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Zynot Foundation Forks Gentoo 455

Posted by simoniker
from the awaiting-gentoo-sporking-eagerly dept.
deque_alpha writes "The Gentoo Linux distribution has been forked by a group of Gentoo developers and community members. This fork is being placed under the control of the non-profit Zynot Foundation, which will "hold the source code, trademarks, and any other intellectual property developed by and for its community." The goals of the fork include improving stability and cross-platform reliability to bring the Gentoo-developed technology to the enterprise and embedded arenas." Another reader points out Zack Welch's long article at on reasons for forking the Gentoo distribution.
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Zynot Foundation Forks Gentoo

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  • by KentoNET (465732) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @02:04AM (#6300469)
    As a user of Gentoo on both a server and my home desktop, I understand that this could mean great things for the distribution, if executed properly. Hopefully the forkers will be able to keep up with the dynamic nature of the Gentoo community.
  • by NTmatter (589153) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @02:13AM (#6300489) Homepage am I going to emerge the latest updates on my Gentoo handheld?

    To me, it seems that the most useful part of Gentoo is their portage system. How can it be modified to support the embedded area without losing the features that make Gentoo Gentoo?

    Well, I guess that's why they forked, isn't it?
  • Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcspock (252093) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @02:20AM (#6300514)
    I read this guy's post in disbelief. At one point he says he has been contributing for a while because he believes in linux and gentoo, and at another he says that he expected his contributions to be treated as building some sort of long term path that would be financially beneficial to him. How can you write code, contribute it to a major GPL project, then not realize that your contribution is one of thousands, and that there is no major plan to reward individual contributors?

  • by dafoomie (521507) <> on Thursday June 26, 2003 @02:21AM (#6300518) Homepage
    As a Gentoo user, this makes me feel much less enthusiastic about where this project is headed. Especially the shady practices of the guy in charge (particularly, trying to pass themselves off as a non-profit). I will probably go with the fork as soon as possible.
  • by mikeophile (647318) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @02:23AM (#6300521)
    Ok, in Mr Welsh's article, he give this as the primary reason for the fork:

    Ultimately, my personal problems with Daniel and Gentoo in general can not be solved by this restructuring; the organization will still place a single person with final authority about the distribution. I would not trust any single person to lead a distribution of this size

    Then, on the very next page, he says this:

    Who will be in charge?

    At first, I will be the ultimate arbiter and policy maker with regard to the direction, culture, and policies. I am the one that has decide to gamble career and reputation by forking this project; I am the one organizing, leading, and capitalizing it. This paper presents the vision that I have crafted for it, and while one that has been subject to significant scrutiny and feedback, it still largely reflects the vision of one single person.


  • by Akardam (186995) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @02:25AM (#6300527)
    The day that I think to myself, "Hey, you know, this Gentoo thing looks pretty cool... Linux + FreeBSD style ports? What a sweet deal! Let's give it a whack...", this happens.

    At the risk of generalizing the situation, I'll say that more often than not egos get in the way of something really freaking cool, and ain't that a pisser...

  • Hear, hear! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Akardam (186995) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @02:30AM (#6300545)
    This guy's so full of himself it's making my head spin. He seems to think that everybody should owe him dues for everything that is Gentoo. His documents are full of "my servers...", "me" this and "I" that. It honestly looks like he had a hissy fit and took his toys home because he wanted one of Gentoo's major focuses to be embedded systems, and the other developers said, "that's all nice and dandy, but we aren't really concerned too much about that for the moment...".

    Sheesh. Some people...
  • by dsavitsk (178019) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @02:30AM (#6300547) Homepage
    It seems that the jist of your comment is a distrust of competition to weed out weakness and support strength. For better of for worse, it seems that most systems more of less work this way. MS is where they are because they beat out lots of dead ends. Same goes for GE, GM, Sony, etc. It's even true for governments, and for species (neanderthal?).

    There is some truth that competition is not always the best way to get things done. Further, winning should not be confused with being the best. Many mistakes are made, but before anyone is going to believe that competition and free markets are not the practical best way to progress, you will need to show how someone at the top could know in advance the best option. Gecko may be dead as to KHTML as you say, but one could not have guessed this when Mozilla started.

