Gentoo Archives: gentoo-dev

From: Duncan <1i5t5.duncan@×××.net>
To: gentoo-dev@l.g.o
Subject: [gentoo-dev] Re: rfc: revisiting our stabilization policy
Date: Sat, 25 Jan 2014 04:02:59
Message-Id: pan$80e84$b86d03dc$cb8d1a11$
In Reply to: Re: [gentoo-dev] Re: rfc: revisiting our stabilization policy by Tom Wijsman
1 Tom Wijsman posted on Fri, 24 Jan 2014 19:26:41 +0100 as excerpted:
3 > On Fri, 24 Jan 2014 10:46:06 +0000 "Steven J. Long"
4 > <slong@××××××××××××××××××.uk> wrote:
5 >
6 >> Tom Wijsman wrote:
7 >> > "Steven J. Long" wrote:
8 >> > > What? Without a stable tree, Gentoo is useless afaic.
9 >> >
10 >> > It moves us closer to upstream releases, a little more bleeding edge;
11 >> > a lot of users and developers run that already, it is found to be
12 >> > useful.
13 >>
14 >> What? More vague. As are many of your philosophical statements in later
15 >> and prior mails, so I'll ignore those.
16 >
17 > It is reality; and thus, without a stable tree, Gentoo is still useful
18 > for a lot of users and developers. What is vague about that?
20 [TL;DR readers may simply skip this one entirely. =:^) ]
22 Indeed. While I recognize that in free software people scratch their own
23 itches to a large extent, and thus that for some gentoo devs, they'd not
24 be gentoo devs or contributing at all if there wasn't a stable tree for
25 them to ultimately contribute to, and thus don't begrudge them all the
26 time and effort they spend on stabilizing things, at the same time...
28 Being a ~arch and sometimes live-build/overlay user since I switched to
29 gentoo now a decade ago[1], in part because my previous distro of choice
30 (Mandrake) fell three kde releases (3.x.y, so it'd be 90 days behind with
31 kde's current monthly micro-release schedule, tho IIRC it was a bit
32 slower back then) behind, even for their beta/cooker release...
34 I've often wondered just how much faster gentoo could move, and how much
35 better we could keep up with upstream, if we weren't so focused on 30+day
36 outdated stab?l3 bumping all the time. All that effort... from my
37 viewpoint going to waste on something that gentoo really isn't going to
38 be that great at anyway, certainly in comparison to other distros which
39 REALLY provide a stab?le service, up to a /decade/ outdated, supporting
40 often trailing edge software, in an effort to slow down progress for
41 people that don't want to move so fast.
43 There's simply no way gentoo's going to compete well with either the
44 commercial enterprise distros like RHEL and SLED/SLES, nor are we going
45 to compete well with Debian stable. That's not gentoo's strength, and
46 from a certain viewpoint, any effort sunk into that is simply sunk. How
47 much better could gentoo be for those where the /real/ action is, at
48 upstream release or even live-development versions, if all that effort
49 wasn't being sunk into useless trailing edge stuff that we never have a
50 chance of out-supporting other distros with anyway?
52 Tho as I said, I realize that FLOSS is very much a scratch your own itch
53 thing in many cases, particularly for a community distro such as gentoo,
54 and that for a lot of arch-dev folks, if arch-stable wasn't there for
55 them to work on, those folks simply wouldn't be working on gentoo at all,
56 but on other distros or even out of FLOSS entirely, so it's very much
57 *NOT* a zero-sum game, and I can't begrudge them all the work they put
58 into making gentoo the best it can be for their particular stable-arch
59 itch, either. So I appreciate that they're there and the work that they
60 do, expanding gentoo's practical reach, even if it's not something I'm
61 likely to be using or even particularly interested in any time soon.
63 My point being... yes indeed, there's a LOT of folks for whom gentoo
64 without a stable tree would be a gentoo freed of a to-them useless
65 weight, allowing gentoo to move even faster, and be even better in areas
66 that are already its strength, heavily automated leading edge releases
67 and live-development level packages. And I'm one of those folks!
69 But that doesn't mean that I consider gentoo's stable tree entirely
70 useless, even if in practice it is so for me, because I /do/ recognize
71 it's not a zero-sum game -- killing the stable trees wouldn't get us
72 /that/ much more work on the leading edge stuff, as most of that present
73 contribution would simply go away. At best, I'd guess we'd get /maybe/
74 20% of it, likely half that. And we'd shrink as a distro and lose a lot
75 of donated services, etc, as well, so what /might/ be a 10% gain in
76 leading edge contribution could well actually end up being an overall
77 loss, too.
79 But certainly, in a thought experiment, gentoo without the stable tree
80 would be at least as useful as it is now, for some of us, were it not for
81 the practical effect I mention above.
83 ---
84 [1] I remember that I tried with 2004.0, but didn't actually get switched
85 until 2004.1, thus... early 2014.... almost exactly a decade ago now,
86 depending on whether you count from when I started trying or when I
87 finally got a functional and complete install.
89 --
90 Duncan - List replies preferred. No HTML msgs.
91 "Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
92 and if you use the program, he is your master." Richard Stallman