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C1REX
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:19 am    Post subject: What is Gentoo main focus right now? Reply with quote

So were is Gentoo heading right now? What is the main priority?
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My focus is KDE. Other devs have other priorities.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But is there like a direction gentoo is going to or just to update what is here already?


I hope for a super stable updates like some Debian user experience. I've heard some left Debian for few years with auto updates and everything worked perfectly. There aren't many distros who can do that.

Are there plans for Gentoo to reach such state? Or the focus is elsewhere?
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gentoo is not supposed to be Debian. Those who need Debian should use Debian. That's the idea of having a variety of distros to choose from.
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asturm
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Besides that, I consider Gentoo arch pretty stable.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haven't used Debian for a long time. Unattended updates must leave configuration files intact and restart upgraded daemons. Does Debian that?
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C1REX
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know Debian well. I didn't like it on my desktop.

I brought Debian to the discussion because 2 guys shared similar experience after few years of unutanded updates.

I asked about such distro because recently I reinstalled mac os on my wife's 7,5y old macbook air. 0 problems - just got slow.
I installed that super old version of mac os and updated it to new one without hiccup. I was very impressed and thought that not many distros can do that.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can 'freeze' your system on LTS and only use stable of everything. I personally don't see any reason for such system anywhere outside of the servers. If something is broken in Arch it gets fixed in 2 days, if something is broken in Gentoo it gets fixed in 2 weeks (for stable), if something is broken in Debian it will stay broken for 2 years.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jaglover wrote:
Unattended updates must leave configuration files intact and restart upgraded daemons. Does Debian that?
In ubuntu unattended-upgrades only installs security upgrades and doesn't touch config files.
When running an interactive upgrade, it will ask you if yo want to replace a locally modified config with a packaged version, which is somewhat similar to config-protect in portage. There is usually little reason for an answer other than "no".
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

asturm wrote:
Besides that, I consider Gentoo arch pretty stable.

I have arch system with kde-{plasma,framework,apps} and dev-qt ~arch and I can confirm what asturm say
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://bitdepth.thomasrutter.com/2010/04/02/stable-vs-stable-what-stable-means-in-software/

I think he should be informed that here the world stable has the the second meaning even if it is probably improper use the term stable with that meaning. Most of the outside world doesn't know :-)

know the lingo

debian stable != gentoo stable
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

C1REX,

Gentoo has no direction. I don't think it ever did.
Its a loose collection of projects and developers doing their own thing.
When different projects collide, the council arbitrates.

The Gentoo Council is a disputes resolution body, not a leadership body.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon



Thank you. So what part of Gentoo has most developers?
Where is the biggest shortage of people?
Are there any plans to modify portage?
Is it even possible to make portage bullet proof so people can update no matter how old is their system?


I'm asking so many questions recently as I'm absolutely fascinated by gentoo and can't sleep waiting for my final PC parts to build gentoo again. :oops:
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's theoretically possible with the right dependencies, and enough intermediate ebuilds retained in the tree, to allow upgrades of very old systems. It's a huge amount of work for the return it would provide. Every time a new Q broke past versions of Y, a blocker would be needed to ensure users were forced to upgrade Y before they could install the breaking Q. Now explode this out across every library that refuses to keep a stable ABI and every language where newer parsers disallow syntax that was once accepted. To make it even more of a burden, the failures may not be build time failures, but may be incorrect execution - and will only occur when someone mixes the right combination of "bad" versions, and will only be caught/reported if that someone recognizes that a bad result occurred.

In the context of C programs, newer C compilers are much more clever at exploiting undefined behavior in programs in order to optimize the result. If a user tries to build an old C program with a current C compiler, and that old program contained undefined behavior that old C compilers ignored, but current ones don't, you get undefined behavior in the output.

Various scripting languages have had breaking changes over the years too, and those will, at best, be detected the first time the new interpreter tries to parse the old file. Depending on the break, the parse may succeed, and either explode when the line is executed, or just produce incorrect results.
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C1REX
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder what would be a solution?

Maybe if gentoo could install a whole new and fresh binary stage3 to replace core old stuff and then to recompile everything would be an option?
That potentially could help avoiding compatibility issues when updating gcc and similar, no?
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The solution depends on the scope of the problem. In the worst case, you assume that core programs are incompatible across the upgrade and you cannot rely on anything in the old system being usable. That's not a very interesting case, because it is rare and because if you assume that level of incompatibility, you must also question whether anything that you save is worth saving. The practical case would be to assume that a trusted party hosts a public archive, compatible with emerge --getbinpkgonly, and that the archive contains prebuilt binaries, built from at least monthly snapshots of the Portage tree, configured with the most portable compilation options you can get, and with USE flags aligned to the most common user configurations. To be even more useful, the archive should document in a machine-readable form the commit IDs of the snapshots it used, so that consumers can jump to a point in history where the archive was built, emerge its packages from that date, then jump forward.

This gets a bit harder for packages that need to be rebuilt due to subslot changes. The archive would need to publish all the subslot combinations users are likely to hit, and emerge --getbinpkg would need to be able to pick the right one.

Generally, the solution has been "Don't do that" because it's much easier to tell users to stay current than it is to operate the infrastructure to let a few outliers recover from being severely outdated.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 6:27 am    Post subject: Re: What is Gentoo main focus right now? Reply with quote

C1REX wrote:
So were is Gentoo heading right now? What is the main priority?


Keep the ship sailing? :)

I think Gentoo is still unique amongst the other distros out there. It still manages to attract userbase who wish for such customization.