  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zork the Almighty (599344) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @02:33AM (#6300550) Journal
    Gentoo Linux is for-profit. He expected they would spin off a company to do embedded systems, and that he would be "in on it". Turns out that wasn't the case, so he forked the project (it's all GPL, after all) and he's going to do his own thing. Kudos to him, so long as this doesn't turn into a FUD war.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 26, 2003 @02:33AM (#6300552)
    I'm sure most dictators say the same thing when they take office.

    I'll believe it when I see it.

  • by bsdfish (518693) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @02:37AM (#6300560)
    Having read the reasons that the author provides for starting this fork of the project, it seems to me that this is just a result of personal disagreement. There is much bitterness involved in the arguments; indeed, the end(where he discusses the changes occuring in Gentoo) sounds like overconfidence in his importance. The author is convinced of his importance - everything that happens either happens because of him or to spite him. While I hope that the fork will allow him to focus on contributing to his project without constant worries about politics, I don't think highly of his reasons. There is far too many gaps in his story(why would he loose his developer status for a few suggestions? I'm sure there was major flaming involved) . . .
  • by Zork the Almighty (599344) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @02:41AM (#6300566) Journal
    Personally, I'm going to wait before there's something fundamentally wrong with Gentoo before I switch. This guy seems to have a lot of sour grapes, although when money is involved you can kindof see why. If you're concerned about for-profit, etc, you might want to use Debian GNU/Linux [].
  • by xtrat (549214) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @02:50AM (#6300590) Journal
    I think you are missing the real point of open source development. The factions are what make the software better. The option to choose different features/solutions make the software better. The competition between project drive the project to improve.

    Talk about trolling... Ok, what about 1000 "hobbyiest" split between 2 open source project v. 100 paid employees -- as if being paid somehow endows the person/project with talent and/or success.

  • Here are my posts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IamLarryboy (176442) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @02:53AM (#6300595)
    I posted on both message boards. I thought slashdot might be interested in my posts.

    I have read most of Zach's rant and it disturbs me. Much of what Zach is complaining about seems to be dealt with by the Gentoo top-level management structure proposal. However, the most important part of his claims, the "business" part, are not. I of course will hear D. Robbins out as well.

    Regardless, I think the Gentoo project needs to CLEARLY establish what is bussiness and what is not. This should, hopefully, prevent these claims frum being made in the future.

    The way I see it this whole affair is nothing but bad news. I hope and pray it all works out.
    and on
    I have read most of Zach's rant and it disturbs me. Much of what Zach is complaining about seems to be dealt with by the Gentoo top-level management structure proposal. However, the most important part of his claims, the "business" part, are not. I of course will hear D. Robbins out as well.

    Regardless, I think the Gentoo project needs to CLEARLY establish what is bussiness and what is not. This should, hopefully, prevent these claims frum being made in the future.

    The way I see it this whole affair is nothing but bad news. I hope and pray it all works out.
    I will not sleep well tonight.
  • by jericho4.0 (565125) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @02:56AM (#6300602)
    So what? Choose to use Debian ot Gentoo, choose to contribute to either. Who cares if there is duplicated effort? Opensource is what it is. It doesn't have to 'compete'. I fail to understand how open source has 'failed'. By what measure? I'm useing it, others use it. If I want to spend the next year of my life working on a useless duplication of effort, that's my problem, stop making it yours.
  • by SoulDrift (638565) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @02:58AM (#6300613)
    I totally disagree, I think that every one of these cases you've specified has *benefitted* from the very competition that you're saying has harmed them.

    Every Linux distribution was designed to fill a niche, every single one of them has a different take on how things are done. And every single one of them has the opportunity to learn from all the others. In terms of what to do, and what not to do.

    I think the best example of this *is* Gnome and KDE. Both of these systems have a very different approach to solving the same problem. Both of them also have learned from and borrowed ideas off of the other one.

    I love open source software for one simple reason: The choices I am able make in my computers look, feel, and behaviour. If I don't like KDE, I switch to GNOME. If GNOME is pissing me off, I'll play with Fluxbox.

    Without the multiple competing options in the form of all these software projects/distributions, what would we have? We'd end up with ONE option that we'd have to use, whether we liked it or not, and no alternative to go to. Does that sound familiar? It's the situation I was in before I discovered there were other options to Windows.

    I'm not going back to those dark days, not if I can help it.
  • by DeathPenguin (449875) * on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:00AM (#6300620)
    I don't really see what's wrong with this approach. Using desktop managers as an example, some people simply want a full-featured (Or bloated, if you prefer) window manager like KDE so they have similar functionality to commercial OSes. Others may want a smaller one like WindowMaker. Either project would concievably be further along if the developers from one abandon their own projects and joined with the other.

