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List Archive: gentoo-installer
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To: "Simon Stelling" <blubb@g.o>
From: "LinuxMan" <linuxman@...>
Subject: RE: version 0.3 of the Gentoo Linux Installer
Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2006 13:27:54 -0000
Thanks for clarifying your perspective Simon. But I think if this is the
general feeling and reason for the Gentoo Live Installer then your point
should be emphasised more to the Linux community at large. When Distrowatch
and others release statements about the new live installer then your
subjecting yourselves to be influxed with new users who think it's the
answer to their prayers. It's these hundreds, probably thousands of users
who need to know that 'Live Installer' in Gentoo speak is not the same as
'Live Installer' in PClinuxOS speak. In defence of the GLI I guess there is
no set boundaries as to what a Live Installer should exactly do.

I personally think the GLI is a massive improvement over traditional
methods, but still think the term 'Live Installer' is somewhat mis-leading
to new users. And I think you should care about what people think, and also
if they prefer another distro because without people/users Gentoo is dead.

-----Original Message-----
From: Simon Stelling [mailto:blubb@g.o]
Sent: 01 March 2006 12:53
To: linuxman@...
Subject: Re: [gentoo-installer] version 0.3 of the Gentoo Linux


LinuxMan wrote:
> What sort of attitude is that to tempt new users to Gentoo, or anyone for
> that matter. Surely the installer should be aiming to make installation
> just easier but also easier and better than the rest. Otherwise what's the
> point? If that's your attitude you might as well not bothered with the
> installer and just told everyone to read the manual instead!! I think
> has a valid point and your answer doesn't do his question justice. I'm
> concerned that there are potential new users who could add to Gentoo, who
> are going elsewhere because of confusing options and attitudes that don't
> help anyone.

Right, there are some very different opinions floating around in this
and they definitvely need some explanation. Let me try to explain my
mentality towards this topic, I'm sure it'll help you to understand certain

I've been a Gentoo developer for 1.5 years, working mostly 3 hours/day on
Gentoo, which makes a total of ~1650 hours. If I would only get $10 per
that would make at least ~$16'000. Doing volunteer work is pretty strange in
capitalistic system. Why should I do a lot of work for free? Of course not
because I'm just a great guy. The main reasons why I do work on OSS are:

* It's fun digging around in source code.
* It's fun being part of a great community.
* It's a great way to learn new stuff.
* It's a great way to avoid boredom.

As you see, the most important reason is having fun. I don't care about what
people think of Gentoo. If they think Debian is 10 times better, that's
okay. If
they think Gentoo is the biggest shit on earth and just a waste of time for
everybody, that's okay. I have fun with it, and that's the important thing.

Now, that was the fun part. But there are also a few things that are not so
funny. The most annoying thing I can think of are PEBCAK (problem exists
chair and keyboard) problems. You don't know how annoying it is to get
about a certain problem 100 times although you documented it very well and
asked people to read the documentation. It drives you mad. Sadly, there are
lot of new users unwilling to read documentation and then think Gentoo sucks
just because they are lazy. You try to solve the problem by making things
enough that it doesn't require documentation. But keep in mind that those
will never contribute anything to the project. That's the big difference
commercial projects and free ones: I gave the lazy user 1650 hours of my
he gave me nothing but a rant. If he at least gave me 16'000 bucks, the
situation would be a bit different, but he didn't.

People who want to give something back to a project start doing so by
documentation. How could you contribute to a project without understanding
anyway? You simply can't.

The installer is a great thing, because it saves a lot of time for me, but
was never written to save the time you need to read and understand
documentation. GLI enables me to complete a Gentoo installation within 15
minutes, therefore it is a great thing. It's not a great thing because it
make Gentoo more popular or easier to install for newbies that don't want to
read documentation.

I hope I could help you to understand the issue from a dev perspective.

Kind regards,

Simon Stelling
Gentoo/AMD64 Operational Co-Lead

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