17, 2004 at 09:14:03AM -0500, Andrew Kohlsmith wrote:

> There is nothing particularly empowering about watching a million lines of 
> compiler output scroll by.  When there is an error and the graphical 
> installer (or quiet text based installer) gives you the last hundred lines or 

It encourages the user to learn how to redirect the output into a file, 
and/or learning how to use grep and other CLI tools. These are scarce 
skills for people reared on WIMPS, and binary-only slick installers on
systems with no developer tools installed by default.

> whatnot of output for you to do something with -- now that is empowering.

Text is good enough, thanks. GUIs (assuming the node has a head, and is not
dumping stuff to a syslog host) don't lend themselves to automation, even
with macro recorders. 
> Kind of like KDE's backtraces...  You get the crash screen and then if you've 
> got debug symbols in your binaries and you move over to the "Backtrace" tab, 

I'm assuming you don't have a binary but trying to build one. Binaries
submitting errors automagically or giving users options to obtain 
postmortem info are all nice, but an orthogonal issue to building and 

> you get a full backtrace.  Combine that with a core dump and you're seriously 
> empowered.  

> Again -- having compiler output scroll by endlessly does not empower you. You 
> actually have to have a use for a small subset of that output to be 
> empowered.  It's not a bad start though, but not particularly more empowering 
> than any package you have to build, Gentoo or no.

I was arguing about merits of installing packages from source in general, and
distributions which encourage that, and discourage installing binary packages.

It would be also nice to see a system analyse the hardware and optimize
automatically, similiar to self adapting performance tuning in numerics. It
doesn't matter whether it would take weeks (farms of PCs are cheap), provided 
the result would be functional.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a>
ICBM: 48.07078, 11.61144            http://www.leitl.org
8B29F6BE: 099D 78BA 2FD3 B014 B08A  7779 75B0 2443 8B29 F6BE
http://moleculardevices.org         http://nanomachines.net
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