    That's assuming there wasn't a lot of internal bickering going on as to how things should be done, however. I think internal strife is far more dangerous and inhibiting than forking a project. The only way to make dozens, hundreds, or thousands of developers set their attitudes and egos aside for the sake of reaching a common goal is to offer them loads of cash.
  • Debian (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mackstann (586043) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:06AM (#6300631) Homepage
    Agreed. I am no debian zealot, but I strongly believe that volunteer-driven OS's are a better idea. Motives aren't under question (well, at least to a lesser extent), and the bottom line doesn't interfere with things.
  • by KentoNET (465732) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:12AM (#6300648)
    I never mentioned anything about the way the community acts as a whole. It was more in reference to the way it has grown and probably will continue to grow, as well as how it responds to certain events in conjunction with Gentoo innovation, such as this.

    I posted a Gentoo comment here because the article is about Gentoo! I agree that Gentoo and its community both have shortcomings. And I also believe that Slackware, Debian, RedHat, Mandrake, etc. all have similar shortcomings, both in community and in software. Linux is like that right now, and will be until it stabilizes. No matter what distribution you're a fan of, you can never claim that your favorite is better than the other ones. That won't accomplish a thing.
  • by Calgary (85460) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:15AM (#6300656) Homepage

    It's simple to say that if all the man power poured into all projects solving a certian problem were instead put into just one really good project, then the best possible solution would result. There Mack Truck sized flaw here is that you are assuming that humans are not involved.

    As the article notes, it's primarialy a personallity problem which lead to this fork. Misunderstanding happen, people's feelings get hurt, and some people just want different things. These all lead to conflicts which can ultimatly harm a project. Face the facts about human nature: some people just can't work together.

    Aside from personality conflicts, there's also the people of organizing a lot of people. Organization necessarially leads to buracracy. Lot's of people hate buracracy, and lots of people like to root for the underdog. In a large organization, which would be necessary to combine all the little projects, people coming on to the project would find the structure so unwieldly and confusing that they would just prefer to start over with a new organization.

    Competition among open source projects lets users choose (where user may denote an end user like your Mom, or a corporate user like Apple) which is right for them. In this way, OpenSource is like capitalism. People get to choose the product which best fullfils their needs. The only difference (generally speaking) is that direct monetary cost for the product is removed from the equation (support, hardware, etc would still have to be considered).

    One other point is that a lot of new coders who don't have enough skill to contribute directly to an established project will often release things they did to teach themselves as OpenSource. This doesn't really dilute the marketplace, since often such projects get abandonded quickly as their creators move on to bigger and better things, or are obviously lacking. So while it may sound reasonable to have one really good IRC client instead of a million half finished ones (and a few finished ones), the argument assumes that everyone is capable of contributing the high quality code as soon as the start to learn to program.

  • SERIOUS ANSWER (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jaaron (551839) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:17AM (#6300663) Homepage
    The ultimate failure of "open source" is this: everybody wants to have it his own way. Consequently, we have ten individuals or groups working on their own variations on X, instead of cooperating on X itself.

    I'm almost ready to call troll on this one, but I figure I can answer this question yet once again and perhap it will stave off other similar comments.

    First off: What is this "open source" you speak of? There is NO centralized, organized open source movement, despite what ESR might claim. There are may individuals and groups creating and producing open source software, yes. But they are widely varied in goals, scope, and success. Many (most?) produce open source software on their own time and on their own terms. That's certainly the case for me. It's a hobby. It's a fun thing to do. And no one is going to tell me I have to cooperate with so and so just to make sure open source software succeeds. I'm doing this for fun, remember? So if I want to create my own Yet Another Linux Distribution (YALD?) or whatever, then it's my choice, particularly since I'm doing this on my own free time!

    "Open source" describes a software licensing model and, I suppose, a development model as well (not really) but certainly not a "software engineering protocol." Extreme Programming is a development model. Open source is a licensing model. It is not a grand movement. It is not a single entity bent on taking over software development. Sure there are some open source developers and free software developers with these ideas, but they do not necessarily represent the whole of the "community."

    In other words, look at your comment this way:

    The ultimate failure of "human society" is this: everybody wants to have it his own way. Consequently we have ten individuals or groups working on their own various on X, instead of cooperating on X itself.

