George Prowse wrote:
Peter Faraday Weller wrote:


Sad to hear it mate.

As the person who did your first install for you (i think) I think you will be missed.

I am quite surprised about what you said about the state of things because i've got the distinct impression from others that Gentoo has been improving in the past 12 months.

About the lack of the developers, something I proposed about 3 years ago might be applicable: has Gentoo ever thought about doing a "Dev Day" in much the same way as the "Bug Days"? Advertise a day where people can come and have a chat with developers and get coached because there is a vast amount of people and knowledge out there and I never see anything about Gentoo wanting people.

If you book them, they will come.


In my opinion, such a drive wouldn't work. I've said it before in previous posts to the Gentoo -devel and -project lists, as well as my blog posts[0]: I think Gentoo needs to improve the organisation of the projects. I know it takes developer time to update project pages and do things like maintaining the "developers wanted" pages, but I think that Gentoo would see this returned in a higher number of competent developers. One of the biggest problems I have as someone considering becoming a developer is following what's going on and working out where I could make contributions that are both something I would enjoy doing and would be useful for current milestones (eg. autobuilds handbooks or improving / stabilizing KDE4) that are being worked on.


On a related note, I thought the recent email from the Prefix project to the -devel list was excellent - it's exactly the sort of thing I would hope to find on a projects page on It contains a detailed explanation of the project, its purpose, current state and aims and includes a roadmap so that (potential) contributors can easily see where they can help out in a way that will be considered useful by the development team.

I would also like to see some less secrecy for things that are going on. For example, I know that the newsletter team are currently working on a new setup for the newsletter. While I somewhat understand some of the reasons that the developers involved have chosen to not give out information on this project, I question the overall value in keeping such projects secret in this manner. A project page with the current progress and a roadmap of the project on would not only keep everyone informed, but might encourage contributions (in the form of solving any specific problems the developers are having, for example, or in the case of the newsletter, preparing content to contribute).

I've also spoken before on the "bus factor", which I believe comes into play here. As far as I know only one or two developers are working on the project and if they were to disappear for a length of time for any reason, (virtually) all current knowledge of the project, its progress and its code / setup would be lost.

This leads me on to another issue I have with Gentoo development, which I believe is related, and that is the organisation of the source code repositories. As far as I can see there appears to be no formal organisational scheme to this at all, which can make it really hard to find things. Ideally, I would like to see a scheme that generally goes something like: /project/subproject/task. So, for example, you could find all the docs under /documentation and all the newsletter content under /pr/newsletter. (On a sidenote, the SVN repos seem a little better on this than the CVS repos layout, but it's still not as clear as I think it could be)

As always, I realize this would take time to change, but I (again) think there's a good chance that it would improve contributions (on the basis that potential contributors are more likely to actually contribute if they can find what they want to work on easily).


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