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cdunham
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 7:57 pm    Post subject: Gentoo is Dying Reply with quote

I hate to say this, but Gentoo is in trouble. There are signs all over that the loose organization and process that maintains it isn't scaling to the demand and size of the project. I don't have the answers, but some things are abundantly clear:

- The reliability of the developers is mixed. Not that they aren't capable or dedicated, but in too many cases there is reliance on a single individual, teams that don't communicate, egos, heros and villians.

- The quality of ebuilds is deteriorating. My pet examples (I'm sure everyone has their own):
  • mysql 4.1 - we're almost at 5.0, where is 4.1? Stuck in Bugzilla, dev has finals
  • apache 2.0.53 and mod_php - why can't we all just get along?
  • avifile - patch and updated ebuild available since 3/28, why isn't it in portage?
  • cracklib-2.8 - upstream broken (breaks mod_php), but its still in portage
  • binutils-2.15.92.0.2-r3 - if you missed this fiasco, consider yourself lucky
  • drupal - upstream file changes not reflected in md5 sums, unchanged for months

- If you don't run ~arch, you are behind the curve on several important updates. If you do, you get buggy ebuilds and an attitude if you complain about them. Somehow, running ~arch means we should just accept ebuilds that don't even compile, have never been tested by their dev, render a machine unbootable? Give me a break! I'm willing to take some risk running ~arch, but I need to know that there is at least some minimal standard for any ebuild in portage, ~arch or not.

- Gentoo and portage don't scale. Anyone who is running a Gentoo shop with more than a half dozen machines derves some kind of stamina award. Being able to deploy, modify and upgrade standard configurations in binary form is difficult, at best. Doing so in source is only painful. One of the most minimal tools, http-replicator, isn't even in portage, you have to install an overlay for it! Without good tools, every machine in the shop is either out of date or running compiles at any given point. Never mind the chore of maintaining mask files, overlays and everything else that one as to do because of poor quality ebuilds.

Anyway, I rant because I care. I love Gentoo, and I hate to see the direction it's going in. I hate to see the hard work and dedication of the devs that *are* doing good work undermined by an inadequate infrastructure, process, or whatever it is that is the root cause of this mess.

And I'm sure that it can be fixed, because there are some really good signs out there as well. The new KDE split builds seem to work right out of the box without a hitch, despite what must have been herculean effort. Kernel packages, at least the gentoo-(dev-)sources I'm familiar with, are consistently solid and reliable. Security updates are timely and fixes are generally available quickly. The LiveCD seems to always be reliable, up-to-date, feature-filled and released in a timely fashion.

And, of course, it's still far and away better than any other distro out there. That just isn't a very high standard to shoot for. Gentoo can be *so* much better.

So what's going on? What needs to change?
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nixnut
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I hate to say this, but Gentoo is in trouble.

What!? Again? 8O Last week too and the week before that.

But then, aren't we always :roll:
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cdunham
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, but last week it was just an April Fools Day joke.
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Naib
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 8:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Gentoo is Dying Reply with quote

cdunham wrote:

- If you don't run ~arch, you are behind the curve on several important updates. If you do, you get buggy ebuilds and an attitude if you complain about them. Somehow, running ~arch means we should just accept ebuilds that don't even compile, have never been tested by their dev, render a machine unbootable? Give me a break! I'm willing to take some risk running ~arch, but I need to know that there is at least some minimal standard for any ebuild in portage, ~arch or not.



Errr all an ebuild is is a script to automate the

./configure
make make install

IF a product crashes IT ISNT a buggy ebuild but more than likely buggy src.
stable ebuilds mean that the actual src is not buggy (after gentoo tweaks to optimise)

please calm down. Got a prob - help in bugzilla
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure you can find examples like this for any distro.

How many of us, (myself included), whine about a newer package being available, yet often it doesn't really have features most of us need yet? I know some are needed, but if one was to run a complete x86 system, not any ~x86 packages, how "unpowered" or "behind" would their desktop be compared to another distro?