Lately overall I feel like Gentoo has become a lot easier to use, and a lot more stable. Lots of it is thanks to automated CI checks and toralf's tinderbox that continuosly compiles ebuilds in the tree with different USE flag sets.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
C1REX,

Gentoo has no direction. I don't think it ever did.
Its a loose collection of projects and developers doing their own thing.
When different projects collide, the council arbitrates.

The Gentoo Council is a disputes resolution body, not a leadership body.

+1
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

C1REX

C1REX wrote:
Thank you. So what part of Gentoo has most developers?

Thats not a useful question. At least, there is no useful answer.

C1REX wrote:
Where is the biggest shortage of people?

All of Gentoo is understaffed. There is room for all contributions and they all make a difference.
Contributions includes bug reporting, helping here, on IRC, adding to the wiki. It all helps the Gentoo community.

C1REX wrote:
Are there any plans to modify portage?

Portage is always being modified. The most noticeable changes are to the EAPI, which defines the syntax permitted in ebuilds.
If your portage is EAPI=6, then it can't understand EAPI=7 ebuilds. Thats a frequent problem with neglected installs.

C1REX wrote:
Is it even possible to make portage bullet proof so people can update no matter how old is their system?

No is the simple answer. For the reasons Hu gave and others.
The @system set is always assumed to be available. When an ebuild wants to depend on a package in the @system set, it will not declare it unless is needs to define a version too.
In that respect, ebuilds are incomplete. The @system set is not a constant, so the unstated assumptions in ebuilds change with time too.

There is worse to come. GPL source code is required to be available for three years. That means I would find it difficult to gets the sources to update my original April/May 2002 Gentoo install.
Instead of saying "No" a better answer would have been its not good use of Gentoo developers time.

If you really want to update a neglected system and it comes up a few times a year, there is a process.
You need to be determined, as it will take longer than a new install. You also need some luck with tracking down old source code.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Is it even possible to make portage bullet proof so people can update no matter how old is their system?

Well... It's much easier if you can do that from the outside and don't care about keeping your target system usable during that process. I'm not sure whether portage has a switch for ignoring a few safety checks for a situation like that, but it would be close to a reinstall that respects your customization.

However.... There is no way to upgrade and arbitrarily old system without any manual intervention. Baselayout changes (rarely, but it does), use flags change, new config options are being adder and replaced occasionally resulting in applications failing to start, and databases' binary format changes now and then between major versions, so if you wait long enough, you may eventually find yourself unable to read old files with new software - regardless of said new software being properly installed.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:20 pm    Post subject: Re: What is Gentoo main focus right now? Reply with quote

Juippisi wrote:

Lately overall I feel like Gentoo has become a lot easier to use, and a lot more stable. Lots of it is thanks to automated CI checks and toralf's tinderbox that continuosly compiles ebuilds in the tree with different USE flag sets.


Thanks for that answer. Stability and user friendliness are the most important for me personally.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:38 pm    Post subject: Re: What is Gentoo main focus right now? Reply with quote

C1REX wrote:
Thanks for that answer. Stability and user friendliness are the most important for me personally.


You do understand how meaningless this statement is without defining what stability and user friendliness mean for you?

Say, you want to disable and remove a feature in Ubuntu. You fight it endlessly and then you give up, it is impossible in Ubuntu. In Gentoo you set USE=-feature and that's it. So which one is more user friendly, Gentoo or Ubuntu?
I use ~amd64 and find it is perfectly stable to run. Sometimes there are issues with upgrading, but these do not affect the functionality of my OS in any way. Thus, ~amd64 is what I call perfectly stable. Is this what you also mean by "stable"?
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

C1REX,

If you want user friendlieness, you must give up control.
Apple have made a good job of that. You buy their hardware with their software. It has exactly one control. The on/off switch.
Its been said that if Apple made bathrooms, to replace a tap washer, you would have to have a whole new bathroom.

Next up are binary operating systems (including Windows). They have a few controls you can fiddle with but not many.
You can do a few silly things.

At the extreme are the source distros. LFS, Gentoo etc.
They have a lot more controls. Many that binary distro users did not even know existed.
Gentoo is not a distro. Its a toolkit you use to design and build your own distro. It has a few safeguards to prevent you doing bad things but they all have emergency manual overrides if you care to use them.

LFS doesn't even provide the 'Here be Dragons' warnings.

The more control you want, the more responsivity you have for exercising that control.
Find a level of user friendliness in that spectrum that suits you. It may not be Gentoo.

Getting back to Gentoo is a toolkit you use to design and build your own distro, stability is in your hands.
Gentoo tries to provide some pointers but that's all they are. Pointers.
You make your distro your way. You can keep all the pieces when it breaks.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry I wasn't clear with my comment.

By stability and user friendliness in gentoo terms I mean better portage.
Stable, robust portage that doesn't expect me to solve dependencies myself too often I consider friendly and stable.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

C1REX,

The installation design rests with the user.
When you must make a choice, portage can point out the problems but not make the choice for you.

There have been lots of improvements in detail of the years. Like if a package needs some other package build with a certain USE flag setting changed, portage will tell you.
It used to go ahead and do what you told it to do and leave you to find out that it wasn't what you wanted.

There are always several ways to resolve choices.
e.g. I run a static /dev. No autoblackmagic anything. Portage keeps reminding me that I need udev and offering to unmask it for me.
That's always the wrong choice for me. I need to fiddle with USE flags and occasionally, ebuilds until Portage stops nagging me for udev.
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