    Okay, yeah, so it was a troll, but it's a common misunderstanding too. Hopefully a few /.'ers will learn something from this (other than not to feed the trolls).
  • by (insert nick here) (14693) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:20AM (#6300669)
    This is because the open source community isn't one huge project to develop thingie X, as specified from the customer. It's about an enourmous amount of independent developers viewing the entire open source codebase, and evaluating "Is there anything in here I think sucks, that I could make better?", and then they do an attempt at doing that. Works basically in the same way as evolution.

    One of the reasons why this is the best approach is that all developers have different visions of how things should be and what are the real problems with a project. The commercial way of solving that is discussing it, and then let some project leaders pick a compromise that most developers would silently disagree with, but, with slightly lowered motivation, work on anyway. The open source way is that people do what they want, and then afterwards the world can see who was right.

    The result of this process is not the maximum code lines possibly produced by millions of developers. It is the most stable and at a certain level "perfect" software possible. This is best illustrated by a Djikstra quote that I don't remember the exact wording of, but it goes something like "The project isn't finnished when it has all the code lines required. It is finnished when it has nothing but the code lines requires". That is quality != quantity.

    If open source has one problem, however, it is that the continous enhancement process works like the hillclimbing algorithm. It enhances itself, but revolutions that imply changing lots of projects concurrently to make long term quantum leaps without implying short term enhancements are just not going to happen.
  • by xenocide2 (231786) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:22AM (#6300672) Homepage
    Then perhaps this is one of the unspoken victories of the GNU liscence. Rather than squabbling over whether the man's work was some form of unpaid volunteer labor, he is free to take his efforts and start his own camp. Neither side suffers from debilitating lawsuits, and hopefully the two can coexist peacefully.

    In truth this is not particular to the merits of GNU. Any project run with a public source repository allowing use to the public benefits from this. What is truely interesting is the general lack of forks, and of those forks that do exist, the frequency that they "consolidate." I've said it before but observing OSS projects often seems like watching Communist Russia. The software is liberated, but control is wrest over the 'common' source code. This code repository was referred to by ESR as a form of cathedral, where design is king, but I see it as more of a beuocracy, where people are sent in recursive loops to submit patches for application. Marx suggested the idea of the proletariot dictatorship, but in practice Stalin felt that the proletariot required a Leader. Such is the role of the Maintainer. But Orson Wells probably did a better job with Animal farm than I can do with OSS. I do not mean to disparaige the GNU liscence by calling it Communistic, but simply that often large projects like Gentoo (and BSD) suffer from this wrest for control.

    In conclusion I wish the Zynot group luck in this quirky fork, and hope that he can find a solid niche outside of x86 and PPC as he claims.
  • by solidhen (642119) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @03:38AM (#6300710)
    I don't think the handheld would be running portage. Instead portage would be used to create "frozen" disk images for the embedded devices.
  • I would not trust any single person to lead a distribution of this size
    I wonder how Patrick Volkerding [] feels about that comment since slackware comes out way ahead of Gentoo in every poll of how many people are using what distributions.
  • by WegianWarrior (649800) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @04:24AM (#6300796) Journal

    Disclaimer; I'm not a Gentoo user, or even a daily user of any Linux-distro. Partly this is because I 'grew up' on Windows, partly because I've mostly been more interested in what I do on my PC than with what OS is on the bottom. However, I've been playing a lot with Knoppix lately, and are considering moving to Linux when I upgrade my computer later this year.

    Reading the articles posted, and the 'reply' that was posted slightly higher up in the comments, I feel that this is but a reflection of what is the largest problem, and yet one of the great strenghts, of open source operating systems: They are dependant of the 'personal chemistry' between the various contributers. If they fall out, as it has clearly happened in this cause, the distrebution can suffer near fatal wounds (if he pulls all the hardware he says he has loaned to the project, I think things can get messy for a while). On the other hand, we might see two good (or even great) distributions where there only was one before.

    The articles also raises a number of valid points which should be taken to heart by all who contribute to open source software; unclear roadmaps, unclear lines of command, hard to get a descission made, lack of communications. While these issues are found in closed source operations as well, it is easier to combat them in that area as they are traditionaly more hirarcical in their organisation.