I'm not worried. I find if I need to, I can grab a source package and make an ebuild usually fairly easy and still have the package management of portage still in place. I have yet to clobber a system with Gentoo, something I can't say for the other distros I have tried. (Mandrake, Suse)
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abcdefg
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have gentoo installed for more than a year now and unfortenately I also see that the quality of the ebuilds is going down. Except for ati-drivers I run a 100% stable system but there are a lot of packages that don't compile. I think it is impossible to to a emerge -uD world without compile errors.

An example is bittorrent, six months ago a bug has been submitted that the program is unstable, more than a week ago I submitted a bug that there is adware in it (in my opinion). After that the priority of the bug has been raised to mark the ebuild unstable. But the ebuild is still in the stable portage.
Why did the developper raise the priority of the bug instead of changing the ebuild and add a ~ bevore the keywords?

I think that it is too much work for a developper to change things in the tree (too time consuming) or it isn't clear who is responsible for what

Please don't take me wrong, I really appreciate the work the developpers do and also I think that things are going to improve.

For instance I read something about a extra stable portage tree
Also I read that in the ebuilds there is a field going to be added who is responsible for the ebuild. I hope that it becomes easyer for us (the users) to add AND MAINTAIN ebuilds so that the 'real' developpers get less work and can consentrate on the complicated things (like splitting kde ebuilds)

Just my 2 cents,
David
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 9:04 pm    Post subject: RTFC - Gentoo SOCIAL Contract Reply with quote

I think you haven't read the Gentoo SOCIAL contract. http://www.gentoo.org/main/en/contract.xml

If you got a beef, post it at https://bugs.gentoo.org/

If you tested an unstable package and found it stable enough for your needs, post it at https://bugs.gentoo.org/
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Arainach
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You need to learn about /etc/portage/package.keywords.
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cdunham
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Errr all an ebuild is is a script to automate the

./configure
make make install

IF a product crashes IT ISNT a buggy ebuild but more than likely buggy src.
stable ebuilds mean that the actual src is not buggy (after gentoo tweaks to optimise)


lol. If only.
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Naib
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cdunham wrote:
Quote:
Errr all an ebuild is is a script to automate the

./configure
make make install

IF a product crashes IT ISNT a buggy ebuild but more than likely buggy src.
stable ebuilds mean that the actual src is not buggy (after gentoo tweaks to optimise)


lol. If only.


explain?

I have made 20 custom ebuilds with some submitted to buzgilla, the ones that have not are due to buggy code.
Try searching for "Poker3D" on this forum. I would have released the 10ebuilds associated BUT the program will not run properly. Ebuild is fine, the code is not
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cdunham
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naib wrote:
explain?

You've written ebuilds, you know that they are more than "./configure; make". They have dependencies, apply patches, edit files, choose the upstream, etc, etc. And they have bugs. Most the examples I referred to were ebuild problems, not upstream ones.
Naib wrote:
I have made 20 custom ebuilds with some submitted to buzgilla

How many of those have made it into portage?

egberts wrote:
I think you haven't read the Gentoo SOCIAL contract. http://www.gentoo.org/main/en/contract.xml

Read it, not sure how it applies.
Quote:
If you got a beef, post it at https://bugs.gentoo.org/

If you tested an unstable package and found it stable enough for your needs, post it at https://bugs.gentoo.org/

Certainly, that frequently works, but not reliably. See my examples. Many of those have been reported Bugzilla and fixed, with ebuilds posted, and still don't appear in portage. That's fine for one system, or at home, but when maintaining even a moderate-sized network, it gets to be a big chore chasing down patches and overlays in Bugzilla.

Arainach wrote:
You need to learn about /etc/portage/package.keywords.

