Gilles Dartiguelongue wrote:
> As others have said, there are already proper systems, documentation and
> linking through other docs. Not finding this is what I'd call lazyness
> or lack of google foo. Don't misunderstand me, some stuff can get ouf of
> the radar of everyone, it's ok, real people are still here to point you
> in the right direction.

I think that I probably did not express my idea as well as I could have, since
most of the responses I have gotten have echoed your thoughts that Gentoo
does, indeed, have the facilities to achieve flexibility in logging, etc.

I totally agree.  Gentoo's capabilities, although not perfect, of course, are
superlative and are a complement to its superb online doc.  I think that's a
big reason why we're all here - we see this and appreciate this.  In fact,
even when I do not include the word "gentoo" in a Google search, I more often
than not end up at a Gentoo doc page - this is impressive.

However, what I see as perhaps a missing "piece" is more conceptual: the
important connection between the valuable info in the emerge logs (and their
somewhat transient default nature) and what a user looks for when he/she has a
problem with a package.  Yes, users will realize this as they use Gentoo (and
will start paying more attention to logs as a result), so I don't think it's a
huge problem, but what this particular user said to me made me think that
there is, perhaps, an opportunity to improve the situation.

There is no Gentoo-specific "readme" facility, which could be the obvious and
de facto place to go when trouble is had.  I can imagine that a fairly simple
and low-effort way of starting such a resource would be to simple echo the log
output into a package-specific file in a known place (or put it in the portage
db).  The logging facilities allow similar things if configured to do it, but
it is not on by default.  Once users know where to go to see the
"instructions" or "notes" on getting a package up and running after
installation, this would become a good place to have such info or to expand on
how the facility works.  Starting with just the plain emerge log output would
be an easy way to get benefit of such a concept has merit.  And by no means
would such a thing be an attempt to replace the excellent on-line docs or
wiki, either - I see both as having unique strengths.  For example, for
detailed info on packages, the wiki/web stuff is the better resource.  For a
quick check of whether a revdep-rebuild might have been necessary after
installing a new package would typically be in the log/notes.  The notes also
have the key advantage that they would *always* contain what the log output
was, whereas whether a wiki or web page exists on a particular package depends
on whether someone spent the time to author one.

My intention with the RFC was to see if the concept has any worth and to kick
it around a bit.  I do not really see this as a deficiency in Gentoo's
technology (which I have a feeling is how many here have interpreted it), but
simply something that, if done correctly, could be useful.


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