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From: Hasan Khalil <gongloo@g.o>
Subject: Re: Some Introduction
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 2005 18:36:19 -0500
On Aug 7, 2005, at 05:22, Grobian wrote:

> Anywayz, for those that don't know, I'm a new developer on the OSX  
> team.

If they don't know, they've been oblivious of your name all over  
bugzilla. Good work! :)

> Before going into a long mail, I'll apologise upfront for my  
> English, it's horrible.

We know your English is good since you make the same spelling  
mistakes us 'native speakers' make. *mumbles something about how us  
native speakers aren't so native*

> I like to contribute some useful things here, and I hope I can find  
> a corner where I can be that useful as I hope to be.

We're all here on our own free will (hopefully). Those that aren't,  
and realize it, generally leave pretty quickly. You've seen this on  
gentoo-dev@. As such, we do what we're interested in. Your job as a  
dev is to enjoy what you do while avoiding tree breakage. If you're  
able to, you might even fix a few things along the way, or improve  
the project.

Take Lina. Lina is a biologist first, computer scientist second. As a  
result, she took an immediate interest in the sci-biology category.  
Most of the packages there have been ported now, and are maintained  
by her for ppc-macos. She keeps on top of the relevant RSS feeds, and  
keeps track of stable-by dates in iCal. She even maintains a sci- 
biology package or two. This is her interest, and her first priority  
with respect to Gentoo.

While Lina enjoys more instantaneous gratification, I'm more happy  
working on long-term goals and slowly making progress one step at a  
time. My interests are different from hers, and we work in different  
areas. This is not to say that we don't work together, just that we  
work on different sides of the same coin, at the same time, sometimes  
cooperating towards a common goal.

You will have to find a corner for yourself. If anyone tells you what  
to do, you may or may not like it. You are free to find any corner  
that you are sure to like. If you think you like something and change  
your mind, just move to another corner. You seem to be into the DB  
side of things, perhaps you'd enjoy porting and maintaining some  
database services (mysql comes to mind) for ppc-macos. The only  
person who knows what you're enjoy is you. Again, devs are here to  
have a good time, not to be slaves.

> At the moment I have the terrible feeling of being useless, doing  
> nothing struggling with everything that gets on my path.

The majority of our "struggling" comes from inadequate upstream  
support for Darwin. This means that the most important thing you can  
do in terms of porting software is to send all your source patches,  
no matter how trivial, upstream. Sending patches upstream is  
nontrivial itself: you have to check out the latest source tree from  
CVS (or svn), get it working, and send back the results. You will  
probably end up porting less packages per unit time this way, but it  
is better in the long run. It's better to patch something once than  
for every successive version that comes out. That way, we struggle  
once per package.

We obviously can't say why you're feeling useless, but we know that  
we personally get that feeling due to the slow nature of making long- 
term progress as an arch. Large change takes time, especially when  
those changes involve portage itself. As developers, we don't feel  
like we're making much progress by porting a few libraries and  
applications, but, to the user base, this is more progress than those  
large long-term projects Hasan is so fond of. Imagine how many people  
you'd affect by porting mysql, for example.

> I'm not really an IRC guy.  I know what it is, but in general it's  
> great in distracting you and stopping you from doing what you have  
> to do.  Due to my time zone, I usually miss the important  
> discussions too.  Hence, I'm thinking of a drastical reduction of  
> my IRC online time.  I have the feeling most of the OSX staff is in  
> the #-osx channel, but it simply doesn't work out so well for me. I  
> prefer the asynchronous way of email, it also allows me to take  
> some more time to type a response.  As a non-native English typer,  
> I need more time to come up with responses.  And usually, it's time  
> zone free! ;)

There are plenty of devs with exactly the same stance. Don't worry --  
that's perfectly fine. There's no _requirement_ for you to be  
available via IRC.

If you've noticed, you rarely see us on IRC, except when we need to  
get in contact with other developers. Like you, we feel it's more  
distracting than helpful most of the time. Just drop in once in a  
while and let us know that you're still alive, or send an e-mail out  
every so often. Your relations thus far have been flawless.

> I got a fuzzy image of what the OSX team currently consists of.   
> It's far from a unity, more a group of people somewhere related  
> because of a shared OS, most of the time. Personally I'm a bit lost  
> in what the general consensus would be among the team members.   
> Maybe there isn't even one.  There is progressive, darwin, osx,  
> etc. the arch ppc-macos seems to be a multi-headed dragon.

