Team Murder No Brain No Headache.

30Apr/04Off

A Snowball With A Rock Packed Into The Middle

Looks like it was another slow news day elsewhere so Slashdot is speculatively stirring the Gentoo pot after drobbins left the project and a new version was released just a couple of days back. The content of the news item is, of course, just links with little commentary but I expected to find the usual 5 gazillion +4 Funny comments attached to it and didn't. A lot of people had largely positive things to say other than (and I agree with this) the misguided assertion that Gentoo is only x dollars away from enterprise deployment.

I've been using Gentoo almost exclusively since Christmas break and it really made me enthusiastic about Linux again. Debian really seemed dead and stagnant (and this is running the unstable branch of the distribution) at the time although that situation has improved immensely over the past couple of months and I needed to do something different. It really has been a long and complicated process becoming comfortable with the Gentoo way of doing things after several years of daily Debian use but I think it's largely worth it. Yes, the initial install is a little sketchy and I actually repeated it twice which shares responsibility between the CD documentation being out of synch with portage and my own incompetence. The second install has been a dream in terms of flexibility and raw speed. Stability is still a little wanting but I think X is the culprit there.

I had an epiphany of sorts tonight while taking a break from doing repetitive and crushingly boring homework. I decided to give Java another whirl since my first tentative whacks at it were rushed and frustrating. I wanted to get an overview of the available tools so Eclipse and Sun Java Studio. With Gentoo this is very simple, there are ebuilds for both and basically you grab a copy of the necessary stuff from the sources and you're finished after a little post-install tweaking. There's also a wonderful utility called java-config that allows you to easily toggle whatever JRE or SDK you wanna use. With Debian you have to go rooting around at Apt-Get.org to even get an SDK and you're entirely on your own for the Sun stuff much less a non-broken version of Eclipse. One of the definite drawbacks of Debian is the absolute adherence to the Debian way of doing things. Although Debian is by far the most dependable in terms of freedom of beer and speech it doesn't give you nearly as much room for playing around and experimentation as Gentoo does. I'm not saying that this is bad per se because at very least you always know what you're getting but at times it is boring as fuck. Flexibility is anathema to that and the reward for a little bit of configuration is being able to do basically whatever you want within the distribution. Hell, there's even Break My Gentoo if you're really impatient. I'm not quite that impatient but I have less and less patience for being told what I should or shouldn't do by the proxy of it being difficult.

Yeah, so the gist is that I'm in fucking around mode again. That and looking for a job. Unbearable fun.

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