[PlanetCCRMA] Re: latest kernel rocks

Mark Knecht Mark Knecht <markknecht@gmail.com>
Sun Apr 3 17:12:01 2005

On Apr 3, 2005 4:47 PM, Peter Lutek <plutek@infinity.net> wrote:
> > For those of us out here in Internet-land a Planet distro based on
> > Gentoo could be really great. Fernando would handle the kernel and
> > compile all the big apps, etc. We users would limit portage from
> > upgrading critical components like glibc and we would, as a group I
> > think, choose a set of common use flags and stick with them. We could
> > then use portage, pointing at the Planet servers, to download most
> > audio apps, but would still have access to all sorts of other great
> > little general purpose apps and would have the option to upgrade audio
> > if there was a need to. (Like a new Ardour test release that Fernando
> > wouldn't have to mess with.
> i suppose something like that is possible, but it's a bit of a forced fit.
> gentoo is all about keeping current and optimizing for your own machine,
> working style and application set. i'm not sure that we wouldn't run into
> dependency issues if we were running from a separate, upgrade-limited,
> portage tree for some stuff.

No, I don't see it that way. I agree that DEVELOPERS think that the
value of Gentoo is being able to customize. That's fine for them. For
the rest of us I think it really doesn't matter much. Keep in mind
that portage already does this to some extent. You can get Firefox,
Mozilla, Open Office, etc., in binary form already. I've built Firefox
and used mozilla-finefox-bin. I could not measure the performance

I personally believe that if we chose a reasonable set up USE flags
and always built to those flags (glibc, the kernel, xorg, Alsa) then
we'd all get the value of portage without the bother of trying to be
3% better through the use of some specific flag for a specific app. In
my mind just let go of the idea of customiaing at all. Fernando/the
community would decide what flags to go with, then it works like this:

1) We get the kernel and the list above from the Planet.
2) We do not change the USE flags ourself. Off limits. Don't touch. If
you do you're not GenPlanet compatible.
3) Fernando builds the same apps he builds today. (Or we build them
and ftp them to a server at the GenPlanet site to let all users get
4) Users are free to build any apps in the normal portage tree at any time. 

#4 is the #1 BIG advantage to me over being FC2 based. All the other
apps - Evolution, Xine, mplayer, etc. become something we can use on
our machines as we see fit.

To me some flow like this would give us the best of both worlds, if it
works... ;-)

I forewarn you that this whole conversation may somehow run afowl of
how the Gentoo developers allow their work to be used. I do not know.

> > However I think from my one trip to CCRMA that Fernando has so many
> > machines to manage on campus that Gentoo as a distro for all of those
> > would be an insane amount of work for him to set up there,
> yes, clearly.
>   > ...but
> > something like this would be great for so many of us out here. I think
> > many audio users would use Gentoo if they had support as great as what
> > we get here.
> maybe. again, it seems like a forced fit. newer versions of apps,
> including audio, often show up sooner in the gentoo portage tree than on
> the planet -- it's a double-edged sword. we can jump on things earlier,
> but we don't have the huge benefit of fernando's work making sure things
> are solid. the gentoo support model is  also very comprehensive, and is a
> model of "distributed expertise" -- see the gentoo forums. the planet is
> WAY better, as it is, for people who want to just get to work doing audio
> - fernando makes a HUGE contribution to the community by making his work
> for the CCRMA available publicly. gentoo is great for people who want/need
> some specific things which aren't in the planet, and who like to play
> sysadmin and be a little closer to the bleeding edge. i'm not sure that a
> standardized build for multiple users within the gentoo environment would
> really work. please correct me if i'm wrong, or have misconstrued your
> proposal.
No, I don't think you've misconstrued it at all. I think we may value
different parts of Gentoo differently so we'd see different values in
doing anything like this:

1) FC support still exists for people who see no value
2) GenPlanet exists for people who see value but don't want to manage
all the aspects about a custom-patched Gentoo box themselves. As a
benefit folks using this get easy access to more non-audio apps.
3) Gentoo exists as it does today. Do it yourself. Be totally optimized.

I admit I have a bit of a gripe with the Gentoo developers being so
adamately against any form of binary distribution. I also admit that I
run 3 FC2 machines and only 2 Gentoo machines because building code
EVERY day gets very old. I think that if more audio stuff was
available in some program like we're talking about here it would be a
great way for people interested in Gentoo but not interested in
figuring out how to patch the kernel and staying up on that stuff. The
Gentoo forums, while very good for some things, have been terrible for
custom audio patches. Also the understanding of how Alsa fits into the
kernel and what you can do outside of portage hasn't been strong since
that doesn't fit the 'Gentoo way'.

Anyway, I think it's an interesting idea. Be clear please. This is NOT
a proposal!