Your image is essentially correct, in our opinion. Right now, we have  
about as many developers as we do profiles -- well, maybe not quite.  
Your perception of the team being far from unity probably stems from  
the fact that we more or less have one or two developers working on  
different facets of the OSX port. Kito and Robert (we think) are  
working on the darwin port and the progressive profile. JoseJX works  
on perl and baselayout, mainly on his free time from the ppc team. We  
(Lina and Hasan) work on the collision-protect profile, for which you  
were recruited.

We hope to increase the number of developers for the Gentoo for Mac  
OS X project, but we're doing so slowly since our last recruitment  
process was a disaster (one that Hasan and I were part of as new devs  
brought in during that time). You were our first pick, so you're  
seeing the beginning of the process to get a coherent team together.

Along those lines, we probably need to elect a new strategic and  
operational lead as Pieter (pvdabeel) has other priorities at this  
time, and Ciaran (ciaranm), a senior developer that stepped in to  
help us with QA and operations initially when Pieter got too busy,  
has decided to no longer act in that capacity.

We have been doing our best to pick up the slack and start some of  
the processes that the leads are responsible for, such as recruitment  
and interacting with the portage developers to get necessary bugs  
ironed out.

We would like to hold an election for the positions that we have been  
more-or-less filling unofficially, as the new metastructure suggests.  
We would like to be candidates for Operation Lead (Lina) and  
Strategic Lead (Hasan). Obviously, anyone else who wants the position  
should announce candidacy. We don't suppose that it is necessary  
(pretty much everyone on the team knows each other fairly well by  
now), but if anyone  would like a short blurb on why we feel we would  
be good candidates for the positions, just let us know. Is a week  
enough time to allow anouncements for candidacy? We feel that a long  
process isn't necessary with so few developers on the team to date.  
If everybody would rather have an informal IRC session or email tally  
than a vote, that's fine with us.

> My vision on Portage for OSX is exactly what the name says; portage  
> on OSX, thus a portage instance next to the original OS, so I can  
> enjoy the flexibility and package availability of portage and the  
> sweetness of my OS.  I am willing to accept that I can't install  
> autofs on a Mac OS X machine.  Maybe it sucks, but then you better  
> install Linux on it afterall.  A Mac is different, thinks  
> different, and yet, well... maybe I just like that.  In portage  
> terms this is called "collission-protect".  Great!

We have the same vision.

> Now it seems to me, after paying careful attention to some of the  
> comments made in the #-osx channel that this vision of mine, which  
> equals the current 'distribution' I think, can be considered the  
> unwanted child in the Gentoo family.  Ok, it will be always a  
> bastard child, like Portaris would be, but someone started with  
> this idea, and got it into portage somehow.  How did this whole  
> thing emerge within the Gentoo community, and what happened  
> afterwards to get into the stage it is in now?

Kito did a pretty good job summing this up in his own reply. I think  
it's important to note that this vision is changing in terms of  
respect for Gentoo for Mac OS X developers. A lot of the old-time  
devs still voice dislike for the idea of a metadistribution, either  
because of the way it's being implemented or because they preferred  
things when it was just Gentoo Linux.

> Ok, this probably all sounds a bit depressing, or put differently,  
> quite unpromissing.  However, all I need for now is some guide into  
> the wilderness I guess.  What are the (common) targets of the  
> team?  What is it 'we' want to achieve?  Who thinks what?

The team has a number of different targets. Our targets differ from  
Kito's, as do our views on the efficacy of portage co-existing with  
Mac OS X. I think a common goal is a working implementation of  
prefixable installs, but this is a goal for the next major portage  
release, so it will take some time. Currently, Lina's goal is to  
increase upstream support for darwin, and to maintain Gentoo for Mac  
OS X as a viable platform for biologists. Hasan is involved with both  
long-term and short-term strategic needs of the project, in terms of  
interacting with the portage team, core system tools (pretty much  
anything that's base-system), and marketing (getting the most desired  
packages working, documentation, etc.).

It's really hard to have a common target without having any leads.  
We're working on it. I think that we need to recognize two major  
different facets of the Gentoo for Mac OS X project -- the Darwin  
side and the Mac OS X side. The strongest tie between these, in terms  
of porting, being common linker woes.

> I hope somehow to become a valuable/active member of the team, but  
> so far I think I haven't had the opportunity to do so.

You already are. Just don't push yourself too hard. :) Large change/ 
progress takes time.

--

Hasan Khalil && Lina Pezzella
eBuild and Porting Co-Leads
Gentoo for Mac OS X

Attachment:
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Replies:
Re: Some Introduction
-- Kito
References:
Some Introduction
-- Grobian
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