Another case of WONTFIX

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at
Wed Apr 13 05:28:09 BST 2011

gene heskett posted on Tue, 12 Apr 2011 23:14:51 -0400 as excerpted:

> To Duncan: How were you building it?
> I haven't built kde from scratch in yonks, probably about 5 years.

Well, it wasn't really from scratch, but I've mentioned several times that 
I run Gentoo, which is famous for being a scripted-build-from-sources 

To that there are both down-sides, such as taking several hours to build 
each monthly kde4 update, the reason I often don't do it immediately at 
release but wait a few days until I have a chance to deal with problems 
that might come up in the process, and upsides, such as relatively easy 
customization at a level binary distribution users can only DREAM about, 
and the associated ability to be in far more direct control of your system 
than binary distributions tend to (or in some cases, even have the ability 
to) allow.

The fact that the builds are scripted in what amounts to extended bash, 
makes for very easy further customizations, as well as easy patching, when 
required, and unlike some distributions, gentoo actively encourages users 
to do this sort of thing, altho there's a point at which "if you break it, 
you get to keep the pieces" comes in.

Yet at the same time, the package managers (there's three to choose from, 
the original and still default choice, python based, one originally based 
on it but now largely rewritten, and a a third totally independent choice 
written from scratch in C) have the usual dependency resolution based on 
variables set in the build-scripts, called ebuilds, and do the usual 
tracking of what's installed and can uninstall it, so it's far far easier 
than tracking dependencies and managing packages manually, in either the 
binary or from-source case, would be.

And there's levels of stability to choose from, as well.  In the main 
tree, there's the normal stable target archs and ~arch (arch being 
replaced by for example, x86, amd64, ppc, etc, as appropriate), which 
roughly compares to Debian testing.  Then there's what's called
hard-masked, either by lack of arch keyword, or by listing in the masked 
packages files.  Hard-masked occurs at both ends of the spectrum, as 
packages die and are ultimately removed due to obsolescence or security 
issues, and with new packages that the maintainer doesn't yet believe 
ready for even ~arch just yet.  Finally, there's a whole list of project 
(like gentoo/kde), developer and independent trees, called overlays, 
together with a convenient app that simplifies managing and choosing them, 
for those who don't find what they need in the main tree.  Significant 
overlays include kde-sunset (kde3), sunrise (developer inspected but user 
contributed ebuild scripts for apps not in the main tree), x11 (testing 
and "live-vcs" ebuilds for xorg, one of two overlays I use), kde (testing 
and live-vcs version ebuilds for kde4, the other one I use), java, gnome, 
embedded-crossdev, php, perl, rubi, science, xfce, mysql, multimedia, 
qting-edge (qt4 experimental), dozens of developer and user overlays... A 
gentoo user can mix and match overlays, with a priority mechanism 
available to mediate should multiple overlays contain the same packages, 
as desired.  Again, these can be everything from personal overlays 
containing minor tweaks to in-tree ebuilds as well as out-of-tree packages 
the overlay owner found useful, to special-purpose overlays like the 
embedded-crossdev overlay, to testing and live ebuild overlays like the 
x11 and kde overlays I use, to legacy software overlays like the user-
managed kde-sunset.

For a dyed-in-the-wool customizer like myself, it's the perfect balance 
between the usual binary distribution with all of its distribution-
arbitrary decisions, many of which are difficult to override, and 
something like LFS (Linux from scratch), which allows all sorts of 
customization, but at the cost of forcing one to track dependencies and 
etc, pretty much manually.

FWIW, a lot of former Gentooers end up with Arch Linux, if they decide the 
constant updating from sources is too much for them.  It is, apparently, 
the step about half way between an ordinary binary distribution and 
gentoo's scripted from source, still allowing a lot of customization but 
without the time-cost of from-source, much as gentoo is the step about 
half way between an ordinary binary distribution, and LFS, lots of 
customization potential but without the manual tracking hassles of LFS.

It's not for everyone, but for me, Gentoo's about as close to a perfect 
match as I'd ever expect to see in the real world. =:^)

For you, honestly, I'd expect Gentoo's time cost to be more than you're 
willing to pay, it certainly is for most, tho you could certainly surprise 
me.  I could see you doing something like Arch Linux, tho, if PCLinuxOS 
fails to meet your needs at some point.  I wouldn't find it entirely 
surprising to see you becoming a Slacker, either, tho I'm not familiar 
enough with them to know how they stack up in terms of kde age (I know 
they're a kde distro, not gnome).  Somehow, I don't have you pegged as the 
Ubuntu type, however. =;^P

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

This message is from the kde mailing list.
Account management:
More info:

More information about the kde mailing list