5 Comments

Gentoo – A Quick User’s Perspective

I don’t usually get involved with politics on this blog, but I’d like to clarify how I think about Daniel Robbins offer to resume leadership of Gentoo, and Gentoo’s reply.

Gentoo is a great distribution. Gentoo is now run by developers who in there spare time contribute. This usually and almost always means working on portage. The developers producing ebuilds and creating portage primarily do it to create good systems for themselves. We as users benefit from this and to this point have little complained. But users are beginning to think of themselves as the red-headed step childs of the Gentoo family – mostly left to our own to enjoy the roof over our heads. And I think we users have become sick of it.

I have been reading developer blogs and am disturbed by their writings. Some quickly criticized saying Drobbins has no right to tell developers what to do, quickly citing the past incident when Drobbins previously returned. Most others just dodged the topic of a Gentoo leader and talked about the developer gap between users.

Grant Goodyear, the only real member of the Foundation, failed to file the paperwork for the Gentoo charter as whose only real function anymore is to file this paperwork – then shooed it in his blog.

Daniel tooks Grant’s blog as a no, and probably rightly so. It’s mostly defensive and defers the discussion to a mailing list.

Now some of the Developers have responded by creating the Gentoo User Relations page. It basically states that the developers are interesting in improving user relationships… But it appears is a reactionaryresponse and not a naturally motivated one. A marking of territory of sorts!?

Gentoo is a headless oligarchy. Meaning it has NO leadership, a bunch of priests acting in forced times as Pope. The current GMN will not last, the Gentoo user relations will not last, and the same dilapidated structure of Gentoo will deteriorate Gentoo if not fixed.

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5 comments on “Gentoo – A Quick User’s Perspective

  1. The Gentoo User Relations team has been around for over a year. It has been dormant for a long period, but is currently being revitalised, as is PR (Public Relations.)

  2. you are saying: “Gentoo is a headless oligarchy. Meaning it has NO leadership, a bunch of priests acting in forced times as Pope.”

    two things:
    1. that’s a contradiction. if there is no leadership (which i think is good) then there is no pope!

    2. you are forgetting something very important. developers are not in that position because of some divine act. every user can become a developer if he wants and tries to.

  3. nikos,

    The terminology is a overly harsh. Perhaps I should phrase it, “Too many head cooks without sous-chef.” It still doesn’t fit though as no one is responsible for many aspects of Gentoo. With a leader areas like an up to date website, a change in the Gentoo Newsletter, a packages.org fix, would have transitioned with a minimal of head bumping.

  4. “With a leader areas like an up to date website, a change in the Gentoo Newsletter, a packages.org fix, would have transitioned with a minimal of head bumping.”

    Sorry I don’t agree: you’d still have to find people to do the work, whoever was in charge (or not.) packages.org was old code and needed a thorough audit or a rewrite, neither of which can be done overnight.

    Yeah there are problems, mostly to do with involving users and channeling their enthusiasm into productive work. I don’t have any easy answers ofc, since what’s needed imo is both a cultural shift on the part of the devs, and users to work on the new projects like PR and the GMN. Tools to enable all that would be nice too.

  5. Gentoo has been like this for a long time. The last decent release they made was back in 2005.0. It’s too bad, I really liked Gentoo.

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