[mythtv] Packages from source ? (Was: ANNOUNCEMENT: MythTV is moving to Github)

Ed W lists at wildgooses.com
Wed Dec 15 14:44:46 UTC 2010

>> - Why use a knife (gentoo) when there are potato peelers and safety
>> razors available?
>> Personally I peel my spuds with a knife because I have spent years doing
>> it and got good at it (all fingers still intact).  However, I give my
>> kids a potato peeler so that they don't loose too many fingers (before
>> they finish needing them to do the maths homework...) However, the
>> potato peeler is limited when it comes to digging out the blemishes in
>> the potato, slicing the spud up, etc, etc.
> (Check out the lancashire peeler, held and used like a knife, has a point to
> pick out blemishes, very little chance of cutting yourself with it.
> http://www.amazon.co.uk/Faringdon-Collection-17840809-Lancashire-
> Peeler/dp/B0000BVEY7)
> Unfortunately a lot of people do cut themselves with Gentoo, they mess with
> things they only think they understand. A fair number of bugs we see in the
> mythtv-users irc channel, mailing lists and in Trac are a direct result of
> people (largely but not always Gentoo users) playing around with configure
> args and build flags. They break their builds which is fine, but then they
> blame us and expect us to fix it.

Sure - as I said, I don't think gentoo is the right distro for the 
majority of "normal" users.  However, just because others have shot 
themselves in the foot, please don't overlook it if you are in that 
category of skilled linux users?

> What's more, it's very difficult to persuade a Gentoo user to stop playing
> with the build. Even when you've pointed out the problem they will usually
> fight back - "What can't I build with<some option>? It'll be faster and more
> efficient! I should be able to build with/without that stuff!" - which is
> normally complete rubbish.
> If 99% of users ran configure with --enable-proc-opt and nothing more then
> they'd get a working build and it would be just as fast. There is just no good
> reason for them to mess with the other options, or to play with gcc args, the
> defaults work well.

Sure - I agree entirely.

Actually, the most sad thing is that if you say "Gentoo", then the first 
thing people think of by a long shot is CFLAGS tweaking... The irony is 
that I personally think this is the VERY least interesting thing about 
gentoo and of course as you say it's generally more of a liability than 
an asset... My cflags are set to something very boring and so likely any 
Debian/Redhat user has more performance than me...

Shame that so many inexperienced gentoo users hark on about cflags, 
giving the whole distro a reputation for (are they called "ricers"?).  
In my opinion Gentoo is absolutely magic for its great package manager 
and customisability...

It also seems to be pretty decent for building embedded systems.  It 
seems a very minority use, which is a shame because it appears one of 
the best options for that need.  Similarly I like it for our servers 
because I can setup strong software profiles, add binary packaging and 
it's then super easy to keep a bunch of machines in sync and updated.

Anyway, point was probably more: don't overlook that the distro is quite 
interesting for the advanced user, just because some less experienced 
users miss the point...


Ed W

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