On 23 Jun 2005, at 10:22, Dave O' Connor wrote:
> And what is it about Gentoo that gets certain, normally reasonable,
> users frothing at the mouth.
I can actually take a stab at answering that one. Debian was the
first distro to make the model of centralised binary distribution
with regular, automatable updates work. It was a conscious move away
from the Slack model of download-configure-make-install which led to
so much heartache and grief (lack of dependency resolution, lack of
consistent and rigorous rules about what a package should be and how
it should behave, and so on). Debian's developers saw these as real
impediments to Linux's adoption, as they made both installation and
maintenance horribly difficult and time-consuming.
Their solution *worked*. Debian systems can be installed in a jiffy,
and kept up to date with virtually no administrator effort. Big win.
Then along comes Gentoo, promoting exactly the kind of local lunacy
which Debian tried so hard to overcome. It's not that Gentoo is a
threat to *Debian*, but rather that Gentoo, to Debian users and
developers, represents a reversion to barbarism and is hence a threat
to the maturity and usability of Linux as a whole. It's as though
someone suddenly suggested that car buyers would be best served by
shipping a bucket of parts to each home.
This is my opinion as to why Debian users in particular don't like
Gentoo. Debian has spent a lot of time and effort *crafting* a
beautiful distribution, and we don't like the sheer ugliness of Gentoo.
> I can see some of your points but I also see that you're also
> talking rubbish about it in some places. Whether that's because
> you're uninformed or because you're spreading fud is something only
> you can clarify.
Can you point out the rubbish? I'm definitely not uninformed; I
installed Gentoo several times to try it out (it was sufficiently
"different" to spark my interest), and I have no interest in
spreading FUD. If you can point to something I've said which is
demonstrably wrong, I'd love to be corrected.
> There's nothing stopping you compiling the packages as a binary
> package and getting them from your own local repository if you do
> have 10,000 or even 100 machines.
... in which case, why use Gentoo at all?
> I'm happy with the distro I'm using. Maybe when I get another
> machine I'll give it a spin but for now gentoo does exactly what I
> want the way I want it and I see no advantages whatsoever moving to
> ubuntu on machines that are working just fine.
Remember the original question : someone is looking for a *new*
distribution to support AMD64. Ubuntu and Gentoo have both been
suggested. If you want to stick with Gentoo on your existing
systems, that's perfectly fine with me. I'm trying to argue the
point that Ubuntu makes more sense than Gentoo for a new box. I
would wager quite significant sums on Ubuntu requiring less effort to
install and maintain, and having a more complete feature set and
level of component integration, than Gentoo.
Colm Buckley / colm at tuatha.org / +353 87 2469146
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