    Oh well, one more distro to consider when I take the leap into using Linux as my main OS

  • by bwdunn (85165) <> on Thursday June 26, 2003 @04:32AM (#6300811) Homepage
    I'm one of those silent users of Gentoo. I have Gentoo running on roughly 4 dozen production servers to date, with another 170 or so waiting their conversion from Debian, Redhat, SuSE, BSDs, etc. I've used just about everything under the sun, but I find Gentoo to be the very best as what it is - a Linux distribution that is, in effect, my own. I have a standard server installation on a new box down to 10 minutes of my time from a remote connection. I couldn't ask for more.

    As for Mr. Welsh's comments, they seemed very personal to me, and I would suggest this isn't the best way to kick things off. I hope he can leave his personal issues aside and concentrate on the fork if that is what he believes is the best solution for him. Good luck to him.
  • by IamTheRealMike (537420) <> on Thursday June 26, 2003 @04:44AM (#6300836) Homepage
    Now think about how much further along Linux would have been if that time, money, and effort had not been squandered on dead ends

    Dead ends and wastage are a part of life. It's not possible to plan everything, tell everybody what to do. It's like saying "just imagine how advanced ours cars would be if everybody had simply bought Ford".

    Now think about how much time, money, and effort was spent on Gnome or KDE. Now think about how much further along Gnome or KDE could have been if nobody had wasted their time on the other one.

    That split was unfortunately inevitable, and it will hopefully serve as a lesson to anybody that would start a major product while ignoring the philosophies that started it all.

    Now think about Gecko. Gecko, as a browser technology, is essentially dead. KHTML, thanks to Apple, rules the day.

    According to my desktop neutral but Linux based website (see sig), over 45% of my hits come from Mozilla. Only 8% come from Konq (and in fact it's normally lower, more like 4-5% on most days, but the figures do vary). Interestingly, Internet Explorer makes up the rest, presumably from people visiting at work. See here for details []

    So, in the real world, Gecko is most certainly not dead. "Dead" in this context would have to be determined by development speed and user base. Clearly, I have to cater to my users, almost all of which are on Mozilla based browsers.

  • by mcrbids (148650) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @04:45AM (#6300840) Journal
    This only makes sense when you are a programmer.

    I have dozens, maybe hundreds of "dead" projects. Ones I will probably never complete.

    However, the technology I put together to start a "dead" project often comes to life in a completely different form.

    For example, work I did in PHP to emulate a mail server relay (for the sheer heck of it) later came back to life in a commercial venue when I needed a method to synchronize data via the Internet. I used a somewhat SMTP-like protocol, added encryption for security, and voila!

    It's sorta like being a welder in a wrecking yard - there's lots of raw material to work with to get the paying stuff complete.

    That's somewhat like how the open source model works. By working in parallel, various projects that in and of themselves never become #1, still allow for the testing and proving of various ideas.

    The ideas are then available for reuse elsewhere.

    Think of SourceForge as a wrecking yard for Intellectual Property.

    Now, those "failed" projects are ideas that were tried, and for whatever reason, failed. Each failure is actually a success, in that something that didn't work was tried, and now it's known not to work.

    If you try to climb a cliff on the 10th of April, and by the 11th, you haven't made it to the top of the cliff, have you failed? Or have you simply tried a method that didn't work, and are free to try again?

    The real issue raised by your post is really the black and white, "success/fail" mentality pounded into us by the "pass/fail" school system we all endured while growing up. But "pass/fail" is not how software engineering (or life) works.

    A "failure" is simply an attempt that didn't achieve the intended goal. It can be considered a "success" if the information gained in the attempt lead to the achievement of the goal!
  • Re:Gentoo sucks (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Zoolander (590897) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @04:53AM (#6300864)
    And if I want to compile from source, and love the ports system? I can think of no distro that seems to piss people off the way Gentoo does. Why is that? Is it Debian people feeling threatened or something (see the 'Are we losing users to Gentoo' thread in one of the Debian NG:s for some arrogant opinions)? Why not let people use Gentoo if they like it?
  • by evbergen (31483) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @05:01AM (#6300879) Homepage
    Multiple major distros is good. Why? Because it hopefully forces the ISVs to specify their requirements in terms of standards instead of in terms of distros, thus lowering the barrier to entry for distros, which is good for innovation.

    Oracle targetting RedHat only is a big problem, and not a solution for anything whatsoever. It doesn't help anybody but RedHat. They should support their product on any LSB-compliant linux.