Of course I know about it. It's a symptom of the problem, not a solution.
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Shadow Skill
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would suggest you check out this thread this other user brings up very simillar points. https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-313315.html
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asimon
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was proposed to help in bugzilla. A good idea but it can be frustrating too. I know some good people who left the Gentoo user community because they got frustrated to have their patches sit half a year in bugzilla and no dev cared to comment or apply them. I guess just saying "file a bug report" will not make all those problems go away. It looks like not-enough-dev-time is a big part of the problems mentioned.

I think Gentoo growed too fast. They have more ebuilds in the ever growing Portage tree than the developers have time to maintain properly.
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Athas
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cdunham wrote:
Gentoo is Dying


What, just like the BSD's? That's a rather long-winded death, I'll say. ;)
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

abcdefg wrote:
I have gentoo installed for more than a year now and unfortenately I also see that the quality of the ebuilds is going down. Except for ati-drivers I run a 100% stable system but there are a lot of packages that don't compile. I think it is impossible to to a emerge -uD world without compile errors.



that's not right, I run emerge -uvaD daily (and that for more than a year) and I don't get erros, it just works fine.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

finished right now
Code:

emerge -vDu world


no problem. smooth.
i agree also with the guy that wrote somewhere that the problem is that people should learn how to use gentoo possibilities...ex:
Code:

/etc/portage/package.keywords


cheers

sd
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cdunham
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shadow_dancer wrote:
finished right now
Code:

emerge -vDu world


no problem. smooth.


When it works, it works. As you start to do more, and have more machines to support, you *will* start seeing more problems.
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pjp
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Start resolving bug reports, and you'll eventually be added to the dev roster.

Doing brings resolution.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pjp wrote:
Start resolving bug reports, and you'll eventually be added to the dev roster.

Actually, we already have several trolls on the team, and they're all a lot more skilled and a lot more qualified than the original poster.
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cdunham
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pjp wrote:
Start resolving bug reports, and you'll eventually be added to the dev roster.

Doing brings resolution.


Cool. Where do I start with the list above? How can I resolve the mysql-4.1 problem, for example?
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cdunham
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ciaranm wrote:
pjp wrote:
Start resolving bug reports, and you'll eventually be added to the dev roster.

Actually, we already have several trolls on the team, and they're all a lot more skilled and a lot more qualified than the original poster.

Now that's just being mean.
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abcdefg
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ciaranm wrote:
Actually, we already have several trolls on the team, and they're all a lot more skilled and a lot more qualified than the original poster.


And you are one of those trolls?
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2005 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I reiterate what others have said:

if you have a problem, post it in bugs.g.o. If you wanted it solved quickly, assign it to the correct person and point a solution. Things generally go fairly quickly this way -- maybe not always, but most of the times.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2005 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dying? _Never_. Not unless Portage is shot, run over, and thrown off a cliff, then bursts into flames.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2005 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am very saddened to write what I am about to write. Not for the fact that I write it, but for the fact that I was brought to write this based on what I saw.

I am very sad to see that the answers from people who, by their status, seem to be experts or admins, or talented people, are answers which go by this way:

a) it is not an answer, it's a sarcastic remark
b) it's not an answer, it's an insult to the original poster (this is way sad)
c) the answer to "stable packages are old" is "learn to use package.keywords" which means "use some unstable packages"!.
d) the answer to "when a bug if filed to bugs.g.o, it sits there, here are the examples" is "file a bug to bugs.g.o, things go fast this way".

Man, if I wanted answers such as a, b or d, I'd have kept using debian.
Man, if I wanted answers such as c, I'd just have replaced "stable" with "testing" in apt-get and kept using debian.
I was tired of such a negative attitude.

I switched to Gentoo because it was better in my eyes: the software was up to date, the forums were filled of people willing to really help, there was no debianish-attitude.

If this thread reflects the current state of Gentoo, then it's really dead, in its place there's debian2. Gentoo is not made of packages, Gentoo is not made of portage. Gentoo is made of people.
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