Peter Faraday Weller <> posted, excerpted below, on  Sun,
03 May 2009 22:26:13 +0100:

> On a more serious note, the problem seems to be the complete lack of
> management in the required places, Gentoo is fast becoming (or more
> likely, already is) an anarchic organisation, where it's becoming
> nigh-on impossible to keep track of things.
> I see a number of issues with Gentoo these days. The lack of a proper
> leadership body. Lack of people working together in unison. The tree
> needs to be sorted out: we have >16000 packages, and 200-250 developers,
> not all of which are ebuild developers) - We're still using CVS, we do
> *not* have the manpower to keep all the packages updated properly using
> a centralised VCS. If these issues were fixed, I don't know/care how
> they do get fixed, but if they were, I might consider coming back.

FWIW, from my perspective, Gentoo has turned the corner, we've hit the 
low point (which I'd put at when the foundation dissolved due to malaise) 
and things are beginning to improve now.  Certainly there's a lot of work 
remaining to be done and nobody's perfect, but I really do see positive 
changes this last year or so.

The council is actually somewhat functional now again, no more multi-hour 
meetings that get little if anything accomplished.  Gentoo worked thru 
the foundation and council crises.  I don't do IRC so can't evaluate it, 
but certainly, the lists have gotten rather more professional the last 
while -- no more severe personal attacks, and when it starts heading that 
way, often both sides get warnings to "stop it" and people do (tho this 
of course doesn't mean there's not disagreements, only that they're kept 
to something approaching a reasonable professional level).

Yes, Gentoo is still using CVS, but there are moves toward something 
else, with GIT seemingly the lead candidate.  While I don't see it 
getting to that point in the remaining bit of the current council term, I 
hope that it's a major item on the agenda for the next council to deal 
with.  The overlay structure seems to be quite active and is continuing 
toward better overall integration, with issues like overlay and eclass 
priority and sharing being worked out.

Now Gentoo does seem to be at that "magic" 250-ish person mid-size 
organizational cap, has been there for some time, and hasn't seemed to 
get past it.  OTOH, few organizations do tend to get past that, Debian 
being the commonly mentioned FLOSS community exception, so Gentoo isn't 
alone in that regard.  In fact, there's many organizations that would 
LOVE to be dealing with that problem as long as Gentoo has been.  Maybe 
we'll ultimately get past it, maybe we won't and we'll just have to learn 
to manage at the 250-ish size we are.

Perhaps the biggest mark of improvement for me personally has been that 
(as I recently hinted in a post to the docs list) I'm actually thinking 
about becoming a dev again.  For some months, I had lost the motivation 
and reasons I might wish to do so, but now it's back.  I'm certainly 
grateful for the folks that stuck around thru the bottom, and yes, that 
IS a marked improvement I'm glad to see. =:^)

So anyway, we seem to disagree on what's happening with Gentoo, but I 
really do see improvement, and think it's a shame to have people leaving 
for the lack of it, just as things from my perspective seem to be turning 
around.  But, regardless of whether you choose to stay or go, and that's 
of course a decision you must make (recognizing that people do sometimes 
need a time away, ideally to return refreshed and revitalized, ready to 
take on new challenges), you did say you may be back if you see that some 
of these issues have been addressed.  Based on that, if indeed the 
changes I am beginning to see continue, plan on that return, 'cause those 
changes are coming. =:^)

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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