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Blast from the recent past; two years ago

Today I was feeling somewhat blue, mostly because I’m demotivated to do most stuff, and I wanted to see what it was like to work in Gentoo two years ago.

One thing I read is that a little shy of exactly two years ago, ICQ broke Kopete, just like they did yesterday. Interestingly enough, even though a workaround has been found for Kopete 0.12 (the one shipped with KDE 3.5), there is no bump I see in the tree this time. Sign that the KDE support in Gentoo has changed, most likely.

There is also the whole thing with ALSA problems, which span so many posts that it’s not worth listing all them. The current ALSA maintainer simply gave up on providing something that, at least for some users, ended up being quite important.

And all the work on Gentoo/FreeBSD! Although Javier is doing a huge work now to support FreeBSD 7.0, he’s not prone to blog about it, and you can see that Gentoo/FreeBSD is easily ending up in the “historical” memory, rather than being discussed and tried out by users daily.

What didn’t change at all is my insomnia, it’s almost 2AM and I’m still up. And this time I don’t even have Antiques Roadshow to watch. I’m currently working on xine, just like two years ago.

In general, I think a lot of areas in Gentoo did go downhill from two years ago, rather than improving. While Portage is certainly improved, thanks to Zac, Genone and the rest of the team, and we can see that in the new extended repoman checks, that also helps QA. But the general user support seems, to me, lacking.

This is a direct consequence, in my opinion, of leaving open doors for people who are just driving Gentoo’s energy away, by taking over projects to make them stall, by discussing details over and over and over, by repeating the same request even when people reject it as it stands, and so on.

I hope things will improve in the next months, thanks to a new council that can finally grow some balls, straightening up the situation, but if this does not happen, I’m already preparing for my plan B…

Comments 14
  1. Well, I think two years ago there were people going in all kinds of directions. I think now we are more focused. We should stop wasting our time with failed projects like KDE, out of kernel drivers or FreeBSD… and focus on useful stuff.

  2. I think none of these is a failed project, and I think they are all actually quite useful.KDE might be a bit rough lately but it’s still well worked on. Out of kernel drivers are an unfortunate necessity (I dislike them too, but they are needed at the moment), and Gentoo/FreeBSD is a very nice proof of concept and a very well working system too.I don’t think what Gentoo needs is focus, it’s more like it needs coordination.

  3. I’m using Gentoo since 2003 and still fascinated of it. Even if the last times things aren’t going good and I’m thinking about changing the distribution I can’t do it because even if Gentoo isn’t improoving but collapsing somehow – there still is no better distro than Gentoo. Gentoo gainet such incredible advantage on other distros that even if things wont go better next month’s it still be my choice.I’m dreaming of Gentoo back in fit. Even if I have to pay for it, even a lot of money. But non-free distro never get such good like Gentoo is.Only if I magae to get some spare time I’ll try myself on Bugday.Sorry for my rusty english.

  4. I don’t think KDE or out of kernel drivers is wasted time nor energy. KDE is a state of the art DE and it works pretty well for me (and has been for many years in gentoo).I do agree there needs to be more coordination but that’s often hard in a FOSS project since everyone wants to work on what he/she likes and is interested in. I’ve seen a lot of change in gentoo during the last months and I especially enjoy reading blogs of devs like you, Diego.

  5. Maybe the reason the KDE team has yet to fix that is because the lead was forcibly retired without any notice whatsoever?And I disagree with Tester, KDE is certainly not a failed project, it’s very much alive and kicking, and getting more polished by the day.

  6. Two years ago Dan Armak gone MIA without no announce, KDE team ended up being headless. And we were quite a few less people than it is now. Yet we managed to handle everything.So please don’t start with the crap of “you removed the lead and now it’s crap” … it’s not requiring a LEAD to just get a patch for kopete in.

  7. Most of the gentoo dev were more sociable and usually was easier get help from others, have others cover your stuff when you are away and so on.I’m quite sure wouldn’t take much to diego to update stuff directly, but the discussions that would spurt from that would take way more =P

  8. It looks like the version bump for Kopete has been put into the tree, and that it does indeed feature the ICQ patch.

  9. I’ve been a Gentoo user for quite a while and a flameeyes reader for 2+(3?) and I gotta say you’ve done a great deal for Gentoo and personally your contributions are very appreciated.

  10. Kopete 3.5.8 didn’t need an update for me, it kept working through the interruption because of the autoupdate feature working as intended. Kopete 3.5.9 has been patched yesterday (and also would only need that if autoupdate didn’t work).I personally think it’s better to do the actual work and to ignore the politics altogether.

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