Gentoo Archives: gentoo-dev

From: (Mirian Crzig Lennox)
To: gentoo-dev@g.o
Subject: [gentoo-dev] general questions and thoughts on Gentoo
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2002 09:59:16
1 Greetings all...
3 I'm a newcomer to Gentoo (although I've been a Linux users since 1994),
4 and spent an extremely enjoyable weekend installing it. I must say, I'm
5 very impressed -- this is what Slackware should have become: a
6 wizard-level distribution totally geared to the expert who wants total
7 control over the system. Plus, the up-to-date-ness of the source
8 packages was a refreshing change from most other distributions I have
9 used.
11 Some thoughts I had as I was playing with portage:
13 When using portage, it's often the case that I know the name of the
14 package I want to install, but not what category it lives in. Under
15 debian, for example, I could say "apt-get install zsh" to install
16 zsh, whereas in gentoo, I seem to have to remember that zsh lives in
17 app-shells. This seems unnecessarily inconvenient, since it would
18 only be an issue if the same package name were used by more than one
19 package in more than one group.
21 Another thing I kind of miss from other package systems is the
22 ability to know *before* I download a package what files it will
23 install. The Mandrake, Debian, and FreeBSD ports collection provide
24 this information in various forms, which I've gotten used to, but
25 the /usr/portage hierarchy doesn't seem to store it anywhere.
27 There are a few utilities which seem to be lacking, but which it
28 would appear to be trivial to add. Something like RPM's "rpm -qf
29 <file>" facility to find out which package "owns" a particular file
30 would be useful. This information is in the /var/db/pkg hierarchy,
31 so some kind of 'find&grep' method is all that's needed.
33 I've noticed that much of the "guts" of portage is written in
34 Python, which is a language I deeply respect and which certainly
35 makes sense for this kind of application, but which is not my
36 personal preference as a scripting language. However, it looks as
37 though all the Python code is confined to /usr/lib/portage; none of
38 the actual .ebuild scripts use Python. Is this a deliberate choice,
39 and if so, does this leave the door open for people wishing to
40 access portage from other languages, such as Ruby or Scheme?
42 Finally, given that Gentoo is designed to be compiled from source at
43 install means that it should be fairly portable to other
44 architectures. Has anyone tried installing Gentoo on a non-i386
45 architecture? I wouldn't mind giving it a shot on my PPC-based
46 iBook (currently running YellowDog 2.1).
48 Anyway... these are just random thoughts... in the main, I'm really
49 happy and impressed with Gentoo. Excellent work, everyone!
51 --Mirian