    Fragmentation will help there, because it makes standards not just a nice-to-have, but a /necessity/.
  • by Deusy (455433) <charlie@vexi.TEAorg minus caffeine> on Thursday June 26, 2003 @05:01AM (#6300882) Homepage
    Personally, I'm going to wait before there's something fundamentally wrong with Gentoo before I switch.

    I lean towards agreement with this statement. It's not as if Gentoo does not have a Social Contract [] and is closed in any way. Sure, a few private mail lists may exist, as they do in other projects [], and there may be business motives behind key Gentoo developers. But at the end of the day the project is GPL, top to bottom, (hence it is forkable) and it will not go in a direction that disatisfies the non-core developers and user community, otherwise it will lose those two precious commodities and cease to exist.

    And at the end of the day, people have to put bread on the table. If they find a way to do that through a GPL project, good luck to them. I say good luck to both Gentoo and Zynot, and given my excellent experiences in using Gentoo (never will I go back to something rpm based) I'll be using the best one of the two for the forseeable future.

    Who knows, maybe the fork will be good and any co-operation - intentional or through GPL'd code swapping - will probably benefit both distros. (Yes, projects can co-operate in when the leads hate each other, that's the GPL for you.)
  • It's kinda sad (Score:2, Insightful)

    by chrispy666 (519278) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @05:13AM (#6300914)
    Yes it's true, the tone of the developpers on the gentoo forums is really superior, feels like "hey, we let you use what we code, so shut it" kinda attitude.

    The users themselves, and some of the moderators, are quite friendly and helpful, even with the newbies that ask questions that could be answered with the "search" function of the forums.

    Quite frankly, I use Gentoo because I liked the idea behind portage and the USE flags, and also because of the installation documents, which are -still- one of the best and clear step-by-step piece of information.

    This fork, and all this bitterness that suddenly emerges (pun intended) like that just proves that something was wrong right from the start with the way they managed themselves (the developpers)

    I'll stick with the original flavor atm, see what kind of community the fork (zynot ???) will be supported by.

    Granted, Gentoo has this "13yo script kido" eliteness to it, but part of the community is really helpful, the install process makes you learn a lot about Linux itself, and well, it's a very clean distro, configuration wise. No doubt about it.
  • by Metrol (147060) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @07:28AM (#6301203) Homepage
    As a FreeBSD user who has not yet dabbled with Gentoo I couldn't help but wonder why Zachary or Geert Bevin didn't go about working with FreeBSD rather than Gentoo in the first place.

    The primary focus of Zachary's complaints center around...

    1. Gentoo is a for-profit.
    2. Managed by a single person.
    3. Portage is cool.
    4. He wants to profit from using in embedded devices.

    To each of these points FreeBSD sounds like where he really wanted to be rather than with Gentoo. FreeBSD is most definitely a non-profit project. He would be dealing with an established, community based management team with tasks heavily delegated. It has a port system (that portage was based on). He could even use the kernel in embedded devices without GPL related concerns.

    If you followed the link to Geert Belvin's parting shot I'm left wondering the exact same thing. The FreeBSD community would love to see more advanced work done on its ports system. A seperate project had been spawned off to do just this very thing a while back, then floundered in lack of progress.

    To each of these folks I'd be curious why they didn't look beyond the Linux world and into FreeBSD, or perhaps one of the other BSD's.
  • Re:-1, Flamebait (Score:2, Insightful)

    by binary paladin (684759) <binarypaladin&gmail,com> on Thursday June 26, 2003 @08:09AM (#6301367)
    Heh. Linux is all about choice? From a technological standpoint this seems true, but I swear... I can't even begin to count the number of jackasses that tell me that choice sets Linux apart from commercial OSes like any of Microsoft's offerings and then turn around to tell me what distro I need to use in order to be a real man.

    You distro freaks kill me. Seriously. On a daily basis I find myself amazed at the diversity and coolness of the open source world from both a technological and idealistic point of view. There's just a whole lot going on and a whole lot to choose from.

    Of course, in the mix there are a bunch of pricks who have to tell people to do crap like get a "real distro." I'd ask you what exactly qualifies as a "real distro" but you'd simply reply with "Debian."

    Linux and, more importantly open source are about choice. Choice. Choosing. Why? Because we're not the same as the Microsoft/Corporate world would like to make everyone think. You like Debian. Great. Is Debian more real than Redhat or SuSE or Slackware? Nope.

