* Nikos Chantziaras (rea...@arcor.de) [05.02.09 09:12]:
> Than I'll rephrase my statement: Gentoo would need a non-bugged GUI 
> installer ;)
No, Gentoo needs no GUI or CLI installer. It is very good, that if you 
install Gentoo for the first time, you must actually read the 
documentation, because it introduces you in the whole managing Gentoo 
stuff. What is important in the Handbook are not the commandline 
examples, but the surrunding text. Also you cannot just click away any 
defaults: Gentoo is about choise and YOU have to make the choices even 
when you are just installing. And you can only make good choices, when 
you read about them. BTW: Most of the choices have no meaningful 

What would make things easier is a fully automated installer, that just 
duplicates/repeat your well-thought-out choices on reinstalls or 
multiple installs. Something like: Her is an xml file, eat this and see 
you tomorrow at lunch time with a smiling SLiM.

>> Then they ran away yelling how bad this gentoo crap is that
>> doesn't work at all unless you do a lot of black magic on the
>> command line! "Because I want full control over my system, but
>> only clicking next. The OS should read my mind!"
> I don't think anyone should care about that.  Installation and maintenance 
> are two different things.  A good GUI installer would pretty much allow you 
> to do the same things as the CLI installer.  It's just a different 
> interface.  And besides, installation is much more "standardized" than 
> actual maintenance.  There's no reason why a GUI installer can't do the 
> same things as the CLI one.  You'll just have GUI widgets instead of 
> text-mode characters, maybe with a lot of automation and safe defaults 
> thrown in.

Well, there isn't even a CLI installer. And on Gentoo I have to 
disagree on the fact that that installation is always the same, the very 
fact of kernel configuration makes it impossible to standardize 

And Genkernel is so Un-Gentoo: If you don't know how to configure your 
kernel, you have chosen the wrong way at the very beginning.

> Personally, even though I'm an old fart (I installed Slackware when it 
> first came out, used it for years), I prefer GUI installers. Installation 
> is *boring*.  I need to do the steps manually even though they're pretty 
> much the same every time you install.

You don't need a GUI: you need an automatic installer. 

> I'm OK with CLI maintenance.  But for the installer I really prefer GUI.

>> If we clear that from the beginning so everyone knows what to
>> expect from gentoo AND WHAT GENTOO EXPECTS FROM YOU then that
>> problem is gone.
> You don't need to make such a statement through the installer.  There are 
> other, more suitable places for this.  Like in the docs, website, or a 
> notice in the... installer :)
> Also, Gentoo isn't really black magic.  There's no good reason why emerge 
> for example isn't GUI based.  Or revdep-rebuild.  Or layman. Or...  I hope 
> you get the point ;)  Yes, those things need a lot of work and there are no 
> people willing to do the task.  But I'm just trying to make a point here: 
> the way you do maintenance in Gentoo isn't based on the traditional Unix 
> tools.  That means, you could have GUIs for all of them.

Well, you have to have CLI, because X is not mandatory. 
Besides: If you want GUI, write it. It is not that hard to write a 
wrapper around those tools, which uses gtk or qt or whatever gui 

> But I'm drifting.  The installer is pretty much separated from all this.  
> After all, "all" it needs to do is set up stage3 and tweak the settings.
> GUIs for the simple things is good.  Maybe CLI for the hairy stuff.

I hate GUIs. Clicking is for Apple Users...

>> Someone would argue that's too hard to start, but that's why
>> we have excellent docs, mailing lists, forums and irc, with
>> a very high traffic and lots of friendly people giving away
>> their time for free to help you. So, whomever can't find a
>> way is either too lazy or too shy to talk to the people around.
>> Gentoo was never meant to win a popularity price. I prefer to
>> stay without nothing at all that to have the lot of problems
>> that the installer has been creating during 3 years of existence.
>> It harmed the gentoo popularity (if you like that argument)
>> much more than the lack of a installer.
> But popularity is good for the project.  It ensures that it stays healthy, 
> supported and can draw in new devs.  If popularity gows down, devs leave, 
> more bugs show up that don't get fixed, etc.

