Laying down the glove to the ricers

Hans Fugal hans at fugal.net
Mon Sep 11 10:11:57 MDT 2006


On Mon, 11 Sep 2006 at 09:38 -0600, Steve Dibb wrote:
> Hans Fugal wrote:
> >>>The alternative then is that you believe gentoo
> >>>has more streamlined startup scripts. Maybe gentoo does the parallel
> >>>startup stuff and gets you a prompt before all your daemons are started.
> >>>      
> >>That's the main thing I was inferring to.  By default Gentoo starts
> >>only those daemons that are _absolutely_ necessary for the kernel to
> >>run when it boots.  You then tell Gentoo which additional daemons you
> >>want it to start at boot time (or any other runlevel you want).
> >>    
> >
> >Well that's not an enhanced startup system, but just a minimalist
> >install. Any distro will let you enable or disable daemons.
> 
> I gotta say -- this is one of my favorite things about Gentoo -- how it 
> it takes a minimalistic approach *by default*.  You don't have to 
> disable anything because nothing is turned on.  You don't even get a 
> system logger unless you install it yourself and add it to the startup 
> levels.

de gustibus non disputatum est

Disk is cheap compared to time. The last thing I want is to have to
manually enable everything that is almost always going to be enabled
anyway. I like Debian's approach. Things are enabled by default if
they're installed, but not everything is installed unless you ask for
it. It strikes a decent balance, although there are things that I
personally wish Debian would install by default that it doesn't. 

But more importantly, it makes absolutely no sense to me to disable
stuff with USE flags. I can see the merit of using USE flags to _enable_
certain things that might not be enabled by default, and in some very
speicific (embedded) situations I can see the use of disabling things,
but for the most part the extra disk space required for that one library
is worth it for the time saved on the day that I do decide I want Qt
enabled in application foo after all. Constant recompiling for upgrades
is silly. Recompilation because I was a nazi and disabled Qt across the
board with USE flags is lunacy.

Nobody likes library bloat, but gentoo users are particularly opposed to
it. For good reason! The amount of time it takes to compile those big
toolkits is phenomenal. If I were a gentoo user I would steer clear of
them too.

Gentoo is a thief. It robs that which is most valuable: your time. You
may say that gentoo teaches you a lot about how linux works, and you'd
be right I reckon, but it's not very efficient. You spend far more time
and energy in compilation than you do learning.  But hey, we're all free
to spend/waste our time however we wish. Some have disagreed with me,
but I say better to waste your time with gentoo than many other 
time-wasters out there.

-- 
Hans Fugal ; http://hans.fugal.net
 
There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the 
right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
    -- Johann Sebastian Bach
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