Author: Patrick Lauer
Date: 17 Jun 2009
Who are you?
Patrick Lauer, says my birth certificate. I'm a mixed european, somewhere near
28 years old, working as admin or programmer, depending on the season.
I've been using Gentoo since early 2001 or so and been a dev from 2004 to 2006
and since late 2008.
What do you do in Gentooland?
Currently I'm trying to fix what I think needs it most. So I'm jumping around
between KDE (which manages quite well without me these days), the forensics and
benchmark herds, co-maintaining a few random things like Virtualbox, bumping
random ebuilds and trying to build everything in the tree. I want Gentoo to be
on the bleeding edge again, which means getting newer versions of packages to
users. Since manpower is always an issue I don't care about territorialism and
just bump or fix packages (apart from critical things like system packages and
silly distractions like games).
The build-it-all process has been mostly taken over by Flameeyes, so I
focus more on fixing things whenever I find the time and motivation.
I'm also one of the #gentoo ops and one of those people that are on IRC way too
much, you might know me as bonsaikitten.
What are your plans?
Apart from that I want to improve the basis of Gentoo. Most people seem to like
castles in the sky and shiny stuff that blinks a lot, but their ideas won't be
possible without a solid foundation to build on. What do I mean by that?
That's the, uhm, "strategic" goals. If we can improve these areas many other
things will become easier, which means we'll be able to do more awesome things.
I really want every dev to be subscribed to the gentoo-dev@ mailinglist again.
Which means we need to improve the interaction and the signal-to-noise ratio a
lot. If that means muting repeat offenders so be it, but what good is a
mailinglist when those that should read it don't?
- Infrastructure - We don't hear much because it tends to work (which by
itself is quite awesome). But do we have everything we need? Are there things
that can be improved?
- Security - You don't tend to hear much from that team unless you fail to
fix the bugs they uncover and report. GLSAs etc. allow many of us to use Gentoo
for servers and work. Are we doing the best we can there?
- PR - wow. One of our black holes. How can we expect to be the most awesome
distro when we can't even communicate who we are?
- Stable, unstable, overlays - It's getting harder for users to have the
newest and most shiny. Arch teams are notoriously overworked and find it hard
to recruit new blood. That needs fixing
- Recruiting and getting users involved. Since we do have a lack of manpower
in many places we depend on users stepping up to help out. And we're making it
too hard for them to contribute. Gotta fix that too.
And having everyone on the same page might lead to more interactions, which
usually leads to some good new things appearing. The whole Code of Conduct /
Proctors thing didn't work out that well, so we need to see what went wrong and
There are many small things like the GLEP process, PMS, sunrise and about two
dozen I can't remember right now that need some contemplation too.
You might notice that I didn't mention the whole EAPI tarbaby until now. And
that for a good reason - I don't think it contributes that much to be worth
that much discussion time. We have enough different EAPIs now to confuse
people, so we should think about a schedule to limit the proliferation of new
ones (say, one a year? That can be discussed). In the same spirit we should
deprecate old ones so there's EAPI0 for legacy reasons and "the newest one" for
stuff that gets changed or added to the tree. Keep it simple. And as long as we
are short on manpower it might be a good idea to keep destructive ideas like
GLEP55 to a minimum.
I hope the new council improves the time management for meetings, the last ...
oh ... three? four? meetings were mostly taken over by circular discussions
about fancy stuff instead of getting things done. It's quite disappointing to
see the most heated debate about the most irrelevant things suck out the little
time people have, so I am strongly in favour of avoiding that.
Now if you're still reading I must thank you for your patience, if you can
please vote in the council election. It's your privilege as a dev, let your
voice be heard. And if it is only a random vote - it takes all of five minutes,
if you can't be bothered to do that you're really strange.
Take care, have fun, be awesome,