But Gentoo is for nerds. For those who know what they are doing. For the 
ones that what to learn what is really going on and the ones that only 
want those things they need, not what a maintainer thought would be 
useful to have.

Gentoo does not need the usual computer user nor can it serve them: 
There is too less knowledge to make appropiate choices.

This does not disclose people who have the faintest idea what a kernel config 
from using it, but from maintaining and installing it. 

Gentoo can be your first Linux, but usually it isn't; you come here 
because you don't get what you want from the other distros: insight and 

We need to be the better Linux for nerds. We are cool, because we let 
you roll^^^^emerge your own.

BTW: I came because of performance: Could not watch an .avi in X on my 
pentium III (666 Mhz iirc) with debian. Took days for the stage 1 
install, but then: like a rocket...

>> Besides that, there's no easy way that you will understand Gentoo
>> if you are not going to read the handbook. And even then, it takes
>> time to become familiar with the way that USE flags truly work
>> (and I mean to understand it, and not just do -qt -kde +gnome +gtk
>> blindly that most users do (or the other way around) without
>> even knowing what's behind the scene and how USE flags and ebuilds
>> relate to each other.
> Now this is actually a pro-GUI argument.  Why?  In a GUI interface, you can 
> simply throw the truth at the user's face in an elegant way.  "Well dude, 
> those USE flags you see here actually control the way we are going to build 
> the sources. Click here to get a description of what the gtk flag means for 
> this package."
> The user learns.

The user will *never* click here. They click OK.

>> Let's assume it: you are building a distro. It's easy enough as it
>> is. Usability is good, but the only way that Gentoo could get
>> easier is just by taking features away and lowering the degree of
>> control that the users have.
> Gentoo is easy as it is.  How easier could it get?  GUI tools don't really 
> result in less features.  They're only there to deal with the most common 
> of them.

That why no one cares: I want to have full control, and this 
obfustication does not help. And a Gui with all options and the man page 
as tooltips is as hellish as any Windows GUI can get.

>> There are enough easy-to-use distros. Let us, "masochists", live in
>> peace. We love pain, why do people care so much about what we do
>> with our privacy? :P [it's a joke, in case anyone didn't notice]
> You would still be free to use the CLI.  Hell, even I would for many 
> things.  But an nice tray icon that goes like "Gentoo Updates are 
> available" wouldn't hurt me either.  I click it, the emerge GUI shows up ;)

First of all: There are enough Gentoo installs without X arround the 
world. Second: Writing GUIs btw is far more boring than installing...
Third: There are *always* updates for gentoo. so put eix-sync in a 
Last not least: Well, the panel plugin for arbitrary command execution 
exists (eg. diff-eix /var/cache/eix.previous) , and it shouldn't be hard 
to add a starter with xterm emerge -DuN @world...

>> There have been several attempts to make a decent installer. They
>> all failed miserably and got abandoned. Why? Because to tell the
>> truth, no one has an authentic interest in the matter. The simple
>> answer is most probably the right one.
> And that's because Gentoo is not really popular. :P

The really problem is, that it seems that Ubuntu is sometimes more up to 
date than Gentoo...

So the problem is what Steve Ballmer said: Developers, developers, 

Notice self: I should really think about getting more involved...

>> By the way, did I already said that anyone that can read can also
>> install Gentoo? Lost of people with no experience with linux did
>> it with very little or no help.
> GUIs have fonts.  You can read those too ;)

But noone will read it. Did you ever read anything the Windows Installer 
stated to you when there only was OK and Abort?


 " Religion ist das Opium des Volkes. "      Karl Marx

 s...@sti@N GÜNTHER         mailto:sam...@guenther-roetgen.de

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