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

Karsten M. Self kmself@ix.netcom.com
Sat Nov 20 21:08:28 PST 2004

on Mon, Nov 15, 2004 at 07:28:31PM -0800, Teh Entar-Nick (nick@teh.entar.net) wrote:
> begin  J. Paul Reed  quotation:
> > On 16 Nov 2004 at 13:31:47, Jeff Waugh arranged the bits on my disk
> > to say:
> > > If you can do your own integration, bug tracking and security
> > > support for everything on your system, that's... unhealthy, and I
> > > recommend you seek medial advice.
> > 
> > I don't have to; emerge and the people working in the Gentoo herds
> > do all that for me.
> 	This is precisely like the old qmail problem: since in order
> to get anything done you need to apply a zillion changes and patches,
> you end up diverting so far from the official supported tree that
> almost *everyone* ends up treading a tightrope of unforseen
> interactions.
> 	Debian makes an effort to support different optional
> featuresets by naming the packages differently.  That's why there's
> mtr-tiny for folks who just want the curses stuff, and all sorts of
> -gnome-suffixed packages that say "This provides the gnome version of
> <foo>"

Which is pretty much the post I'd have written, had I cared to get
involved with this discussion.

I'm not opposed to Gentoo, just that it sounds like more pain than I
need to get involved with at present.  I'll accept the statements that
it does wonderful things, but as the funrollloops website makes clear,
there's a lot of ricer idiots sucked in as well.

What Debian (or another package-oriented distro) offers is the ability
to collectively learn from experience.  The result is tools which work
well and/or quickly, but for which the knowledge for configuration is
carried at the distro level.  You don't have to teach each individual
using the system how to do stuff (or worse:  un-teach them how _not_ to
do stuff).  That's valuable.

As Nick points out, it's also possible in a package-driven distro to
provide minimal levels of packages where there's a benefit (and
interested package maintainer) for doing so.  The advantage for adopters
is that you're getting systems which are both optimized *and*

Gentoo's probably doing a benefit for the rest of us by providing a
sandbox and lots of guinea pigs for ricing stuff up.  And some of the
rice _is_ fast.  All distros use the same distros, this is just a larger
experiential base to draw from.  The good stuff will eventually get
picked up.  Well, except of course that half the commercial distros
haven't learned what Policy's about yet....


Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
   A guide to GNU/Linux backups:
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 189 bytes
Desc: Digital signature
Url : http://allium.zgp.org/pipermail/linux-elitists/attachments/20041120/4d6af265/attachment.pgp 

More information about the linux-elitists mailing list