Gentoo Archives: gentoo-project

From: Dale <rdalek1967@×××××.com>
To: gentoo-project@l.g.o
Subject: Re: [gentoo-project] Fw: Your temporary 2 week suspension on interacting on the Gentoo Github page
Date: Thu, 18 May 2017 08:43:35
Rich Freeman wrote:
> On Wed, May 17, 2017 at 7:16 AM, Dale <rdalek1967@×××××.com> wrote: >> It frustrates me to see Gentoo go through the same issues over and over again with nothing changing. > If you want to fix problems you need to identify their root causes. > I'm not convinced this is really being done. > > Issue: not enough people are contributing to project xyz on Gentoo. > > That seems to be the crux of the matter here. Some say it is because > contributors are scared away by email chains, and that might be > possibly true. Some say it is because contributors are being turned > away because they are disliked, and that might even be somewhat true. > However, I think there are a bunch of other potential causes, and I > don't think we really can tell how much they all contribute: > > First, "not enough people are working on xyz" is a completely > subjective statement. It is saying that Gentoo does not meet the > expectations of the person making the statement. There is no > objective standard that says that a distro must do this much of A and > that much of B. Every distro has projects that have more and less > support. A project that one person considers critical might be > considered superfluous by another. The example in this thread was > Java and it is a good example of this. I see people with fairly > divided opinions on Java everywhere. Some deem it an enterprise > technology that is widespread and indefensible, and their arguments > are fairly valid. Others call it a memory hog and a pain to > administer and they usually raise good arguments as well. A lot of > Gentoo devs don't care about the enterprise, and some do, but probably > don't use Java there. Also, half the point of Java is > write-once-run-everywhere which doesn't entirely mesh well with a > source-based distro. I'm not saying that you can't build Java from > source - just that you don't necessarily get the same benefits from > doing so that you might with C. > > Then if you want to compare Gentoo with other distros you need to keep > in mind that we are very much a niche. Many examples can be cited of: > * Binary distros that are release based. > * Binary distros that are rolling release. > * Binary distros that target the enterprise. > * Binary distros that target the desktop. (ironically the biggest is > a Gentoo derivative) > * Binary distros that are focused around Gnome 3. > * Binary distros that are focused around Gnome 2. > * Binary distros that are focused around KDE/Plasma. > * I wouldn't be shocked if there are several focused around KDE 3/4. > * Binary distros that operate principally from LiveDVDs. > * Binary distros focused on routers. > * Binary distros that are very systemd-oriented. > * Binary distros that use systemd but in more of a legacy/LSB-oriented manner. > * Binary distros that avoid systemd. > * Binary distros that exist mainly to run containers (ironically the > biggest is a Gentoo derivative) > * Binary distros that exist to run on phones. > * Binary distros that semi-containerize every package. > > If you want to talk about source-based distros there is basically just > Gentoo and a few derivatives. In the binary world they have such > manpower available that they can fork themselves in 500 different > directions. In the source-based world we have so little manpower that > we struggle to maintain a viable distro under one big tent. > Maintaining a source-based distro is also fairly manpower-intensive. > We need build scripts that work for everybody in all kinds of exotic > configurations. A binary distro just needs to be able to reliably get > a scripted build to work in a very controlled environment. > > I think Gentoo is great, but a lot of people don't feel that they need > it to meet their needs, and a lot of binary distros are a lot easier > to maintain. I run OpenWRT on my router, not Gentoo. I run Android > on my phone, not Gentoo. There are advantages to having > niche-oriented distros and the binary world has a TON of them. > > The binary distros have also tended to improve over time. Back when > emerge was mainly competing against Debian/Redhat it was a different > world than the world post-Ubuntu. Arch is also fairly similar to > Gentoo in principle and thus will tend to split the contributor base. > > So, even if we had an environment where every Gentoo contributor was > completely happy, and every offered PR made it into the tree in a > quality-controlled manner in a day, we probably would still struggle > with some of these issues. That is frustrating, but I think it goes > with the territory. > > Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to belittle the interpersonal > stuff, and we may be able to improve there. I just wouldn't count on > it turning into a high-commit-volume paradise without some bigger > changes. A lot of these changes are going to be difficult to make. > Our PR workflow is certainly an improvement, but as we see with Java > it still suffers when nobody with commit access wants to deal with the > PRs, and there is probably a lot of room for improvement in other > ways. >
I had a nice draft response to this which you would likely have enjoyed reading but after reading Maciej's reply, I don't see the need to even finish it. It seems the current Gentoo staff wants to keep going the same way and keep things as they are, which is the problem. If that is the case, fine. I learned long ago that there are some people and some groups that don't deserve help even when they need it. I learned to walk away in those cases and let them fend for themselves even if I don't like seeing it happen. I guess Gentoo wants to go along like this for good while longer. I suspect that by the time Gentoo wants to fix it, there won't be anyone willing to help fix it. Dale :-) :-)