    I use two distros on a regular basis, Slackware and Gentoo. Is either better? Yeah, for their intended tasks. My servers are Slack boxes and my desktop is a Gentoo box. Seeing as I'm typing this in Mozilla Firebird right now, it seems safe to assume that this is a "real" Linux distro in that my computer is up and running and working nicely.

    There's no such thing as a "real" distribution. There's no light to see. There's no moment of holy communion. It's an OS you jackass. And like everything else in the world one size, no matter how flexible, does not fit all.
  • by Sloppy (14984) * on Thursday June 26, 2003 @10:42AM (#6302615) Homepage Journal
    IN SOVIET RUSSIA, Anonymous Comrade wrote:
    This is serious question, comrades.

    I want you to think about how much time has been spent and money and effort invested over the past (let's say) six years on the various auto design teams in capitalist America. There are, what, half a dozen major ones, and maybe a dozen more niche or fringe ones?

    Now think about how much further along auto design would have been if that time, money, and effort had not been squandered on dead ends and capitalist competition.

    Now think about how much time, money, and effort was spent on Ford Pinto and Chevy Nova. Now think about how much further along Pinto and Nova could have been if nobody had wasted their time on the other one.

    Here we see what, to me, seems to be the ultimate failure of this thing you guys call "competition." What I'm referring to here is the development of large capitlist businesses by loose, unorganized confederations of businessmen, students, and individuals with no loyalty to the proletariat or planning by the government; this is the phenomenon that has come to be known on Wall Street and in a few other places as "capitalism."

    The ultimate failure of "capitalism" is this: everybody wants to have it his own way. Consequently, we have ten individuals or groups working on their own variations on X, instead of cooperating on X itself.

    As an economic system, "capitalism" appears to be remarkably ineffective.

    How can this be?


  • by ichimunki (194887) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @11:20AM (#6303022)
    Debian is put out by a non-profit, has clearly demarcated at the package management level what is Free vs. non-Free, and doesn't appear to have a single lead person does. All three of these are vastly different than the Gentoo approach. Would you please elaborate with some details or links that would reinforce your assertion?
  • by Synn (6288) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @11:25AM (#6303064)
    Why do we need AMD when all the employees for that company could work for Intel?

    Why do we need Apple, Novell, and Sun when they could just work for Microsoft?

    Why don't all the computer manufacturers just merge with Dell?

    Why did MS make their own database when they could've just used Oracle?

    Why do we have a Barnes and Nobles and Borders book stores when we already had a Waldenbooks?

    Why a Wendy's and Burger King when they could've just gone with McDonalds?

    Why do we have different brands of milk, eggs, butter, noodles, and other foods?

    Why didn't Pepsi come about when we already had Coke?

    AT&T was already our nation's phone carrier, so why did Sprint and MCI form?

    Capitalism seems to be remarkably ineffective. Perhaps we should just have one central authority running all this stuff... I hear they tried that in Russia once. I wonder how that worked out.

  • by Blkdeath (530393) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @11:38AM (#6303205) Homepage
    Agreed. But after reading further on that page, I find myself unimpressed by either side.

    Keeping in mind that you only read one side of the issue.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 26, 2003 @12:36PM (#6303785)
    If I don't like KDE, I switch to GNOME. If GNOME is pissing me off, I'll play with Fluxbox.

    ready for the desktop...
  • Re:Hear, hear! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sir99 (517110) on Thursday June 26, 2003 @01:33PM (#6304306) Journal
    I'm pretty dubious both ways... for one thing,
    we've only heard his side of it, but on another thing, it sounds pretty shady for him to have contributed all that, then having DR cut him out of the loop, seemingly wanting to keep the future money prospects to himself.
    Emphasis mine. That's exactly what amazes (and repulses) me about this. His side is the only part I've heard, and it still gives me a really bad impression of him. In addition to the other poster's observation that he seems to overestimate the comparative worth of his contributions when expecting something in return, he seems to completely misunderstand the motivations of the community that he was interacting with. I doubt many of them have the profit motive that he does; they probably mostly work for fun. He only seems to be seeing things in business terms.

    I also think he's being hypocritical, when he complains, "Every contribution made to Gentoo builds the brand of the distribution, value that is not being fairly shared with those members of the commnity that have helped build it." I wonder, does he intend to "share" the value that his company gains by using Gentoo? To share it with the authors and communities that produced Gentoo and the thousands of open source software packages he'll undoubtedly use?

I cannot draw a cart, nor eat dried oats; If it be man's work I will do it.