On Aug 7, 2005, at 5:22 AM, Grobian wrote:
> Hi all,
> In the small week that I've been officially on the staff now, I was
> confronted with many small things that made me ponder. Before
> going into a long mail, I'll apologise upfront for my English, it's
Don't sell yourself short, your english is pretty damn good IMHO =)
> At the moment I have the terrible feeling of being useless, doing
> nothing struggling with everything that gets on my path.
You've only been here a week. There is no hurry, you will get
familiar with all the things you need to...Its opensource development
so people tend to work on their areas of interest.
> 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! ;)
Well I'll be sad to not see you in #-osx as much :(
> 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
> 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!
> 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?
Daniel Robbins the Gentoo founder did the initial port to OS X,
Pieter van den Abeele (Found of Gentoo/ppc) released the first pkg
installer, setup what little infrastructure the OS X team has and
actually started recruiting devs and getting stuff in the tree. It
all happened very quickly and half-assed, a lot of people were pushed
through the recruitment/mentoring process(myself included) ,the tree
was broken many many times(myself included), resulting in Gentoo as a
whole hating the OS X project(myself included). Most people since
then have fallen off the project, be it out of shame (several went to
gentoo/ppc), lack of interest(several disappeared all together), or
on to bigger and better things (Pieter is working on some very cool
stuff with freescale/genesii as well as the opensolaris project).
Which pretty much brings us to where we are today....4-5 of us left
wandering around aimlessly.
> 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?
Well, my basic feeling is the current method of trying to accommodate
Apple supplied userland is futile, its working against the advantages
of the portage tree. All the apps in portage are tested/tweaked/
hacked/patched/whatever to work with THE APPS IN PORTAGE, not with
3rd party software supplied by arbitrary vendors. In other words, the
path of least resistance is allowing portage to do what it does best,
manage software that is has knowledge of, instead of us constantly
lying to it about deps,etc. i.e. when an ebuild has DEPEND="app-
shells/bash", that means it depends on the bash in portage, if you
have the bash from BeOS/FC4/FBSD/Darwin/NewOS/Whatever its not
supported, and likely to cause problems somewhere down the line...
So, am I saying portage on OS X is a dumb idea? Hell no. Am I saying
the only way I see it working is overwriting Apple files? Hell no.
My personal goals for the project in order of my interest:
A self-hosting Darwin OS build-able and maintainable via portage
A custom Darwin/OS X installer for specialty applications with
portage managing the data (small footprint, SEDarwin/OS X, custom
userlands, Kiosks, etc.)
A fast, up to date binary package repo ala Fink that installs its
software in an arbitrary prefix
Each one of these goals is quite a large subject and beyond the scope
of this email, but hopefully you get the idea of where my interests
The first 2 goals, I work on now, mostly with help from people
outside of Gentoo. The last one, is the biggie and requires a lot of
work both on the actual ebuilds as well as portage itself. The good
news is it *is* being worked on for the next major portage
release.....but still a ways off regardless.
Sooooo, I guess you can tell I have no interest in the current method
of installing things to / or /usr and constantly trying sidestep,
hack around, and accomodate portage apps co-existing with the apple
userland. Its not practical, is very short sighted, will continue to
pollute the tree with ugly unnecessary cruft, and will never have the
support of Gentoo as a whole IMHO.
I by no means think all of our porting efforts thus far are wasted,
as when/if portage has support for prefixed installs, alot of the
grunt work of getting things building on Darwin/OS X will already
have been done.
> Last, but not least, to get a small impression of the people in
> this team, I would like a (very) short intro of those people that I
> haven't met yet (if there are any ;) )
> 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.
I've no doubt you are a huge asset to the project, regardless of
where your niche is/might be.
> Fabian Groffen
> eBuild && Porting
> Gentoo for Mac OS X
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