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The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated. -Mark Twain

“Failing that, the latest news item on the Gentoo Linux home page — announcing the October 15 weekly newsletter — could be the project’s very last news release.” – DistroWatch

Come again?

Yes, Gentoo has some issues concerning the Gentoo foundation. Yes, we are actively working on straightening out these issues. No, Gentoo is not dying. Developers are still coding, servers are still humming and moral among developers that I work with is high. This is not a full time job where the miserable guy in the cube next to you keeps chugging on because he has a mortgage and 4 kids. When a developers of this distribution lose faith they leave. This leaves more happy and highly motivated people in Gentoo then you probably see at your day job.

The state of the foundation is not something that will stop the kernel team from releasing kernels, the KDE team from working their butts off so KDE 4 compiles on everyone’s machine, or the release team from creating and testing the forthcoming release. The same people are hard at work doing the same job they were doing two weeks ago.

Users: don’t think for an instance that the developer base disregards your feelings concerning the distribution. I spend a great amount of time in bugzilla for our users benefit. I enjoy it, and I plan on to keep doing it. Try to remember why you chose to use Gentoo in the first place. Did anyone actually pick Gentoo because of the foundation set up after Daniel Robbins left? I kinda doubt it.

We’ve have identified the issue and now some dedicated members are working to a solution that will probably not satisfy everyone, but will be a well thought out solution for the continued health of the project. Mark my words, we have some really smart folks and Gentoo will come out of this stronger then ever.

15 responses so far

15 Responses to “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated. -Mark Twain”

  1. jsledon Jan 17th 2008 at 1:58 am

    *cough*morale, instant*cough*

    DistroWatch seems to have a track record of very pessimistic, un-researched presentations of the state of Gentoo.

    At the same time, PR and/or userrel do need to summarize things that are occurring and post them to the website/feed. FWIW, I think that’s generally much of what they need to do, maybe in replacement of the GWN. It doesn’t really need big in-depth weekly articles or developer interviews or tips and tricks. Just do basic reporting on the news and activity of the project, from the forums, mailing lists and irc. Point people to further discovery/assistance. Demonstrate regular activity.

  2. Name (required)on Jan 17th 2008 at 2:54 am

    I honestly don’t recall the last time I saw anything worth reading on DistroWatch (I am of course giving them the benefit of the doubt that they had something at some point, but I don’t have any evidence to back this up).

    Perhaps someone should submit an article to them like “DistroWatch is dying — Does Anyone Care?”.

  3. nightmorphon Jan 17th 2008 at 3:41 am

    Don’t forget that DistroWatch has a history of extremely sensational negative press on Gentoo. I’ve blasted them about it publicly a few times, both in comments to the author, and on Gentoo Planet. It’s best not to take DW as a serious news source, but rather as the cheap, crass tabloid they’ve become. They’ve almost sunk to OSNews’ level.

    After all, given the out and out lies DistroWatch is spreading . . .

  4. Sylvainon Jan 17th 2008 at 5:00 am

    Of course, your are right. Any casual user syncing the portage tree once in a while (or looking at Planet Gentoo, or using Gentoo Bugzilla, etc.) is bound to know Gentoo is not dying.

    Yet, you have to agree there is something vaguely upsetting having a “weekly newsletter”, a PR tool deemed important enough to be published on Gentoo main page, not being updated for twelve weeks in a row: it doesn’t look good to the external eye.

  5. Alexon Jan 17th 2008 at 7:06 am

    Sorry, but it’s not just the foundation with problems.

    It’s things like the weekly newsletter, slow releases and various other things which have been having problems as well! Yes the DistroWatch page has taken this 10 steps further and predicted the death of Gentoo instead of just mentioning the facts.

    It just looks like a dead distribution to outsiders if you analyse certain parts of it.

  6. Matija "hook" Šukljeon Jan 17th 2008 at 10:10 am

    …and I would like to express my gratitude to all the devs that make Gentoo happen and excuse myself for sometimes being a bit stupid (as a user) on the Bugzilla.

    Keep up the awesome work!

  7. adminon Jan 17th 2008 at 10:43 am

    Yes, I do agree that the GWN on the website is the face we present to the public. And as such, it should show a bit more life so it can more accurately reflect the technical work that continues to happen.

    Maybe our distribution needs more staff members that want to work on website maintenance and other areas that need assistance. My opinion is the front page should be more of a blog news page with more frequent short blurbs as needed.

    Instead of looking at the lack of GWN’s as Gentoo dying, it could be also be viewed as less technical work that a bunch of technical people aren’t super excited to work on. No excuse, of course and I haven’t helped or participated in any way to make that situation better.

  8. Davidon Jan 17th 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Gentoo can’t die, it just can’t … best distro ever … it’s just cant!!! :(

  9. nihiloon Jan 17th 2008 at 7:46 pm

    Yes, distrowatch is sensationalistic, but that doesn’t mean that the user community is not extremely worried about the future of Gentoo and its reputation in the larger community.

  10. baitason Jan 17th 2008 at 10:49 pm

    Please remember that most users are used to very fast release cicles form their distros. So if gentoo does not release a new install cd every few months they will think it is in trouble! Add the hiatus on the release of the GNW, and I can see how an external user may think that gentoo is dying :(

    That being said, I visited distroWatch once in the last few yeas while looking for an embedded solution, and guess what, I ended up trying gentoo!!!

  11. He Mingdaoon Jan 19th 2008 at 10:10 am

    What is Gentoo? Is this a distribution of Linux? Why does anyone need another one besides Slackware?

  12. Koalaon Jan 19th 2008 at 10:35 am

    Mingdao: Yes, Gentoo is just another fringe distro fading from sight, like DW postulated. It’s well past it’s “best before” date, mainly due to neglect and infighting, regardless of the wails of its fanboys and girls. That said, it does have its place in the Linux distro sphere like every other distro, not unlike UnitedLinux!

  13. MrCopiloton Jan 19th 2008 at 11:47 am

    So this is a big fat no to Daniel’s proposal then?

    Did anyone actually pick Gentoo because of the foundation set up after Daniel Robbins left?

    Probably not because of it, but some were perhaps grateful for it and it gave some sense of permanence which is severely in doubt right now.

  14. adminon Jan 20th 2008 at 12:56 pm

    “So this is a big fat no to Daniel’s proposal then?”

    Nowhere have I declared my opinion on Daniel’s offer.

    “mainly due to neglect and infighting”

    From the inside, I don’t see the neglect and the infighting is a fraction what it used to be.

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