Laying down the glove to the ricers

Hans Fugal hans at
Mon Sep 11 10:58:48 MDT 2006

On Mon, 11 Sep 2006 at 10:39 -0600, Steve Dibb wrote:
> Hans Fugal wrote:
> >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. 
> >  
> To each his own, of course.  However with Debian I assume it doesnt ask 
> you which system logger you want to choose I could be completely wrong, 
> and I'm not trying to flame Debian in the least, I'm just pointing out 
> that Gentoo gives you a choice between a few system loggers during 
> installation.

You're right, not during installation. However you just apt-get 
whichever you prefer and it replaces the other one without hassle. I do
this with postfix replacing exim on just about every debian install I
do, it's not hard. Debian does allow you to fire up aptitude (or dselect
in the old days) and make as fine-grained choices as you could ever want
during the installation, if you desire it.

> >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.
> >  
> Upgrading really has never been an issue for me.  It just runs in the 
> background.  Besides, once you get over the large libraries (gtk, qt, 
> xorg-x11, etc) most *everything* takes between 5 to 15 minutes to 
> compile on a decent system.  I'm using Gentoo on an Athlon XP 1800, and 
> I've never been pressed for time waiting for something to upgrade.
> If you're upgrading Qt, you just emerge it.  You're already running one 
> version so nothing's going to stop and suddenly stop working while it's 
> installing.
> Basically -- I don't see the whole compilation thing as a big 
> deterrent.  It doesn't bother me.  It's not a show stopper. I don't 
> think its really as big a deal as you might think it is though.

I forgot to mention that although I don't have much gentoo experience, I
have had plenty of experience with darwinports which is similar in the
respect that it's a source-building package manager. I know from
experience that upgrading things is a real pain as a result I don't
upgrade frequently, and then when I do upgrade it's even more of a pain.
However I find fink even more annoying even though it's binary- and
apt-based so I live with it. It might be less of an issue on a
> >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.
> >  
> Changing USE flags on big toolkits is going to have minimal impact.  Do 
> I want to install Qt with gif or jpeg support?  Taking those out is not 
> going to magically make it take 15 minutes less.  There are some 
> packages you just accept that they are going to take a long time to 
> build.  You knew that when you were installing Gentoo in the first 
> place, so why would it suddenly be a big deal halfway during using it?

Exactly my point. But people will take out gif or jpeg for whatever
reason that seems good at the time, and then 3 months later find that
they need gif or jpeg support, and now, but to get it they have to
recompile Qt. Oops.

> >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.
> Installation is really the only big time-waster, imo.  However, since 
> the whole point of Gentoo is *customizing* your system to tailor it to 
> your needs, it is by default, going to take time.  It's not killing us, 
> it's just a tradeoff for what we really want.

So gentoo is for chavs, not for ricers. Fair 'nuff. In either case I'm
glad gentoo exists. A lot of good HOWTOs and some good software (like
keychain) have come out of gentoo or its community.  

Hans Fugal ;
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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